Crying “not one more,” Chicago-area undocumented immigrants and their allies instigated a human blockade of the Broadview Detention Center in Broadview Ill., earlier today as part of a national call to action to end deportations. Eleven activists were arrested for their participation in the act of civil disobedience that halted traffic at the intersection of Roosevelt Road and 25th Avenue outside of the immigrant detention center. The immigration statuses of the 11 arrestees are still unknown.
Still, the action was a unifying victory for an immigration movement that has struggled to make headway with proposed reform in Congress over the past year. “The energy was incredible, and came from everyone—students, mothers, community members, individuals facing deportation,” Alexandra Fryer, a participant in the larger protest, told In These Times via Twitter. “It was clear how Obama’s failure to end deportations has upset a vast number of people that will organize and fight back.” As the Obama administration’s deportation tally nears the two-million mark, undocumented individuals and their allies have launched a network of protests and civil disobedience that started on April 5 as part of the #Not1More Deportation campaign. The national effort hopes to draw the nation’s—and the president’s—attention to the U.S. immigration crisis’ latest grisly milestone. Activists in 80 cities are demanding executive action to halt further deportations in advance of possible congressional discussions of comprehensive immigration reform.On its webpage, #Not1More wrote of the action:President Obama doesn’t have to wait for Congress to use his executive authority to stop the suffering. He could expand the deferred action program he created for immigrant youth and suspend deportations immediately. Communities across the country are organizing events under the slogan “Two Million, Too Many” to demand that the President stop deportations.The Chicago action was coordinated by Undocumented Illinois, Organized Communities Against Deportations, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Latino Policy Forum, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities and the National Day Labor Organizing Network.Follow #Not1More on Twitter for more information, or visit the campaign online for more information on the Broadview blockade, as well as other actions across the country.