The annual march started on the West Side and wrapped up with a rally at U.S. Immigration and Customs headquarters in the South Loop. Traffic in the area was at a standstill as the protestors called for immigration reform.
Advocates for undocumented immigrants are using this May Day to focus attention on immigration reform. Marchers are demanding that President Barack Obama use his executive authority to grant deferments to the undocumented parents of DREAM Act and U.S. citizen kids.
"The promise was that in the first 90 days of the Obama administration, (immigration reform) would take place. That did not happen." Emma Lozano, assistant pastor at Lincoln Methodist Church, said. "Meanwhile, 2 million people have been deported that should have been legalized, so that's too many."
"I'm scared that one day I might not find my parents at home because they don't have their papers," said 18 year old Marianna Hernandez, a DREAM Act kid who joined the rally.
The march is taking place after the passage of a city council resolution calling on the president to grant Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or deferments for all and was led by Elvira Arellano, an immigration rights activist and symbol of the struggle of illegal immigrants in the U.S. She returned to the U.S. legally after a five year deportation following her historic 2006 12-month sanctuary at a Chicago church.
"We're happy that we're here but the struggle doesn't finish with her coming back," Saul Arellano, Elvira's son, said. "The struggle isn't going to finish until they give us DACA for all."