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Immigration Reform Protesters Arrested In Broadview

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 27, 2010 4:20PM

Image via ABC 7 video
A protest of the deportation of undocumented immigrants in Broadview this morning resulted in two dozen of the demonstrators being arrested after they stopped a van loaded with deportees. The van was leaving the federal detention center in Broadview for O'Hare when the protesters obstructed its path by sitting in the street. Over 100 demonstrators were at the detention center, but reports estimate around 24 were arrested for blocking the van. Charges will most likely be disorderly conduct and blocking traffic; the Broadview police chief told ABC 7 that he intends to be lenient: "He said for the most part they were peaceful arrests and said he did not want to arrest the protesters but had to because they were breaking the law." But while they may have been peaceful, they remained firmly committed to their cause. According to the Tribune:

As they were escorted to squad cars from Broadview, Maywood and Westchester, each demonstrator urged Congress and the Obama administration to deal with immigration reforms.

"There is now a racial reign of terror spreading across the country and it has to be stopped," said Joshua Hoyt, director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and one of the people arrested.

Illinois is far from the only scene of immigration controversy this week. Protestors at the detention center chanted "no deportations today" and "Illinois is not Arizona," in response to that state's new tough, controversial immigration law which opponents say will, among other things, encourage racial profiling. And in Alabama, GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim James kicked the hornets' nest with an ad in which he declares, "This is Alabama. We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it." No, he really does say that.

This Saturday, organizers are planning a march supporting immigration reform that will start at Union Park at 1 p.m. and finish in Daley Plaza.