PI Original Ashlee Rezin Wednesday May 1st, 2013, 10:17pm

Thousands Attend Chicago May Day Rally, Push For Comprehensive Immigration Reform (VIDEO)

Thousands of protesters took part in Chicago's May Day events Wednesday to stand for workers’ rights, demand a simplified pathway to citizenship and call for the end of deportations while a new immigration law is being hashed out in Congress. Progress Illinois was there for the day's events.

Thousands of protesters took part in Chicago's May Day events Wednesday to stand for workers’ rights, demand a simplified pathway to citizenship and call for the end of deportations while a new immigration law is being hashed out in Congress.

During today's demonstrations, protesters chanted "Obama, escucha! Estamos en la lucha!" ("Obama, listen! We are in the fight!").

May Day, also know as International Workers’ Day, is an annual commemoration of the Haymarket riot that took place in Chicago in 1886. The day is usually marked by protests around the world, with the actions focusing on labor-related issues. This year’s demonstration in Chicago focused on workers' rights and the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

Two weeks ago a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a compromise bill that, if passed, would provide a path to citizenship for many of America’s estimated 11 million undocumented residents. 

“Immigration reform is very important, it’s not just about numbers — and the numbers are very impressive — it’s important to the feeling,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), a sponsor of the immigration compromise bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (PDF), in an interview with Progress Illinois.

“This is about basic rights in this country, and (events like May Day) make me proud to be an American,” he said.

Organizing at 2 p.m. for a Union Park rally, protesters marched down Washington Blvd., passed by the 1886 Haymarket affair site, and rallied in Federal Plaza, with the rally ending well after 5 p.m.

“We are in the middle of a horrific human crisis,” said Eric Rodriguez, executive director of the Latino Union of Chicago, who participated in today’s protests.

Rodriguez advocated for halting deportations until a new immigration law is passed.

“Immigration is way, way far away from being fixed; deportations are breaking families apart and orphaning children every day,” he said.

Here’s more from today’s protest:

Drafted by the “Gang of Eight”, a bipartisan group of senators that includes Durbin, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S 744, creates a pathway to citizenship. Undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria would be eligible to apply for a green card after a 10-year wair, and would then be able to apply to be a U.S. citizen after an additional three-year wait.

Younger undocumented immigrants and agricultural workers would be eligible to apply for a green card within five years.

Numerous protesters criticized several of the legislation’s provisions today, though, including $2,000 in fines that would need to be paid, applicant employment and background check requirements, and tightened border security.

“We need immigration reform that is inclusive for everybody, what is being proposed by the Senate is an insult to our community,” said Rev. Jose Landaverde, of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Catholic Mission, who helped organize today’s events.

Landaverde said, of his congregation of more than 700, an estimated 75 percent are undocumented immigrants.

He questioned how private domestic workers who don’t have formal employment, such as nannies and house cleaners, are going to apply for citizenship if the Gang of Eight's bill passes. 

“Millions of people won’t qualify for immigration reform,” he said. “People without permanent jobs should be included in this bill. Plus, the price is ridiculous.”

But Durbin told Progress Illinois the bill is far away from being passed.

“We’re just starting this process ... this is a long uphill struggle and I don’t want to build up false hope,” he said, noting his “biggest worry” is getting the bill passed in the House of Representatives.

“I hope they’ll come around.”

Here’s more form Durbin:

“We need immigration reform now, we need to stop deportations now,” said Heidy Urdiales, 21, an undocumented Chicago resident whose parents brought her to the city from Equador at the age of nine.

A student at Daley College, Urdiales said she hasn’t yet applied for scholarships under the Illinois DREAM Act, and has been paying for her education out of pocket.

“Like most immigrants, my parents were just hard working people who wanted a better life for their children,” she said. “Being able to get citizenship, and financial aid, would mean the world.”

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced in December that a record amount of immigrants, 409,849 people, were deported in fiscal year 2012. Deportations were up 3 percent from 2011, when the the previous record was set at 396,906 deportations.

A 2011 report from the Chicago Sun-Times indicated that there were more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois at that time.

“May Day is about telling all of the political leaders, and all the business leaders, that you don’t exploit us,” said Tom Balanoff, president of SEIU* Local 1.

“For too long in this country, we’ve had many workers who have been discriminated against, who have had their wages cut down because of their color, because of their gender, because of their immigration status.”

In addition to thousands of Latinos advocating for immigration reform, today’s event saw attendance from members of organizations such as the SEIU, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), the Teamsters Union, Unite Here, Interfaith Worker Justice, the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Here’s more from Balanoff and other speakers at today’s rally:

“They need to streamline the process (for citizenship),” said Jonathan Lopez, 25, an undocumented immigrant who came with his family to Chicago from Morelos, Mexico, in 2001. 

Lopez said, after his father died a few years ago, his family depends on his mother’s income as a babysitter and jewelry saleswoman. “It’s really difficult,” he said.

