Bend the Arc:CU announces that speakers at tomorrow's rally to protest ICE raids in Champaign-Urbana will now include Zayd Jawad of C-U Friends Assisting Immigrants and Refugees (C-U FAIR) and Rev. Cindy Shepherd, Central Illinois Outreach Director for Faith in Place.
Other speakers will include Joe Omo-Osagie, a Nigerian immigrant and counselor at Parkland College; Rabbi Ari Naveh of the Hillel Center; and Brian Dolinar, writer and program director of the Independent Media Center, and leading advocate for immigrants in the community. The young children of several families who have had parents taken away due to these raids may also be in attendance.
The rally and speeches will begin in front of the Champaign County Courthouse, 101 E. Main St., Urbana at noon, followed by a march to the US District Courthouse, 201 S. Vine St., Urbana.
“The unjust practice of criminalizing immigrants in order to please a political base is morally depraved, and it's happening right here in Champaign-Urbana,” says Diane Ore, chair of Bend the Arc:CU about the reason for the rally. “It must be stopped."
In late June, the father of three with another on the way was picked up by ICE, and another father was picked up in May. In March, an eight-year resident of Champaign-Urbana was picked up as he arrived for work at Siam Terrace. The total number of people apprehended in Champaign-Urbana by ICE is not known, but records show that ICE has come to Champaign-Urbana at least 38 times since the beginning of the Trump administration. Dolinar plans to recount what he has learned from one of these families about how the raids have affected them personally.
Notes Ore, “Most of the people snatched from Champaign-Urbana have been good, hard-working members of our community, yet they're being arrested by ICE and held in facilities far from their families. Sometimes the families don't even know where they are. That's just cruel and inhumane.”