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We were there last November when Rep. Luis Gutierrez held an event at St. Pius Church on Chicago’s West Side that highlighted those families being torn apart by the country’s broken immigration system. In the months since, Gutierrez has replicated that meeting in churches and synagogues in 21 cities nationwide as part of his “Family Unity” tour. On Saturday, over a thousand people gathered at McCormick Place to conclude the “first leg” of this effort. Gutierrez was joined on stage by numerous elected officials and activists — all calling on President Obama to follow-through on his pledge to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority. Watch it:
The timing of the grand Tour finale in Chicago was not without symbolism. Just one week after May Day, a day before Mother’s Day, and the same week as the anniversary of what has been called the most unjust immigration raid in our nation’s history, the Tour draws to a close with a reminder of what we are collectively fighting to change – an immigration system that rips mothers from daughters and husbands from wives.
The video speaks for itself, but Rachel reminds us just what happened one year ago, tomorrow:
Tomorrow, May 12th, marks the one year anniversary of the devastating ICE raid at Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. That day, hundreds of ICE agents descended on the small Iowa town. They brought helicopters, they brought buses and they brought a show of force that would rival any big-budget action flick this summer. Almost 400 workers were arrested and herded like cattle through a “fast-track” version of the American judicial system.
More on Postville to come tomorrow, as communities of faith from coast to coast prepare a nation-wide Day of Remembrance and solidarity with the families and victims of that massively unjust raid. If you hear a Church bell ringing at 10 am, think of the children who came home to a mother or father gone that day and imagine what it would be like to have your rights so roundly denied.
Then, do something.
Tie a red ribbon around your wrist in solidarity with the Postville families, and tell your member of congress to pass real immigration reform. Tell them to move us past more Postvilles.