Southland Immigration Weekly News and Links, April 30, 2017

Teen Vogue for the Win (again).  Big May Day rallies for immigrant and worker rights in Chicago.  Know Your Rights Southwest Side edition, and more.  April 30th, 2017.

1) Teen Vogue showing us again how journalism is supposed to be done.  From Teen Vogue’s “Woke List”

“A new anti-immigration hotline is being flooded with calls about space aliens. President Donald Trump launched the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) on Wednesday, which includes a hotline intended to provide support to ‘people impacted by crimes committed by illegal aliens.’ Some say the office is intended to stoke fear over immigrants, so Twitter filled with calls for people to ring the VOICE hotline and share their wildest encounters with aliens from outer space. We want to believe.”

2) Huge Crowds expected in Monday’s May Day rallies.  Monday’s protests will advocate for pro-labor and pro-immigration policies.  The Chicago Tribune wrote an excellent summary of last year’s May Day rallies and reading it now reminds how little and how much has changed in the last year.

The main rally will be at Union Park tomorrow, Monday May 1st, starting at 1 in the afternoon.  Check here for details.  Rallies will continue at the Richard J. Daley center at 4pm.

3) Wednesday night, Richards High School in Oak Lawn hosts “Know Your Rights” immigration forum.  The event will be held in English, Spanish and Arabic.  Check here for details.  17435904_10210607368012116_3325495058577227721_o

4) Fears of Immigration Enforcement hurting Chicago’s economy.   Reports from Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and West Rogers Park neighborhood, both home to some of Chicago’s vibrant immigrant communities, show huge declines in commerce as shoppers stay home and avoid spending.  Fear and social disruption from changes in immigration enforcement could have significant economic consequences, including tens of millions in lost local sales taxes and job losses in Chicago.  Little Village contributes an estimated half a billion in annual retail sales to the Chicago’s economy and 20,000 jobs.  West Rogers Park contributes around $130 million a year in retail sales.  Declines in sales tax and employment will add further strain to Chicago’s troubled finances.

5) The Chicago Tribune reports that half of recent deportees had no criminal record.  “About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Donald Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained by The Washington Post. Records provided by congressional aides Friday offered the most detailed look yet at the backgrounds of the people rounded up and targeted for deportation in early February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York.”  When non-criminal parents and spouses of US Citizens are deported, when law-abiding business owners and tax payers are affected by severe immigration enforcement policy, there are damaging consequences well beyond the border.