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Right 2 Family Campaign plans May Day march, demands Democrats fulfill immigration promise

Community advocates and organizers gathered in Pilsen to call on the Biden administration to adopt the American Right 2 Family Act to protect undocumented essential workers and immigrant families.

Activist Emma Lozano outside Lincoln United Methodist Church in Pilsen on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
Activist Emma Lozano called Wednesday for the Biden administration to pass the Right 2 Family Act.
Anthony Vazquez, Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Emma Lozano, pastor of Lincoln United Methodist Church, said Wednesday it is time politicians fulfill their promise of allowing undocumented workers and family members to stay in the U.S. legally.

“That is the motivation, that is the demand,” Lozano said. “Keep our families together, reunite the families that were separated.”

Emma Lozano and members of the Right 2 Family Campaign called Wednesday for a “March and Rally for the Promise” on May Day in support of the American Right 2 Family Act.
Emma Lozano and members of the Right 2 Family Campaign called Wednesday for a “March and Rally for the Promise” on May Day in support of the American Right 2 Family Act.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Outside Lincoln United Methodist Church in the Pilsen area, Right 2 Family Campaign members and community advocates called Wednesday for a “March and Rally for the Promise” to take place on May Day in Chicago. The May 1 march will begin at Union Park and end at Federal Plaza.

The march will call on Democratic lawmakers to support U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush’s American Right 2 Family Act, which would give legal protection to millions of undocumented essential workers and provide a pathway for deportees to return home. It would also give work permits to parents of U.S. citizens and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. The House legislation was introduced in October 2020.

Saul Arellano, the son of Elvira Arellano who led one of Chicago’s largest immigration mobilizations on March 10, 2006, said since former President Barack Obama promised to end the separation of families, millions of families have suffered and been separated.

Saul Arellano recounts the worry of being separated from family during a news conference Wednesday outside Lincoln United Methodist Church in Pilsen.
Saul Arellano recounts the worry of being separated from family during a news conference Wednesday outside Lincoln United Methodist Church in Pilsen.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

“On May 1, we must march and rally for the promise and demand that Joe Biden and the Democratic Party support the American Right 2 Family Act.”

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez said the harassment and persecution the immigrant community has faced over the past four years cannot happen again, and he hopes the City Council’s Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights will encourage representatives to pass the American Right 2 Family Act.

“Unfortunately, [there is] a lack of political courage to do the right thing, but we hope that the new administration honors this promise and makes it a priority,” Sigcho-Lopez said. “Immigration reform is something that’s been long overdue.”

Karla Soto said talked about being protected under DACA while her mother lives in fear of being deported.

Karla Soto talks about being a DACA recipient while her mother remains vulnerable to deportation.
Karla Soto talks about being a DACA recipient while her mother remains vulnerable to deportation.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

“I see all the opportunities that I’ve been able to have. I’ve been able to travel, doing the things that I love,” Soto said. “I really feel inspired to help others that are not fortunate like me. I just want people to have the same opportunities.”