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Oct 02nd
Home Community Civil Rights White House Plays Favorite for Illinois Marchers
White House Plays Favorite for Illinois Marchers PDF Print E-mail
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Communities - Civil Rights
Sunday, 21 March 2010 07:19



(© 2010 Journal Group Link International)


C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – Some 100,000 are expected to join the “March for America” for immigration reform Sunday (March 21). But only several hundreds will be allowed to get to the Lafayette Park, which is located in front of the White House.


This was one of the incentives of the bus riders from Illinois, who will be dropped off at Lafayette Park, because “our state has been given this special time for a White House Vigil because we are from the President’s home state,” according to an e-mail sent out by Juanita Salvador-Burris, an officer of Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), one of the organizing groups that are pressing President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to pass a major immigration-reform legislation this year.


Before the 100 busses rolled of Saturday afternoon bound for Washington, D.C., Ms. Salvador-Burris said, “the 49 other states have to be dropped off at RFK Stadium and they go to the National Mall by Metro (train) for the program there that begins at 1 p.m.”



Reports about the Immigration March the Day After:


From today's issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer:  The article mentions Ali Kronley, Joanne Sessa and Filipino-American leader Ernesto Gange.


Aerial photo—from the Associated Press:



From today's issue of the New York Times:


From today's issue of the Los Angeles Times:,0,6442141.story


The White House Vigil is a “memorial service where we remember those who have suffered and were adversely affected by the broken immigration system and/or anything significantly related to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform that you want to remind President Obama about.

“We will leave all these objects in front of the White House,” according to the email message circulated among the riders.


While one suggested that they should take with them shoes that will be left in front of the White House to let President Obama and the U.S. Congress realize how it feels to be in the marches’ shoes, another suggested that they should only take with them one of the pairs of shoes to symbolize the separation of families brought about by the broken immigration system.


Some will be taking with them flowers, photographs, documents, etc. that best represent or symbolize a concrete object of what comprehensive-immigration reform means to the marchers, which they want President Obama to get.


Stephen Smith, the Illinois statewide organizer, will be leaving behind for the President to see a huge map of Illinois and several discs of the statements made by the Immigrant Justice Youth League who came out courageously as undocumented last March 10.

“CHANGE MEANS COURAGE” is theme of March for America.


Ms. Salvador Burris was thinking of leaving the book, “America is in the Heart,” by Carlos Bulosan, with a note to the President that he might read it to know the Filipino farm worker experience in the 1920s and 1930s.


But she does not want to part with her copy that has been in her possession for more than 25 years. She said she would be looking for a reprinted copy.


In addition to the White House Vigil from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, there is a Mass at St. Aloysius Church at 11 a.m. also. Riders are being given the choice of where they want to be.


The Mass is sponsored by the Justice for Immigrants group of the US Conference of Bishops. Cardinal Roger Mahoney from Los Angeles and five other bishops from all over the country will say Mass.


Marchers are going to face a cool weather in the 40s that would turn slightly damp and causes the National Mall to be muddy. They will move forward rain or shine.


They are also “organized not only to march but to fight. The anti-immigrant forces have chosen Friday and Monday to do intensive lobbying at the nation's capital in anticipation of our huge rally.

“Our voices and impact have to be louder and more effective than theirs.  So let’s get ready to flex our people power muscles and also to pray hard that our efforts will be brought to fruition by the Almighty.

“We want a just, humane, and comprehensive immigration reform to be passed in 2010,” according to Francisco Ramos, Executive Director of the Chicago-based Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European, and Latino Immigrants of Illinois.


During a rally that will follow, some speakers will talk about the experiences that the group went thru due to the broken immigration system, according to a press release of the Asian American Institute (AAI).


The AAI said Liuan Chen of Wheaton, Illinois, is rallying in DC to bring her family back together.  Her stepfather, Mr. Huang, left the United States voluntarily in June after being detained by the Department of Homeland Security, facing deportation unable to get documentation.


Chen's mother still faces deportation after her permanent residency application was dropped, because she divorced her previous husband, who was her visa sponsor.


However, her mother remains here legally, having been granted a temporary stay to care for her children, ages 9 and 11, who are citizens. "They are separated by an ocean and a system, when all they are trying to do is make a living," Chen said.


Almost 2/3 of immigrants from Asia came to the U.S. through family immigration. But those from Asian countries have to endure some of the worst immigration backlogs in the world. 


"Every day is an eternity when you long for family – and some in our community wait 22 years to be reunited with loved ones," said Tuyet Le, executive director for AAI, who will be one of the speakers at the rally.  The March for America rally is held to show elected officials how many people are affected by the immigration system, and demand that they prioritize comprehensive immigration reform. In addition, community members from across the nation will be sharing their own personal stories with the broken immigration system.

In addition to AAI's group, other local organizations sending participants by bus include: Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, and Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment. ( # # #


 © opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.


(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)



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Last Updated on Sunday, 04 July 2010 19:35

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