Three Hundred Chicago Jews Shut Down Offices of Senators Durbin and Duckworth, Say #NeverAgainIsNow

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Three Hundred Chicago Jews Shut Down Offices of Senators Durbin and Duckworth, Say #NeverAgainIsNow

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CONTACT:

Naomi Forman-Katz

(617) 584-9515  / naomi.formankatz@gmail.com


CHICAGO, IL — On Monday, July 8, at 4:30pm, 300 Jews from across the Chicago area shut down the offices of Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to demand that our elected officials close the camps at the border, shut down ICE, and provide permanent protection for all undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. This local action follows a week of protests and arrests around the country including at the  Elizabeth Detention Center (Newsweek, JTA, Teen Vogue) and  Suffolk County House of Correction (Boston Globe, WGBH).  


“These human rights atrocities aren’t only taking place at the border,” said protestor Daniel Epstein. “They affect immigrant communities right here in Chicago. From concentration camps for children at the border to ICE raids in our own backyard, it’s time for Jews to speak up and make Never Again mean something.” 


The group marched from Grant Park to the Chicago ICE offices to the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, where ___ Jews entered and blocked access to the offices of Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin while the rest of the crowd gathered outside. The protestors sang Jewish prayers of healing and mourning to grieve for those who have fallen ill or lost their lives because of ICE and CBP’s inhumane policies. They described how remembering the history of antisemitism and the Holocaust requitres Jews today to stand against injustice and racism, and called upon Democratic party leaders to stand up for immigrant communities in action, not just in rhetoric.


“This isn’t just about Trump,” said Jimmy Rothschild, who was arrested during the protest. “The crisis predated his administration, and the Democratic Party hasn’t done enough to stand up for human rights. We need Senators Durbin and Duckworth to immediately take action to abolish ICE and close the camps.” 


Further actions are being planned in cities across the country, including Washington D.C, Grand Rapids MI, and Concord, New Hampshire. The action was planned in coordination with national immigration rights group Movimiento Cosecha, as well as a variety of local immigrants’ rights organizations. 


Movimiento Cosecha released the following statement after the last week’s New Jersey action:


“Never again means never again. We are inspired by the Jewish community who today sent a bold statement of solidarity rooted in their past struggles. As families continue to be separated, as children continue to be caged, and as thousands of immigrants are forced to make a life-threatening journey crossing borders out of desperation, every American should be called to stand up and take action. We must stand up for the thousands immigrants and refugees in detention and demand that our institutions stop profiting and collaborating with ICE. We must stand up alongside the millions of undocumented immigrants living in American cities and communities who wonder when they might be ripped away from their families as they continue to be criminalized. For the millions whose dignity has been ripped away and we're exiled from their loved ones through deportation. These times will not be defined by the actions of our enemies but rather the actions of those who feel compelled to do something and demand that immigrants be treated with dignity and respect.”


Who: 300 Chicago-area Jews shutting down the offices of Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.  


When: Monday, July 8, 2019 at 4:00pm CST 


Where: Chicago Loop


Visuals: Jews holding signs reading “Never Again Is Now” “Never Again Means Close the Camps” “Jews demand freedom for immigrants,” and blowing shofars. 




Never Again Action