Moving testimony from Chicago Mother’s Day Action

by Dennis Chin, guest blogger

On Mother’s Day, a group of immigrant children from the suburbs of Chicago took to the streets in support of immigration reform.  Here is one child’s testimony in front of the ICE detention center.

My name is Ernesto.

On the 28th of August in 2008, my mother was detained in Des Plaines while driving with my younger brother who was 14 at the time. She was stopped by the police and then arrested. They left my brother Tomas in the car alone and took my mother away. She was then transferred to McHenry County Detention Center, where she was detained for 3 months. I was scared that I would never see my mother again. I am the oldest of my two brothers, at that time I was 16. While my mother was detained, my brother Tomas and I took care of our little brother Randy. We cared for ourselves, doing the house chores, and making sure we continued with school. We never told anyone at school because we were afraid we would be taken away and be separated. Through this, Tomas and I had no other choice than to mature faster than we should have, we took care our little brother to keep our family together.  The day before Thanksgiving, my mother was released and she is now fighting her deportation. That day we felt happy that she was back with us.

President Obama, you have said your mother played an important role in your life, you’ve credited her with helping you be the man you are today. If you know the importance of children being with their mothers, how dare you allow for the separation of children from their mothers?

If your mother had been detained and taken away from you in the middle of the night, ripped from you, would you be the man you are today?

My mother is everything to me, and for my brothers. We want to have the opportunity to live our lives with her, to share our accomplishments in life with her. We don’t want to be separated again.

President Obama, I call on you to use your executive power and stop the deportations, stop the destruction of our families! You promised during your campaign that you would pass immigration reform the first year of your presidency.  We believed you, and Latinos came out to vote in record numbers.

Instead all we have seen is more deportations, more fear and destruction in our communities! We have seen your party and the Republican Party run away from immigration, play with our lives and those of our families!

President Obama, we are tired of your broken promises, your empty words! I call on you today to fulfill your promise, pass immigration reform this year!

Immigrant children marched alongside Ernesto to make sure immigrant families like his stay together.  Here are some more photos from the event:

Check back for more report-backs on immigration reform actions across the country.  Cause you know you’re not going to find this type of coverage in the news.

Photos: P.A.S.O.- West Suburban Action Project

Contact P.A.S.O. at info.paso.organizing [at]

3 responses to “Moving testimony from Chicago Mother’s Day Action

  1. It’s too bad this happened to your family but did your mother think about the situation she was putting her children in when she broke the law to be in the U. S. A.? Put the blame where it is due not on our President. As citizens of the U. S. A. every time someone breaks into our country or overstays their visa our constitutional rights are being violated because we are to be protected from invasion and domestic violence. By you folks breaking our laws because you feel you are entitled to steal from us the moment you step on our soil we are being violated. Think about it. You have made your own bed and you must lie in it because we do have laws against illegal entry and since your mother was detained I guess she must be guilty of being here without being invited. Do the right thing so you don’t have to worry about mom going away again. Try to make your own country a good place to live demand of your government to change so you can have a better life where you belong. I’m sorry your mom chose to break the law. She needs to show you it is not right to break the law to suit her purpose. It’s not fair to you or your brothers to put you in this situation.

  2. Dennis Chin

    Thanks for commenting Katie! Let’s think together about concepts you raised like “legality” and “invasion.” There’s a popular saying among immigrants in Europe. “We are here because you were there.” It’s a little known fact that international trade laws like NAFTA have allowed big U.S. corporations to flood foreign markets with cheap markets, sending many local farmers into abject poverty. This is “legal” in the eyes of international law, yet we are “invading” other countries and creating capital off the resources of other countries. If we are to place “blame” then maybe we should talk about these issues.

    But blame is not the issue here. The fact of the matter is that our nation is home to many immigrants, both documented and undocumented.

    It’s a known fact that immigrants contribute greatly to our country – through labor, taxes and culture. (Take a look at this: They take care of our children, build our roads, worked our farms, and much more for little return. They are our friends, neighbors and community members.

    We should reform immigration not only for them, but for us too!

    Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Hi Katie,
    just a recommendation watch the movie Innocent Voices, but I mean really watch the whole movie, because for me it was hard to watch. And then I want to see if you still have the same opinion.

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