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LOCAL; IMMIGRANT RIGHTS: Chicago Sends Off Freedom Riders for Immigrant Rights

Immigrant workers and several thousand supporters rallied Saturday morning to send off the Chicago contingent of the historic Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a 12-day national caravan of immigrants and their supporters modeled on the 1961 Freedom Rides of the civil rights movement. The goals? A recognition of the indispensible contributions immigrants make to the economy and fabric of the U.S. -- and a demand for basic human rights that include the freedom to join unions, enjoy full civil rights protections, win fair immigration laws, and keep families together.

Almost half a million undocumented immigrants live in Illinois. In the Chicago area, undocumented immigrants generate more than 31,000 local jobs with the dollars they spend, and add $5.45 billion annually to the gross regional product. While the vast majority pay taxes, 75% lack access to health care, and undocumented immigrants report wage and hour violations and unsafe working conditions at much higher rates than immigrants with legal status.

The Chicago rally was organized by groups that included the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Pueblo Sin Fronteras. Bus caravans are departing from -- and traveling to -- cities across the country, with final destinations in Washington DC on October 1 and a closing rally in Queens, New York on October 4.

  • CIMC Photo Galleries: [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] Updates: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ]




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