25 take oath of citizenship in Chicago as new travel ban looms

Monday, February 20, 2017 05:45PM
More than two dozen Chicagoans took the oath of citizenship Monday morning, even as a new travel ban from the Trump Administration looms.

CHICAGO - Two dozen people became U.S. citizens during a special ceremony in Chicago Monday, even as many immigrants and their families worry about possible deportation and the revised travel ban being drafted by the Trump administration.

That revised order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations is expected this week.

Some are concerned about the new policy and how current policy is affecting Chicago area families. The debate continues as Chicago welcomed 25 new citizens.

The support seen for these new Americans is what a group of faith leaders want to see more of in a climate they said is ripping families apart.

"Today we stand together as brothers and sisters in faith. In solidarity, knowing that if you are not safe, then I am not safe. If you are not free, then no one is free," said Rabbi Megan GoldMarche of Metro Chicago Hillel.

Faith leaders pledge to stand with immigrants

"We will not victimize the weak. We will not stigmatize our brothers and sisters who are Muslim. We will not tear apart families because they are not documented," said Fr. Corey Brost of Priests for Justice for Immigrants.

Faith leaders from several religions said they'll continue to stand with immigrants and refugees as they gathered for an interfaith breakfast on Monday at the Downtown Islamic Center.

The religious leaders are part of the organization Protected by Faith and want their opposition known as President Trump begins to revise his travel ban and anything that may include any qualifying factors regarding religious beliefs.

Protected by Faith is a network of religious leaders from diverse faiths. Members of the organization denounced recent raids, deportation, and the executive order targeting seven Muslim-majority countries.

At City Hall, Saleh Alfahdi was naturalized from Iraq with a personal welcome from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He joined his wife and son in being an American citizen.

"We are afraid of, to travel to another, to his country or something like this. And we feel we are very safe," said Hanna Kteish, his wife.

"My dad really does deserve it and I feel blessed for him. It's been a long time," said Ali, his son.

Oscar Carreto was also naturalized.

"It was a long process, so. My father's not with me anymore, and he was always on me, saying, 'When are you going to do it? When are you going to do it?' So I did it and I feel great," Carreto said.

Carreto was only two months old when he came to the U.S. from Mexico. He was in the only person in his family who had not yet become a citizen. Now 41 years old, he said he did this for his son and nieces, and for a future with more possibilities.

We are likely to hear even more voices locally as the president prepares to roll out this amended version of the travel ban. Protected By Faith, will host a big event Sunday at the Islamic Center of Naperville at 1:00p.m.
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