Protests across Chicago demand shutdown of migrant detention centers along US/Mexico border

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Protests being held all over Chicago and the country are calling on lawmakers to permanently shut down migrant detention centers along the U.S./Mexico Border.

"Who among us wouldn't do this for our own kids, they're all our children!" protester Liz Layden said.

The protests come a day after President Trump signed into law a $4.6 billion bill aimed at improving conditions at the camps, which house mostly asylum seekers from Central American countries. But critics, including members of a Congressional delegation visiting one such camp in El Paso this week, believe it doesn't go far enough.

"There was a toilet, but there was no running water for people to drink. In fact one of the women said that she was told by an agent to drink water out of the toilet," said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.

Speaking to protesters at his district office Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-Illinois) also voiced his opposition to the funding bill as passed.

"It provides more funding to ICE and Customs and Border Patrol. It provides more money for the Department of Defense. We don't know what that money can be used for," Garcia said.

The protests come just days before the two-week delay in planned nationwide immigration raids announced by the president late last month is set to expire.

"After July 4, a lot of people are going to be brought back out," President Trump said.

The looming deadline is prompting immigration activists at City Hall to call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to sign an executive order banning CPD from aiding immigration officials. It's a policy she's already expressed support for.

"Sign this executive order. This proposal to make sure that this city's resources are not being used to tear up our families," said Muhammad Sankari, of the Arab American Action Network.

The two-week delay was issued by Trump in an attempt to get lawmakers to tighten restrictions on asylum seekers. However, that two-week period is mostly being consumed by the July 4 recess, when members of Congress are not in Washington.
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