By Eve Carne
June 30, 2011–On Tuesday, along with other JCUA staff members and interns, I attended a protest against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Secure Communities program. Earlier this year the Obama administration supported the program and ICE director John Morton is intent on enforcing it throughout the country.
Secure Communities was created to deport undocumented immigrants that have been convicted of a serious crime, but statistics show many of the immigrants being deported have no criminal record. Illinois was the first state to not accept the program, although other states have followed suit. Morton came to ICE headquarters in Chicago on Tuesday to tell Illinois that Secure Communities is mandatory, even though Gov. Pat Quinn does not support this program.
Here at JCUA we wanted to show support for the families that have been affected by this unsympathetic program. The results of Secure Communities have been detrimental to families, splitting many up. Immigrants affected by the program wanted to meet with Morton to tell him their personal stories of how it has negatively affected them, but Morton would not meet with them.
Many people were present at the protest and there was entertainment such as singing and dancing. Little kids walked around in t-shirts saying, “I was born in the USA, please don’t take my mommy and daddy away,”chants were being yelled and people were passionately marching in front of the building. The protest came to an end after someone who sat in on the meeting came down and delivered bad news, saying Morton is not budging on his position, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over.
Find out more about JCUA’s immigration work.