Immigration activists march in Chicago, call for immediate action

January 21, 2013 3:47:29 PM PST
About 200 immigration activists rallied in downtown Chicago on Monday as President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term.

Obama said immigration reform remains an issue that needs attention. The group that marched from the Daley Plaza to Federal Plaza agrees. They protested policies in the Obama administration that have led to a record number of deportations. The group wants a moratorium on deportations, which numbered 410,000 as of October 2012.

"We are here to request that he stop deportations and we deserve respect," Elsie Feliciano, immigration activist, said.

Undocumented immigrant Tania Unzuete said she feels immigration reform should be the president's top priority.

"He said that there needed to be faith in America and that we need to work for justice in the community and that's exactly what I'm doing," Unzuete said.

President Obama was re-elected with 71 percent of the Hispanic vote. ABC7 political analyst Laura Washington says there are several issues on the table for the president's second term: gun control, gay rights and climate change. She said his best chance to make progress is with immigration reform.

"He's got a mandate and that vote also sent a message to republicans. They need to come to the table on immigration reform. The time is right and there's a real opportunity here," Washington said.

Washington also says fiscal reform will trump all the other issues and will be a top priority for the president.