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Hundreds attend Elgin Standing Together rally to support DACA, other issues

The struggle for justice is as essential at this time because it ever was, an immigration lawyer advised about 800 individuals gathered Saturday at Hemmens Cultural Center for Elgin Standing Together II march.

“It was like everybody woke up and realized how it is important to fight for justice and how it is not OK to demonize our neighbors, our friends and our families,” Elgin lawyer Shirley Sadjadi stated. “When you leave here today remember, the fight for justice is never over.”

Sadjadi was among the many audio system on the second annual rally and march held on the identical day as Chicago’s Women’s March and other marches held across the nation. Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, Dr. Dorthea Poulos, state Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, and Elgin Community College professor Joyce Fountain spoke about quite a lot of issues, together with women’s health, defending freedom of the press and health care.

Elgin Standing Together II’s message is that “as a community, we have the power and the voice to speak out against injustice,” stated Danise Habun, chairman of the Elgin Human Relations Commission. “This year, our focus is how we, as a community, navigate and advocate on behalf of those in our community who are directly affected by the current social climate.”

Habun and Sadjadi, who attended the inaugural Woman’s March in Washington, D.C., have been spurred into motion final January, when President Donald Trump unveiled a journey ban many criticized as unconstitutional. The two went to O’Hare International Airport to assist immigrants stranded by the Executive Order, Habun stated.

A couple of dozen individuals arrived to protest that Saturday morning and by the afternoon, there have been hundreds of individuals, Habun stated. “We shut down the international terminal,” Habun stated. Sadjadi, an immigration lawyer, was in a position to assist individuals immediately, she stated.

“We rose up, all of us in this community and many communities around the world, to defend the truth, to defend our democratic principles, to defend our values as a country,” Sadjadi stated.

Sadjadi has additionally been working to help Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrants who had been allowed to stay within the nation so long as they register with the federal government per an government order signed by President Barack Obama. The Trump administration terminated this system and an estimated 800,000 individuals will probably be required to return to their household’s homeland by early March if Congress doesn’t act, in accordance to revealed reviews. It has develop into a focus on this week’s governmental shut down.

The day DACA was rescinded it was like “someone punched me in the gut, just like the election. And they kept punching and punching and punching,” Sadjadi stated.

“The emotions all of us have felt over the past year over these heartless actions are probably nothing we have ever felt in our lifetime,” she stated. “I never thought our country would become this way. I have never been so angry, so sad and so bewildered at the same time. We ask ourselves, ‘How can this be happening here in our country?'”

DACA immigrants proceed to hope and stay robust, Sadjadi stated. They refuse to reside in worry, she stated.

Sadjadi urged everybody to name, e-mail and textual content their Congressional representatives to urge the passage of a brand new DACA program and to inform them the present state of affairs shouldn’t be OK, she stated.

“This is not what the United States of America stands for,” Sadjadi stated. People should make their voices heard, she stated. “We are the ones who will make a difference.”

Gloria Casas is a contract reporter for The Courier-News.

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