FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 16, 2011
Martin Unzueta, long-time Chicago community organizer and parent participated in a civil disobedience in Montgomery, Alabama. He was arrested along with 3 other undocumented parents, and 10 undocumented youth protesting the increasing criminalization of immigrants.
What: A press conference by Chicago undocumented youth and other community members, in solidarity with the November 15th action in Montgomery, Alabama. The action took place at the State Capitol Building, where 13 undocumented youth and parents were arrested. This is the first time that parents of undocumented youth risk deportation as part of a civil disobedience. They are currently being held in jail in Montgomery, Alabama.
When: Wednesday November 16, 2011, at 11:00 AM
Where: Chicago Community & Worker’s Rights, 3200 South Kedzie, Chicago IL.
Why: “I am risking deportation because I’m tired of seeing the suffering of our children, tired of the lies of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We do civil disobedience because we are not afraid of those who persecute us” said Martin Unzueta, community organizer at Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights who was arrested during the civil disobedience, and parent of two undocumented youth organizers of the Immigrant Youth Justice League.
The civil disobedience targets the climate of fear that undocumented immigrants are facing due to harsh anti immigrant laws like Alabama’s HB 56, and calls for the community to take action. HB56 passed. Under this legislation police are required to investigate the immigration status of people who are pulled over for routine traffic stops, and makes it a felony for undocumented immigrants to do business with the state. There have been wide- spread reports that undocumented immigrants are leaving the state and of children being harassed at school for their perceived immigration status.
The civil disobedience took place during a national convening of undocumented organizers part of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance.
Who: Undocumented youth and workers, including members of the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and the Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights. Speakers will include supporters and allies of undocumented immigrants.