CHICAGO (CBS) — With anger over the idea of separating families weighing heavily on their hearts, dozens of people met in Pilsen Saturday afternoon to come up with a response to the threat of ICE raids.
Men, women and children alike packed a room at Lincoln United Methodist Church in Pilsen putting plans in place just three days after several families were separated in Mississippi after ICE agents rounded up almost 700 immigrants Wednesday.
It was the largest one-day, single-state deportation sweep in United States history.
“Unbelievable,” said David Hollinger, who is a naturalized citizen from Guatemala. “I’d like to know how I can help, what I can do.”
That’s why he says he came to the meeting.
“I absolutely take for granted that I can just walk to the grocery store,” Hollinger said. “I don’t even think about it, but not everyone has that privilege.”
The community is forming a response team made up of volunteers willing to walk with undocumented immigrants as they do everyday activities and help them if ICE appears.
“I think it’s really wonderful that there are community members willing to stand up for other communities members,” Hollinger said.
Organizers said volunteers will be trained on how to handle and ICE encounter from encouraging the immigrant to remain silent to asking agents for proper documentation.
It’s an opportunity Hollinger plans on taking part in.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m willing to do anything, whatever it takes.”
Meeting organizers said volunteers must be at least 18 years old and American citizens.
CBS 2 reached out to ICE for comment about this and is still waiting to hear back.