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Immigration Tue Jul 13 2010

Chicagoans Go On Hunger Strike for Immigration Reform

Reverend Jose Landaverde stopped speaking mid-sentence as a cook placed a steaming plate of vegetables and beef with a side of homemade potato chips in front of him.

The table fell silent for a moment, as Eduardo Piña watched him, clutching his mug of water--the only thing he had consumed for two days. He paused, smelling the pastor's food. Smiling, he feigned a motion towards Landaverde's dinner, pretending to steal a floret of broccoli and pop it in his mouth, then laughed and sipped his water. He wouldn't be eating for another two days.

It was a moment of humor in the middle of a discussion in a Little Village cafe on a topic taken very seriously by both men: immigration reform, and the hunger strike completed by Landaverde, then taken up by Piña in an attempt to achieve it.

Rev. Landaverde, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission on 26th Street, had just completed a 15-day stint drinking only water and juice as part of a rolling hunger strike taken up by activists around Chicago to call for immigration reform that includes a moratorium on deportations. The longtime community activist has been arrested at recent civil disobedience actions, including in Broadview and at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services headquarters in Chicago; two weeks into his fast, he collapsed during a prayer service and was rushed to a hospital.

But the pastor, who came to the U.S. in the early 1990s after surviving torture in El Salvador during the country's civil war, does not pause to discuss any health problems he might have suffered during the hunger strike. Instead, he speaks of the future of the action, and what he hopes to accomplish.

"We've already achieved much, like the lawsuit against SB1070," he noted, referring to the recent federal suit against the new strict immigration law in Arizona, set to go into effect at the end of this month. "Progress has been made."

Piña acknowledged the steps forward, but said they aren't enough.

"We need a moratorium on deportations," he stated.

"Immigrants are strengthening this economy and this country, but our resources are going into raids and deportations. And then nothing happens to the people who are actually doing bad things."

Piña, who was born in Veracruz, Mexico, claims that for immigrants, the U.S.'s reputation around the globe does not match up with the realities of life here.

"The U.S. is known around the world as a country of freedom, but for immigrants, it doesn't exist," he said. "This country creates the conditions that force people to come here through globalization, and then persecutes them."

Piña's fast ended yesterday, and will be taken up by Chicago activists, including, he says, Rev. Jesse Jackson. Landaverde says he hopes to see the rolling hunger strike last for six months--unless, of course, satisfactory immigration reform happens first.

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test / July 13, 2010 3:22 AM

Broken immigration system.....broken familes and broken hearts....broken country...

This a story of a 60 year lady who who worked hard for 10 years in USA ......please read.

My aunt(my mother's sister) applied for visa for my mother, my father and myself in 1984. After 12 years in 1996 we received
visa number to get visa. But unluckily I did not get visa because I am over 21 years just by 2 months,
My mother got visa and went to USA in 1999 and applied for my visa family based F2B category in 2001.

My father had to stay back with me.

After working for 10 long years in USA in the age of 58, my mother got citizenship in April 2009.
Even though she is not used to cold weather she worked hard just to give a oppurtunity for me to come to USA.

I got married in 2007, My F2B petition looks like revoked since I got married and no body from USCIS informed that
my mother should apply fresh i-130 for me and my wife. We found that out now. We called USCIS and asked why we were not notified since 1 year
that the F2B application was void. We got simple answere 'Sorry'. Will this 'sorry' give respect to my mother. Its an insult to
hard working mother.

Now my mother is going to apply for me new petition under F3 category and it will take another 9 years for me to get visa as per visa buletin.

So totaly 12+10+9=31 years to get visa for me.

My question is.

1. Who ever made this immigration law do they have any humanity.
2. We have gone thru lot of tension, sarrow and anxity all these years. Still I dont have VISA and have to wait another 9 years.
3. Is this fair to make 60 year old woman to work like this in cold weather for 19 years just give VISA to her loved kids.
4. USA is always said its immigrant's contry.. Is this the way to treat immigrants???
5. If USA dont want people they should stop this VISAs and stop this family agony completely.
6. This is completely not fair what our family has gone thru.
7. Does any one from law makers realize what 31 years of waiting means.
8. If I had got visa in right time I would have contributed so much to USA ( may be some new invention(am serious on this).
9. I am young give me chance to work why are you making my mother to work...
10. So what i decided is we stay in our country I will support my mom build her home and give all respect which a so called 'the great country' could not do.

This is not aceptable by any one what USA immigration law has done to our family.

I hope Mr President Obama will change immigration law this to reduce the VISA wait time for family.

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