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[Press Release] Urging ‘Coming Out of the Shadows’ Strategy Against Record-Number Deportations

Undocumented immigrant youth from Chicago and suburbs speak about the need for people in deportation proceedings to make their case public as a way to fight individual deportation and detention cases, and to bring attention to the stories of the families being affected by federal enforcement policies in Illinois.

WHAT: Press conference with undocumented youth, students, and allies who for the last four years have been organizing National Coming Out of the Shadows day, urging undocumented people to come out to reveal their status publicly through public protests and civil disobedience. This year, they are urging people who are in deportation proceedings or in detention, and their families, to speak publicly about their stories and advocate for a stop to deportations through the same strategies.

The press conference will include a call for people to participate in the National Coming Out of the shadows rallies taking place in Chicago’s Federal Plaza on March 10th, 2013 at 1pm, and in Addison, Illinois on March 16th.

WHEN:  Monday March 4, 2013, 12:00 PM
WHERE: Federal Plaza downtown Chicago, corner of Adams and Dearborn streets.

WHO: Members of the Chicago-based Immigrant Youth Justice League, the group of undocumented youth who began National Coming Out of the Shadows day in March 2010; students part of the new Undocumented Illinois, a collective of undocumented-led organizations around the state; advocates with the initiative Organized Communities Against Deportation – a group that supports people in deportation proceedings through public campaigns, and a project of organizations in Undocumented Illinois.

WHY: As nationally the Senate, House, and the White House are proposing immigration reform plans and discussing immigration enforcement measures, the strategy proposed by these group is aimed at supporting the people who are being deported, detained and separated from their families right now. After undocumented young people began to be elegible for work permits and relief from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, their focus turned to defending the rights of their parents and other family members against deportation, and for supporting an effective, non-punitive, and reasonable path to citizenship. Coming out of the shadows and fighting individual cases has been one of the most successful strategies of the youth movement nation-wide, and these youth want to bring it to those most vulnerable. With a record-high 409,000 deportations in the last year, those being separated from their families under current policies are a in this group – both those who are considered by Immigrant and Customs Enforcement to be “low” and “high” priority for deportation.

Undocumented Illinois is a collective of undocumented-led organizations standing with all immigrants defending our rights at a local, state, and federal level.

The Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) is a Chicago-based organization led by undocumented organizers working towards full recognition of the rights and contributions of all immigrants through education, leadership development, policy advocacy, resource gathering, and mobilization.

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