DOWNTOWN — As Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are set to start deportation sweeps in Chicago, a coalition of Chicago groups are organizing to support the city’s undocumented immigrants.
As a show of solidarity, religious leaders with Protected by Faith, business leaders and groups like Resurrection Project and Healthy Illinois are encouraging Chicagoans to shop and eat at immigrant-owned businesses and restaurants across the city this weekend.
As part of the pledge, the coalition is encouraging people to spend time and money in immigrant neighborhoods including Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards for eight days starting Saturday.
The other neighborhoods leaders urge people to visit are Albany Park, Gage Park, Chicago Lawn, Belmont Cragin and Hermosa.
The pledge aims to bring allies to the neighborhoods to help immigrant communities who have been most impacted by ICE detentions and arrests, said Rev. Beth Brown of Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church.
“We want to call on people who have citizenship, who have a heart, who want to do something, to come and be present. Be witnesses for families and individuals who are at risk in these communities that are most impacted,” Brown said.
“We need all hands on deck…We need as many people to come out to work and help make sure the undocumented immigrants are protected,” said Jesse Hoyt, campaign director for Healthy Illinois.
Starting Sunday, ICE is reportedly set to target 2,000 undocumented immigrants in Chicago and other major cities across the country, according to a New York Times report. Those being targeted have pending deportations or are immigrants who failed to appear in court.
The operation could also include “collateral” deportation, the arrests and deportation of other undocumented immigrants who happened to be at the scene during the operation, according to the report.
The operation comes two weeks after Donald Trump delayed a planned ICE operation after facing backlash.
Since last month, immigrant rights groups and elected officials have worked to inform undocumented immigrants of their rights if ICE agents were to come to their door.
A protest is also scheduled against detention and deportation is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday at Daley Center Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.
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