Protesters demand Chicago hotel shut down Border Patrol trade show

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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Protesters rallied outside the Marriot Marquis, 2121 S. Prairie, Chicago, demanding it shut down a convention organized by the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Demonstrators are demanding the Marriot Marquis in Chicago's South Loop shutdown a trade show organized by the United State Customs and Border Protection.

Nearly 1000 people are attending the convention and discussing the latest trends in the industry.

The protestors say CBP and ICE are terrorizing immigrants and want the convention cancelled.

"ICE is acting as a modern day gestapo and so is CBP and I don't think that our city or corporations in our city should be collaborating with them," said protester Sarah Howland.

In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she made an unsuccessful attempt to get the convention moved out of the city.

When it became clear that Marriott was unable to accommodate our demand, I mobilized city resources to facilitate the peaceful protest against the conference, ensure the protection of First Amendment rights and to safeguard all guests and visitors on the McCormick Place campus.

A CBP spokesperson released the following statement:

Most of the people who attend the symposium are importers and private sector members of the international trade community who help keep not only our economy, but the world's economy moving.

The convention comes after the Marriott said it would not accommodate government requests to house detained migrants at any of its hotels. But they said they are in the hospitality industry and will accommodate CBP representatives like any other guests.