Chicago activists heading to Washington to support ‘Dreamers’

CHICAGO -- A busload of local activists left the Pilsen neighborhood on Tuesday to head to the nation’s capital for a meeting with Illinois politicians. They’re demanding protection for immigrants now facing an uncertain future

About 60 Chicago-area activists are on their way to Washington D.C. where they plan to call for a ‘Clean’ DREAM Act and a clear path to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

“In Illinois, the futures of more than 41,000 documented people and their families are up in the air, so every day that congress delays action to protect immigrants, more people are in danger of being deported,” Lawrence Benito, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said.

Once they get to Washington, they’re hoping to meet with senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin as well as members of Illinois’ Congressional Delegation.

These are members of several groups, brought together by the Illinois Coalition For Immigrant And Refugee Rights.

The executive order signed by President Donald Trump this fall means the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, ends in March, and while the door is open to saving it, that’s not enough for local activists who want a Clean DREAM Act, a secure future and a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, including those who may lose their protections under DACA.

While the plan is to meet with our elected officials while in Washington, these activists are also talking about going a bit further.
They said they’re open to engaging in some civil disobedience if that’s what it takes to get their message across.