CHICAGO (CBS) — There was a record-setting immigration raid in Mississippi this week. Now, people in Chicago are preparing for the worst.
Members of the Pilsen community are thinking about accompanying undocumented residents wherever they need to go.
“What God has joined together, let no man separate,” said student pastor Sara Walker.
Almost 700 undocumented workers were rounded up at seven different Mississippi processing plants. The sweep separated families and swelled concerns in Chicago.
“The fear has definitely upticked,” said Walker. “We need to all come together in person and organize ourselves.”
Walker is a member of an activist group called “La Familia Latina Unida.”
She told CBS 2 her group is helping to organize an assembly Saturday called the “Rudy Lozano Asamblea,” named after the late Chicago activist and community organizer.
They’re hoping to create a response team and find volunteers to accompany undocumented immigrants.
The volunteers would help them get from point A to point B, whether it’s the corner store or traffic court.
“To show that the community is behind that person but also for the emotional support of that family,” said Walker.
Walker said the volunteers must be 18, American citizens and willing to respond at a moment’s notice.
They’ll be taught to try and diffuse the situation, arming themselves not with weapons but knowledge as rumors of ICE activity in the area continue.
“Honestly, that’s something that never escapes my mind,” said Izaithell Aguirre, a 17-year-old community member.
Her mother, Doris, is a longtime Chicago-area resident, despite being undocumented.
“We must learn to lose fear because while we live in fear, we will make easy prey,” said Doris.
The “Rudy Lozano Asamblea” is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln United Methodist Church on Damen Avenue in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.