CHICAGO (CBS) — There are over 500,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois.
It’s unclear how many would be forced to leave if President Donald Trump follows through on his deportation plan.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley spoke with an undocumented Chicagoan, who isn’t on the list right now, but worries his time may be running out.
Felipe Diosdado said if he could talk to President Trump, he’d tell the president that he’s here for a better life.
“I want to just tell him we’re here to work. All we want is better for our families,” said Diosdado.
That’s why Felipe Diosdado came alone to Chicago in 1997, at the age of 18 from his hometown, Morelia, in central Mexico, illegally crossing the border and going first to Phoenix before eventually joining cousins in Chicago – all to work and send money home to his parents.
Diosdado said that when Trump talks about deportation roundups, the president is talking directly to him.
“Because they’re going to the people they already have on the system and I’m already on their system.”
Diosdado is there because six years ago, when Illinois started offering drivers licenses for the undocumented, he went to apply and got picked up by ICE.
That wasn’t supposed to happen.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White called to personally apologize. But ICE shipped Diosdado to an out-of-state detention center for a month. When released, he got a work permit that allowed him to regain his unionized maintenance job at a downtown Chicago high-rise.
“I have a work permit and I have to renew every year, but they can deny any year that they want to,” Diosdado said. “Like they can say, we’re not gonna renew your work permit any more. So I’m at risk to get deportation.”
A risk that also hovers as well over his wife and two sons, one a student at Whitney Young. Now, Diosdado refuses to hide, but also puts little value in President Trump’s two week reprieve.
“It don’t mean anything because it’s still the same. The threat is there.”
ICE officials said the postponed raids would have targeted about 2,000 immigrants in 10 cities, including Chicago.
President Trump said he delayed the raids to give Congress another shot at changing laws to clean up the asylum crisis at the southern border.