CHICAGO (CBS) — Several hundred people rallied in the Federal Plaza downtown Saturday demanding changes in U.S. immigration policy and an end to deportations that split families.
Speakers in English and Spanish said President Obama lied when he said only felons and violent criminals would be deported.
“My husband is neither,” said Maria Perez, whose long-time boyfriend was arrested Oct. 16. They married, via a television hookup, before he was deported, and she said she has yet to get her first kiss as his wife.
“My husband was one too many,” she said. “We’ve had two million too many already. No more deportations.”
A 21-year-old Rockford woman, named Sarah, said she has been in the U.S. for 17 years. She said that when she realized it could be impossible to attend college despite good grades and offers of grants and financial aid, it made her suicidal.
“I felt bitter every time my friends told me about their college plans because at that point I had none,” she said.
Now, she is an immigration rights activist and said she has blocked buses loaded with those being deported when they have tried to leave the detention facility in southwest suburban Broadview.
Despite that, she said, she wonders every time she speaks with her aging grandmother in Mexico if she or her father will ever have the chance to see her again.
Protesters hoisted signs reading in English and Spanish, “No papers? No fear!”