Attendees of the National Workers’ Conference joined activists at Gary/Chicago International Airport to protest the Trump administration’s sweeping deportations of undocumented immigrants
Fox News anchor: Federal immigration officers arresting nearly 200 people… Cheryl Casone: Immigration agents arrested 188 people… ABC News anchor: No one can find the mother and father taken from their four children during an early morning immigration raid… Perris Thomas: We here today because we standing with the immigrants that’s being deported. We know it’s not fair, we come here and fight hard for our families. To live and be free. Teresa Fernandez: [In Spanish] All youth has the right [to a fair chance] to have a future. From any country we may come from, we all contribute to the USA. Dr. Anne Sheetz : And it’s then unjust for the United States to be deporting people back to countries that they had to leave because of poverty. Herbert Claros: The international struggle for the rights of the immigrants is the fight of all workers around the world. L.E. Whitman: Make your voices heard. Make sure everyone around the world hears that we will not stand for deportations out of any country, not just Gary. This is a global fight. Crowd: Amen. Deborah Lane: We are so happy to come out and join this beautiful picture of what America needs to look like. All of us standing together as one, fighting for justice for all. All of us in a melting pot of immigration. If they want to know what immigrants look like, we are all immigrants. Crowd: Exactly. Vince Emanuele: You know one of the first trainings I received as an organizer, was from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Who is aware of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers here? Those are some of the bravest and best organizers I have ever spent my time around. Those are people who reminded us, when we were felling down and out, beat down, tired, stressed out. Their workers were being locked in the back of semi-trailers, before they had to go out for another day of 12-14 hours of work. Speaker 9: This is in support of my fellow veterans that served. Undocumented veterans, and when they got out of the service they never got their walking papers. They got a 214, which means they served honorably, but they never got their legal status. Steve Zeltzer: It’s a sick day in America when the people who built this country are blamed for the crisis. Crowd: That’s right. That’s right. Steve Zeltzer: Who built the United States? It was working people, it was immigrants. Yet, this government and the politicians are blaming the immigrants for the problems in this country? Their told they’re being criminals, they’re criminals. The real criminals are the people running this government. Crowd: Yeah, that’s right. Steve Zeltzer: That’s who the real criminals are, they are crooks. Frank Hammer: Undocumented workers are being brought in buses and brought to the airplanes, and loaded in the airplanes behind me. The reason that people are here today is to say, “not one more”. This is atrocious, this is inhumane, and is really placing the blame for the crisis that working people feel in the United States, on the backs of immigrant workers, who are only here to work. Crowd: Not one more. Not one more. Not one more. Not one more. Ruth Needleman: This airport, which does not have single commercial flight, has weekly deportations. Every Friday morning, the buses come from Illinois, from McHenry County, with immigrants. And the flight, which is World Atlantic, it’s actually Caribbean Sun, comes and flies in from Brownsville. Lands here about 15 minutes before the buses arrive. The people in the buses are shackled hand to foot. Not a single one, according to Sister of Mercy Joanne Persh who meets with them every single week, not a single one is a criminal. The worst crime committed in the last 10 years by anybody on the buses was shoplifting or driving through a stop sign. So, what it is, is low-hanging fruit. It’s the people who show up to report in on an annual basis, and now they get picked up and sent off. McHenry County Sheriff’s, which is where the people come from, have violated State Law because they are turning people over to immigration without the right to do so. Without any warrant or any kind of court order. What they have done, just this past week, is held somebody who was charged with scratching somebody, and they had a $500 bail. They would not release him to the family. The family fought, they said okay pay the $500, which they did, and then they took the money and turned the person over to ICE.