On the possible deportation of Radio Arte student Rigo Padilla, 21
Rigoberto Padilla has been a student of journalism and media at Radio Arte since February of 2009. Between the time he was accepted into this selective program, and when the classes began, he was pulled over and charged with a DUI by the Chicago Police Department. Even though there is an city council ordinance that prohibits city employees from acting to criminalize immigrants, he was turned in to immigration authorities, processed, and is out with an ankle bracelet awaiting his deportation trial.
Listen here to an interview I conducted with him, early in the process. Since then he has had one court date, and is awaiting the second in the first week of April.
There are people organizing to see what they can do, including signing this petition "Stop the Deportation of Rigo Padilla," and I would like to share it with you:
We, the undersigned, demand that Rigoberto Padilla, an excellent
student and the leader of the Organization of Latin American Students
at Harold Washington College and active member of his community, be
allowed to remain in the U.S.
Rigo was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being pulled over for a traffic violation by the Chicago Police. This is a violation an executive order of Mayor Harold Washington in 1985 prohibiting city employees from enforcing federal immigration laws, later passed into law by City Council in 2006, making Chicago a Sanctuary City for undocumented immigrants. Rigo Padilla has lived in Chicago for most of his life, and currently there is no path to legalization for people brought to the U.S. as minors. These are the charges Rigo is facing:
- "You are not a citizen of the United States.
- "You are a native of MEXICO and a citizen of MEXICO.
- "You arrived in the United States at an unknown place on or about the year 1994 (as a 6 year old).
- "You were not then admitted or paroled after inspection by an Immigration Officer."
These charges are a clear violation his human rights. Immigrant youth in the United States are constantly punished for a crime they did not commit. It is time that we take a stand for our brothers and sisters who find themselves in the same situation as Rigo. The Campaign to Save Rigo Padilla will not only do all it can to save Rigo from deportation, but we also want to address the violations that immigrant youth face in the United States today. There is a whole generation of people that have grown up in the United States, have contributed to their communities and have worked and paid their taxes just like any American; however they are labeled as “illegal” and have no rights in a country that they call home.
Rigo is not only taking a stand for his rights, he is fighting for the hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants that were brought to this country without their consent. As a result they have to deal with the consequences of broken immigration policies that do not consider the needs of their lives.
Join us in the struggle to save Rigoberto Padilla and to bring justice to individuals like him.
- We demand that Rigo be allowed to stay in the United States.
- That the Chicago Police Department stops collaborating with ICE and uphold the Sanctuary for Undocumented Immigrants City Ordinance.
- That the rights of undocumented youth who function as productive members of society be represented.
That raids and deportations that terrorize our communities be stopped via an executive order by President Barrack Obama.
The Campaign to Save Rigo Padilla.
If it so moves you, you may sign the petition here. And if you are in Chicago, check out a panel that he and other youth who are in deportation proceedings are organizing, it will take place Thursday April 2nd at Harold Washington College (31 East Lake St. in Chicago), where he is currently a student, from 3pm-5pm in Room 1001-1002.
The art posted is entitled "La Pelea de Rigo" by Shannon Crummy.
Tania Unzueta is the Director of Youth Training and Community Programming at Radio Arte in Chicago, the home of the New Routes SALUD: Healing Through the Arts Project.
Tags: chicago police department, ICE, immigrant, Radio Arte, reform, rigo padilla, undocumented youth
Topics: Community Media, Education, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Immigrants, Immigration, Journalism, News, Non-profit, Organization, Politics, Youth
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