A project of the Center for Community Change

Moving testimony from Chicago Mother’s Day Action

by Dennis Chin, guest blogger

On Mother’s Day, a group of immigrant children from the suburbs of Chicago took to the streets in support of immigration reform.  Here is one child’s testimony in front of the ICE detention center.

My name is Ernesto.

On the 28th of August in 2008, my mother was detained in Des Plaines while driving with my younger brother who was 14 at the time. She was stopped by the police and then arrested. They left my brother Tomas in the car alone and took my mother away. She was then transferred to McHenry County Detention Center, where she was detained for 3 months. I was scared that I would never see my mother again. I am the oldest of my two brothers, at that time I was 16. While my mother was detained, my brother Tomas and I took care of our little brother Randy. We cared for ourselves, doing the house chores, and making sure we continued with school. We never told anyone at school because we were afraid we would be taken away and be separated. Through this, Tomas and I had no other choice than to mature faster than we should have, we took care our little brother to keep our family together.  The day before Thanksgiving, my mother was released and she is now fighting her deportation. That day we felt happy that she was back with us.

President Obama, you have said your mother played an important role in your life, you’ve credited her with helping you be the man you are today. If you know the importance of children being with their mothers, how dare you allow for the separation of children from their mothers?

If your mother had been detained and taken away from you in the middle of the night, ripped from you, would you be the man you are today?

My mother is everything to me, and for my brothers. We want to have the opportunity to live our lives with her, to share our accomplishments in life with her. We don’t want to be separated again.

President Obama, I call on you to use your executive power and stop the deportations, stop the destruction of our families! You promised during your campaign that you would pass immigration reform the first year of your presidency.  We believed you, and Latinos came out to vote in record numbers.

Instead all we have seen is more deportations, more fear and destruction in our communities! We have seen your party and the Republican Party run away from immigration, play with our lives and those of our families!

President Obama, we are tired of your broken promises, your empty words! I call on you today to fulfill your promise, pass immigration reform this year!

Immigrant children marched alongside Ernesto to make sure immigrant families like his stay together.  Here are some more photos from the event:

Check back for more report-backs on immigration reform actions across the country.  Cause you know you’re not going to find this type of coverage in the news.

Photos: P.A.S.O.- West Suburban Action Project

Contact P.A.S.O. at info.paso.organizing [at] gmail.com

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