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Photos: Irish Immigrants Rally To Decry Anti-Immigrant Federal Policies

By Chicagoist_Guest in News on Mar 19, 2017 3:10PM

By Tyler LaRiviere

Just two days after a district court Judge Derrick K. Watson of Hawaii issued an injunction stopping the second version of Trump's so-called “Muslim ban,” a hundred Chicagoans’ of Irish decent rallied in Daily Plaza to decry Trump's revamped efforts to prevent certain immigrants from entering the U.S.

The rally, organized under the hashtag #YouAreMyNeighbor, brought together prominent Irish Illinois politicians including Sen. Dick Durbin.

"Throughout history, many religious minorities faced discrimination. It wasn’t that long ago it was the Irish and the Catholics. Today the signs may be different, they may not say ‘Irish need not apply,’ but by orders signed by the President of the United States they read ‘no refugees, no Muslims,'" Durbin said at the rally.

Billy Lawless, an overseas Irish senator and a champion of undocumented Irish immigrants, described how opening an Irish pub in Wrigleyville brought him into contact with thousands of undocumented Irish immigrants and made him more aware of immigrants' struggles in a "broken" system.

“It was there that I first encountered, the some 50,000 Irish undocumented immigrants who call this country home, seeing first hand the pain caused by a broken immigration system that hurts businesses and divides families," he said. "However I am confident that a nation founded by immigrants and forged in the ideas of liberty and fairness can find a solution that is fair to the rule of law and to the 11 million undocumented who call this country their home."