Eleven immigrant rights activists were arrested in Broadview Tuesday morning after linking arms in the street and blocking traffic near a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center to protest deportations.
Before the arrests, a few hundred people picketed outside the detention center, located at 1930 Beach St., as part of the national “Not One More” deportation campaign, urging President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to halt deportations immediately. Nationwide, activists with the campaign took part in more than 80 immigration-related actions over the weekend.
On Monday, local immigrant rights advocates began to march from ICE’s downtown Chicago field office to the Broadview detention center, making stops along the way for a prayer vigil and other actions.
The two-day event culminated with a rally in front of the detention center, where activists chanted “Two million, Too many” to raise awareness about the nearly 2 million people who have been deported under the Obama administration.
“He has the record of two million deportations. More than any other president in the history of the United States,” said Reyna Wences with Undocumented Illinois. “In only six years, we’ve seen families torn apart. We’ve seen the pain that places like Broadview represent for our families, and so we’re also here to tell the community, ‘Hey this is in your backyard. This is happening right here, and we came to shut it down.'”