Immigration Protesters ARRESTED After Blocking Van Of Deportees In Broadview, Chanting 'Illinois Is Not Arizona' (VIDEO)
As many as 30 people were arrested Tuesday morning during an immigration demonstration in west suburban Broadview, where protesters blocked a van filled with deportees heading to O'Hare airport from a federal detention center.
NBC Chicago reports that the protesters arrived at 5 a.m. "to march and sound off about the deportation of an estimated 70 undocumented immigrants from the Broadview Immigration and Detention Center."
The protest comes amidst a heated national debate over an Arizona immigration law that allows law enforcement agencies to question anyone who they feel could be an illegal immigrant. The law has public officials and citizens nationwide boycotting Arizona businesses and trips to the state.
Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez called the Arizona law a "civil rights catastrophe" and discouraged people from contributing to Arizona's economy.
"Why would you want to contribute to a group of people that clearly are engaged in a discriminatory act?" Gutierrez said.
In Broadview Tuesday morning, demonstrators chanted "Illinois is not Arizona" as they blocked the van of deportees, NBC Chicago reports. They also chanted "no deportations today!"
The second time the van attempted to leave and was blocked, police stepped in and arrests were made.
"I understand their position but we have a job to do," Broadview Police Chief Ray Pelletier told NBC Chicago. "This was organized. Police knew they would make arrests here after their sit in."
More than 100 people camped overnight outside the detention center, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Fabian Morales, an organizer of a planned immigration march on Saturday that is expected to draw several thousand demonstrators, told the Tribune that demonstrators are frustrated over a lack of action on immigration reform in Washington, and frustrated with the number of deportations--which has increased since President Obama was elected.
"We have to escalate to another level (of demonstrations) because they have forced us," Morales told the Tribune.
WATCH demonstrators speak about the immigration policy here: