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DACA march to be held today in Downtown Champaign

Bend the Arc:CU will hold a DACA march on Saturday, February 3, at 11:30 a.m. in downtown Champaign to demand that Congress pass a clean Dream Act. The group is protesting what it considers to be the unjust and inhumane plans to potentially deport young immigrants who were brought here as infants and children by their undocumented parents.

The aim is to convince Republican Congressman Rodney Davis ahead of Congress’s February 8 vote to support a clean Dream Act to protect the country’s more than 700,000 “dreamers,” including approximately 40,000 in Illinois.

“There’s still time for Rodney Davis to do the right thing and help Republicans act in a just and humane way,” says Bend the Arc:CU’s chair, Diane Ore. “He seems to think dreamers are a way to bargain for a wall and increased border security, but they’re not. We’ve tried before to reason with him. Now we’re appealing to his faith and his moral center.”

The march will start just north of Neil and Green streets, Champaign, near the WCIA-TV building and end on Main St. near the News-Gazette building. As many as 350 people have indicated an interest in participating.

The march is the second of three actions focusing on the plight of DACA recipients, who stand to lose their legal status in just 32 days. The first action began on February 1 and continues to February 8. During this time period, Bend the Arc:CU, CU Immigration Forum, and CU FAIR have arranged for least five faith groups to visit Davis’ Champaign office to personally deliver the message that they consider the current DACA debate akin to holding dreamers hostage for political gain.

The third DACA event, also co-sponsored by Bend the Arc:CU, CU Immigration Forum, and CU FAIR, will be a candlelight vigil at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, the night before Congress votes. It will be held in front of the Alma Mater statue, at the corner of Green and Wright streets. More information on the vigil will be available on February 6.

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