A dozen protesters were arrested Wednesday morning outside the site of a Chicago fundraiser to be attended by President Barack Obama later in the day.
The group of protesters linked arms and laid in the street on South Michigan Avenue in front of the Hilton Chicago around 9:30 a.m. while protesting the deportation of undocumented immigrants and calling on President Obama for a comprehensive immigration bill, NBC Chicago reports.
“We wanted to make sure that the issue of humane immigration reform, and to stop all deportations was heard,” National People’s Action spokeswoman Charlene Carruthers told CBS Chicago.
One participant said the group is protesting the policies of Obama's administration, not the president himself. “Obama – whether he gets it or not – he knows what is happening, and he’s destroying families,” protester Rigo Padilla told CBS.
Chicago police had to use small electric saws to remove the PVC piping that was linking the protesters together. Following the Wednesday morning arrests, the Chicago-based Immigration Youth Justice League said it will stage another protest in the same location on Wednesday afternoon at 4:30, just ahead of Obama's planned speaking engagement at the Hilton.
“Congress right now is debating passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill," Padilla told CBS. "It doesn’t make sense to waste resources, and to waste the taxpayers' money on deporting people that will eventually qualify under the comprehensive immigration reform proposals that the Senate and the House want to pass.”