Originally posted at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights blog.
Today, December 4th, elected officials including U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), State Representative Greg Harris (D-13) and Chicago Alderman George Cardenas (12th ward) joined more than two hundred high school and college students, immigrant advocates, and college professors to rally for an immediate stop to the deportation of Rigo Padilla, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago scheduled for deportation on December 16.
It was a spirited rally to call for just and humane immigration reform and to urge a halt on Rigo Padilla’s deportation. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky announced that yesterday she had filed a private bill, HR 4212, asking that Rigo Padilla be granted legal permanent resident status.
Father Mike Shanahan closed the rally announcing an action of civil disobedience in front of the Federal Building on the Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dec. 12) if the Obama administration proceeds with Rigo’s deportation.
Rigo exemplifies what is wrong with the immigration system and the need to stop senseless deportations. Under Obama administration, deportations have increased 18%. Unfortunately Rigo is one of millions of good people that contribute to this country but nevertheless are in risk of deportation.
Following the rally, participants marched to the Federal Building while holding signs, American flags, and chanting “Our Youth, Our Nation, No more senseless Deportations”. A delegation presented copies of a petition, signed by more than 880 faculty members from colleges and universities across Illinois and the nation, to the staff of Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Roland Burris, asking that Rigo Padilla’s deportation be deferred.
Finally, today Congressman Mike Quigley added his support to that of Congressmen Schakowsky, Rush, Gutierrez, and Davis in asking that the deportation of Rigo Padilla be deferred.
But the fight isn’t over. Please help us reach our goal of sending 25,000 faxes to Secretary Napolitano, ICE Director John Morton, Senator Durbin, and Senator Burris. All of whom have the power to stop Rigo’s deportation.
Progress Illinois has a great post about the event with video below:
View more photos of the rally below: