Undocumented immigrants should know that there are many individuals who actually support them and are willing to take critical measures to advocate for their rights and protections. On Monday, U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) and a dozen immigration advocates facilitated a ‘sit-in’ at Chicago’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters to protest their deportation procedures under the Trump administration and to send a message that he considers the procedures “egregious, unfair and morally bankrupt.”
After a reportedly contentious meeting wherein no satisfactory explanations were provided, Gutierrez and the immigration advocates were willing to risk arrest in order to get their message across. They refused to leave the ICE office without answers and staged a “sit-in.” They were subsequently placed in restraints by Federal officers.
One of the issues the congressman was protesting was a series of tweets issued by ICE last week warning that individuals, called DREAMers, covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program weren't necessarily safe from deportation. In addition, Representative Gutierrez said that he received incomplete answers from ICE officials about whether they would carry out enforcement raids in churches and other sensitive locations.
Upon ending the protest, Gutierrez told reporters: "They threatened us with arrest. We said 'We're ready to go to jail….We stood up to the bullies here.”
In today’s oft-times fear-inducing political climate, this newsworthy story shines a necessary light on the fact that undocumented individuals are not alone in the fight for immigration protections. In addition to the commendable actions of Congressman Gutierrez and the Immigration advocates involved in Monday’s protest at the ICE office in Chicago, there are many Immigration lawyers across the country willing to fight maximally to assist immigrants. Indeed, at the Shulman Law Group, a firm dedicated exclusively to Immigration Law, immigration attorney Edward Shulman has been advocating for undocumented immigrants for over 22 years.