CHICAGO — Thousands of people protested and marched against the possible immigration raids that are expected to happen Sunday.
A rally and march to “end criminalization, detention, & deportations” was held at the Richard J. Daley Center at 11 a.m.
People then marched the streets of downtown Chicago to ICE headquarters, 101 W. Ida B. Wells Drive, with signs, demands and a message.
For many marching wasn’t really a choice, but more of a moral obligation.
“I want to support all immigrants that are here,” Andriana Fernandez, demonstrator, said. “My parents are immigrants, my friends are immigrants and Chicago is a community that welcomes immigrants.”
President Donald Trump agrees there is a crisis at the border, but not for the same reasons. He and his administration have taken a hard line on illegal immigration by detaining thousands, including children in detention centers that have come under fire for being overcrowded and not having enough supplies to humanly care for the migrates.
Elected officials helped lead the rally before the march, such as Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Garcia lead the call for the defunding of Immigration and Custom Enforcement or ICE.
“If they come on our turf, Chicagoland and Illinois, let’s defend and protect all of our people,” Garcia said.
Word of ICE raids starting Sunday in major cities, including Chicago, began leaking earlier this week. Since then, immigration organization have tried to educate immigrates on their rights.
12-year-old Mahalea Velasco, who’s father was deported, wants to educate people on what she calls “harsh immigration policies” and what they do to families.
“Will you stand with me? Won’t you resist? Stop deportation, stop separation of families,” Velasco said.
Her speech seemed to resonate with the audience. Most people said it was her story that will keep them coming out to rallies and marches.
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