Fasting and Remembering Families on Thanksgiving

Durbin, Schakowsky Join Children to Remember Detained/Deported Parents

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessSenator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky joined a diverse coalition of women from the Illinois Women for Compassionate Immigration Reform, Erie Neighborhood House, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, Korean American Women In Need (KAN-WIN), South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI), Affinity Community Services, Alliance for Filipino Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), Cambodian Association of Illinois, Chicago Workers Collaborative, and fifth graders to bring attention to families destroyed by the broken immigration system this Thanksgiving. The group will urge U.S House Speaker John Boehner and Congressman Peter Roskam to call for a vote on immigration reform, which will keep families together. 

In order to highlight the moral cost of Congressional inaction on immigration reform and encourage Speaker Boehner and Leader Roskam to act, 25 community members from the Asian American, Latino, African American, faith, and worker communities are fasting for 24 hours.  This is a part of the national “Fast for Families” action occurring in Washington D.C. and other cities since November 11th, organized by SEIU and National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC).  Children affected by family separation due to detention and deportation will write letters to remember parents in detention over Thanksgiving.

More than a million immigrant families will not gather together this Thanksgiving because they have been separated by the family immigration visa backlogs and deportation.  Every day 1,100 individuals are deported. In the five months since the passage of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, over 100,000 families have been torn apart by deportations.  Over million Asian American immigrants and 1 out of 7 Korean Americans are undocumented.  Some Asian Americans have been waiting over 20 years to be reunited with their families.  These families are 4 times more likely to live below the poverty line. Since more than 60 percent of children who live in mixed-status families are low income, the loss of a deported parent’s wages exacerbates a family’s economic hardship, further driving them into poverty. Over 5,000 children are in foster care in the United States because of parent deportations.

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