Chicago, IL- On Saturday, January 14th, mobilizations will be held across the country to build community, celebrate immigrant heritage and defiantly pledge to protect immigrants, Muslims and refugees from hateful attacks and policies expected to come under the upcoming administration. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, three area locals of the Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers , Syrian Community Network, the Fight for $15, Muslim American Society- Chicago, Chicago's Teacher Union, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Unite Here Local 1, the Mosque Foundation and the Council on American Islamic Organization, call on labor, faith and community leaders to stand up for the values of love, compassion and family. The groups are collectively calling for righteous resistance.
"January 14th is a time to join hands with immigrant brothers and sisters, and their allies to declare in no uncertain terms that we will stand in the way of criminalization, mass deportation and hatred of our communities," said Lawrence Benito, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the mobilization's lead organization.
The march and rally will gather at 10am on Saturday, January 14th. Participants will march and the route will culminate in a rally in Chicago. Community leaders will unveil a "Platform for Resistance" which will provide local, municipal, state and federal defensive and offensive solutions such as the promotion of policies that:
- Limit collaboration between local law enforcement and Immigration agents as a means to disrupt the deportation machine
- Dismantle existing registries and prevent the advancement of any new kind of registry for immigrants from Muslim countries
- Welcome refugees into the country and Illinois
- Provide "safe space" in institutions such as public schools to provide wrap around services, social emotional supports, and prevent the criminalization of youth or their families which places them on a path to deportation or in the school-to-prison pipeline
- Protect undocumented immigrants with disabilities from facing deportations facilitated by hospitals following treatment of a medical issue through a practice known as "medical repatriation"
- Continue protection for individuals who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ( DACA )
- Publicly support workers looking to unionize and fight for a living wage such as workers in the Fight for $15, especially undocumented workers as the new administration will push hard to weaken the right to organize and will target immigrant workers who are most vulnerable to this attack.
"The platform is a blueprint for our communities to unify and actively resist any anti-immigrant, xenophobic or islamaphobic attacks those communities will face," said SEIU Health Care Executive Board Member Maria del Carmen Macias. "January 14th is about us coming together to demonstrate that we are here to stay, we will not be moved, and we are fighting back against what's ahead."
This event is part of a series of national mobilizations lead by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement ( FIRM ) taking place across the country on January 14th in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Charlotte, Philadelphia and over 20 other cities. ICIRR is a member of the FIRM network. Sign up to attend at www.icirr.org/jan14 .