Pending ICE Raids Spark Protests, Concern in Chicago Area

on Jul13
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2019-07-12 23:39:24

As potential ICE raids loom over the weekend, fear and uncertainty are pervasive in the city’s immigrant communities, and protesters are voicing their concerns about the threat.

In several communities around the Chicago area, protesters took to the streets to opposed the planned deportation raids, marching down Michigan Avenue and ending their rally outside the U.S. Immigration building in the city.

“It’s scary, but as long as you educate yourself, you can protect yourself and your community,” one participant said.

Residents, City Prepare for ICE RaidsResidents, City Prepare for ICE Raids

The protesters are drawing attention to planned raids by ICE this weekend, which are expected to take place in several large cities across the United States.

The raids are part of an enforcement plan on the part of the Trump administration, and the president defended the plans in a press availability Friday.

“It starts on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out and take them back to their countries, or they’re going to take criminals and put them in prison,” the president said. “We are really specifically looking for bad players, but we’re also looking for people who came into our country not through a process, and they have to leave.”

The administration insists that its enforcement actions are aimed at “criminals,” according to the president, but some, including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, have expressed concern that other immigrants may pay the price.

“These people are simply asking for a chance to lead good lives and to be a part of America’s future,” Durbin said. “It is shameful to think we have reached this point in this great country.”

In Chicago’s suburbs, protesters showed their support with rallies in Aurora and several other communities. Meanwhile, in the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced new protections and resources for immigrants via an executive action on Friday.

The city is investing an extra $250,000 in its legal protection fund, and the action also reaffirmed the city’s commitment not to cooperate with ICE agents targeting immigrant families.

More protests are planned through the weekend, including on Sunday when the raids are purportedly set to begin.

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