SOUTH LAWNDALE — A Catholic congregation in Little Village plans to fast near President Barack Obama's Kenwood home and march to the Federal Plaza next week in the name of immigration reform.
Beginning Monday, members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Catholic Church will fast to protest the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants, the Rev. Jose Landaverde said at a news conference Wednesday.
“We want to demand from President Obama a moratorium on deportation,” Landaverde said. “He should return the money that he’s been spending for years incarcerating people who are innocent to the community.”
The congregation plans to visit Obama’s home Tuesday and perform the Stations of the Cross, a Catholic Lent tradition.
“This is where [Obama] was sleeping with his wife and children, not being separated,” Landaverde said. “And then he’s tearing apart millions of families.”
“He will be remembered as the president who has destroyed the most families in the history of the United States,” Landaverde added. “It’s totally immoral and unethical.”
According to Landaverde, it costs $150 per person per day to detain an undocumented immigrant.
“This is like you’re paying a hotel,” he said. That the money would be better spent funding community projects or pursuing “serious criminals,” Landaverde added.
On March 10, Our Lady of Guadalupe will join several community groups in a march from Union Park in the West Loop to the Federal Plaza downtown to “hold people accountable,” Landaverde said.
Sarah Wild, a member of the Pilsen-based Occupy El Barrio, which takes its cue from Occupy Chicago, will be among those marching.
“There should be an end of the persecution, oppression and criminalization of immigrants, which accompanies the deportation,” Wild said. “People are not criminals for struggling to survive.”
The church's announcement comes one day after Immigration and Customs Enforcement released hundreds of undocumented immigrants from federal detention centers nationwide. ICE officials said the move was an effort to trim costs ahead of budget cuts expected to hit later this week.
The immigrants were released under supervision and still face deportation.