Protesters Arrested for Blocking Van of Deportees

Sophia Tareen, WBBM-TV (Chicago), April 27, 2010

Energized by Arizona’s tough new law, immigration reform activists temporarily blocked traffic outside a suburban Chicago immigration facility on Tuesday in an attempt to stop deportations.

While operations continued as planned at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement center in Broadview, 24 protesters–many rabbis, priests and union workers–were arrested and cited with disorderly conduct.

The activists say they’re tired of waiting for President Barack Obama to make good on his vow for immigration reform and are shifting their tactics, including more civil disobedience at May 1 immigrant rights rallies.

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Hundreds gathered overnight at the center where illegal immigrants from several states are processed before deportation. Twice a week, flights depart for the Mexican border from O’Hare International Airport.

By morning, two dozen sat in the street and blocked a van from leaving the center while others cheered and chanted “Illinois is not Arizona.”

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She [ICE spokeswoman Gail Montenegro] said 67 Mexican nationals were deported Tuesday.

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