Filipino activists march in Chicago to protest deportations


By Connie Macatula-De Leon, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 2, 2014

CHICAGO – ILL. – For nine straight years, the people of Chicago have rallied every first of May in commemoration of the Haymarket Square riot in 1886 during the peak of the American labor movement.

The main message of this year’s May Day rally – two million deportations is too many.

Activists call on President Barack Obama to put a stop to deportations now.

“Today, 1100 families are being deported. Yesterday, 1100 families were deported. Tomorrow, 1100 families are going to be deported. We’re asking the President to stop deportations. Two million deportations is too many,” said Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights.

“I’m here to support our request to stop deportation because it’s getting too much,” said AFIRE supporter Al Cabagnot.

As demonstrators marched from the Haymarket Memorial to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Chicago field office, the protesters call on Obama and U.S. lawmakers on passing immigration reform this year.

“We need to meet the comprehensive immigration reform,” said AFIRE supporter Sally Richmond.

“I’m here because our religion believes in justice. Our religious movement is as interested in keeping immigration families together as anyone else,” said manager at Interfaith Worker Justice Ruth Orme-Johnson.

Besides immigrant rights, these protesters say the US government should also make sure all workers rights are upheld especially among immigrant communities.

“This is a historical moment for all of us to honor the struggles of the workers way back in 1800 to actually reduce the working hours per day to 8 hours. All the benefits we are receiving now are due to the work struggle,” said AFIRE Executive Director Jerry Clarito.

“I’m standing in solidarity with Filipino workers in the struggle against the contractualization of jobs, instead, we prefer permanent jobs and that’s what we fight for,” said Daniel Rudin, a supporter of Inter Call Center Association of Workers

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  • Kikay Pang0
    2 May 2014 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Speed up the deportation process Mr. DHS. Good and Bad illegals must go ….. Commit to 4 million quota/ year .

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