Immigrants march into downtown Chicago, demand citizenship and more

On this first day of my — also known as May Day — there were calls for immigration reform as part of a May Day Rally and March in Chicago.

Among the demands is finding permanent housing for migrants who have taken shelter in public facilities after being bused to Chicago.

May Day is a worldwide celebration of worker's rights, and members of Chicago’s immigrant Hispanic community say it is time they be included in the American dream.

"We demand Biden, the administration of Biden, he listen to the people," said Mauro Navarro of the Alliance for Central American People. "He make reforms, immigration reform for people who stay here a long time."


Despite a cold blustery rain, about 40 people gathered at Union Park on Chicago's West Side around noon, then marched into the Loop and Federal Plaza. They were demanding a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented people who have been living and working in the United States for years.

At the Kluczynski Federal Building, the group presented a letter addressed to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin outlining their immigration demands.

"If Congress does not act now to pass immigration reform, we demand President Biden include the 12-million undocumented the hundreds of thousands of refugees entering legally this year," said one of the rally’s organizers.

The marchers also demanded more federal and city resources to help the estimated 8,000 migrants bused to Chicago by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

"One of the things we are asking the city and all elected officials, especially federal government, is that they stop playing games with people's lives," said 25tth Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez. "This is not a political playbook for them. It is a humanitarian crisis."

The marchers said they plan to go to Washington to press for immigration reform directly during a major rally in the nation’s capital in early August.