UE Joins Rally for Immigrant Rights in Gary

October 9, 2017

On Friday, UE joined a rally at the Gary-Chicago International Airport, to protest the deportation of immigrants.

“An attack on immigrants is an attack on worker rights, and the working and living conditions of all U.S. workers,” said UE Local 1177 executive board member Shelly Burke, who represented UE on the speakers’ list. “We need a halt to deportation and all other harassment of immigrants.”

For over 10 years the Gary-Chicago International Airport has been deporting immigrants — primarily residents of Chicago, Northwest Indiana and the Milwaukee area — every Friday. Sister Joanne Persch, one of the organizers of the rally, has been sitting on the buses that bring immigrants to the airport on Friday mornings for ten years, praying with and talking to the detainees. She says she has yet to meet a violent criminal. Their “crime” is almost always the same: wanting to stay with their families and crossing the border without documents.

Shelly Burke speaking at the rally

The rally was organized by a broad coalition of organizations including the UE Western Region, Chicago Jobs with Justice and other labor unions. Read coverage in the Chicago Tribune here »