Having to pay for his education at the University of Illinois at Chicago out of pocket is an additional burden. He said he plans to apply for scholarships via the Illinois DREAM Act this year.

“I made it here, I am apart of society here, I became an adult here, I learned the language ... I’m just like any other student with very high aspirations,” he said.

Here’s more from Lopez:

 

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WHAT THE MEDIA AND THE “GANG OF EIGHT” ARE NOT TELLING THE PUBLIC?

The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up S. 744 (aka: "The Gang of Eight" John McCain, Marco Rubio, Richard Durbin, Lindsey Graham, Michael Bennet, Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez and Jeff Flake immigration bill). The media has not “Spilled the Beans” the American public can expect. Except for Senator Marco Rubio who has spoken out more about the consequences, associated with this bill, the others are marching the people blindly into another Amnesty mess. There are many details about the bill of less known loopholes, which represent a paramount problem for both taxpayers and the millions of Americans who remain unemployed. This is ONLY a partial list of under-reported details that have been discovered by people sifting through (S. 744's), http://www.schumer.senate.gov/forms/immigration.pdf

We will be adding another 33 million new permanent workers via legalization and expanded immigration in first decade?
Illegal workers who never filed tax returns would NOT have to pay back taxes: Those who have been paid off the books or simply failed to file a tax return will not be required to pay back taxes: Section 6203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Protection for illegal migrants/immigrants/visa overstays identity thieves, but no restitution for victims. Those millions of illegal aliens, who have stolen individuals Social Security Numbers and other identification, will not have to pay restitution to their victims or go to criminal court. Our form of ID has been badly compromised and instead of E-verify, we should be issued with a National biometric ID card. Without it nobody would be able to steal a job, and furthermore other practical uses would be for voting, to get credit, buy a gun, register a car and even get a state drivers license. By processing such an easy document trillions of dollars would be saved, with no torment or anxiety for the average U.S. citizen or green card holder. However the Gang of Eight who needs to flush their brains out, says it’s too expensive? Senate bill 744: (pp. 84, 120, 130-134)."
Illegal employers get amnesty, too: Employers who have snubbed the law and hired illegal aliens will not be prosecuted. To me and millions of honest Americans in business who have had to contend in situations where contractors have ruthlessly stolen their livelihood, should be held accountable. Unknown numbers of small business, who refused to illegal aliens in the workplace, had to unfairly compete with companies that still do. The outcome has been many have had to file bankruptcy and even have lost their homes. Employers should be punish, lose their license, heavily fined and go to prison.

Deeply concealed in the bill are loopholes, waivers and exemptions to ensure legalized aliens get benefits earlier than these 8 politicians claim. Sen. Sessions' (R-AR office found several loopholes that would get around the claim that newly-legalized aliens would not be able access public benefits. According to page 91 of the bill, all illegal aliens granted legalized RPI status would be considered by the legal definition, "lawfully present “and therefore able to collect entitlements.

Illegal alien families are already accumulating hundreds of billion in state dollars, through by using the BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP ACT. There are not reported true records of what the U.S. government pays out annually, but it’s in the billions also? Most foreign countries have passed laws to rescind their Birthright Citizenship laws, including Mexico. The clause in the 14th amendment document needs to be revised by our Supreme Court as it was not meant for every impoverished pregnant female to live of entitlements for their instant citizenship babies. It was just a just reward for the black descendents of slaves. We are being inundated with illegal aliens and visa overstays from every corner of the world, for U.S. taxpayers to support.

First free food stamps and now this: WELFARE FOR ILLEGALS. WITH MILLIONS OF AMERICANS UNABLE TO FIND WORK, THESE POLITICIANS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT US, ARE READY TO SELL US OUT ONCE AGAIN, AS IN 1986?

If you're against amnesty, tell Washington "KNOCK IT OFF" now before it's too late. This is urgent. Tell Congress, "AMNESTY IS BAD FOR AMERICA! VOTE NO!" and do it today by phoning the central Washington switchboard at toll-free t 1-888-978-3094. We can win this fight with your help with prudent taxpayers. Read the huge amounts of daily information disclosed on AmericanPatrolcom. This is the articles, blogs and media reports that are a must avidly read. Learn so much more about illegal immigration bills at JudicialWatchorg.

Every day I'm more distraught by the pending Amnesty Bill. Today we learned that if this bill passes, illegals would be eligible for welfare immediately.

As you can observe Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) found scores of loopholes that would allow illegal’s to draw public benefits on federal, state and local levels even sooner than advertised.

We've got to stop Congress from passing it. Please, do your part by blasting every member of the House and Senate with a message from you that says, "AMNESTY IS A BAD DEAL. JUST SAY NO!" If it passes, in just six months illegal’s will be eligible to live and work here--despite the Gang of Eight promising illegal’s would not be allowed to access public benefits. Welfare for illegal’s--and their dependents--will fall on our backs. This, on an already overtaxed system that's bleeding us dry and can't support our own citizens.

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