More than 100 people rallied outside the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Saturday morning, after a program to inform undocumented immigrants of their rights was canceled in the wake of threats that immmigration enforcement agents would be present.
“Our family tries to support immigrants, because my husband is an immigrant,” said Sarah Munoz, 48, who attended the rally with her husband, Orlando Munoz, 56, their daughter, Kiara, 18, and Sarah Munoz’s mother, Kathleen Morkert, 75. “Here in this community, there are different ways immigrants have arrived over the years, but we’re all immigrants.”
The Munoz family was among the intergenerational crowd who joined forces marching, chanting “no racist Arlington Heights,” and carrying pro-immigration signs on the sidewalk in front of the library at 500 N. Dunton Ave.
The rally was organized after an immigration rights program, titled “Know Your Rights,” and sponsored by the Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance, scheduled for Monday was scuttled. Library officials said they were forced to cancel the program after getting threats from callers opposed to the event.
The description posted on the library website said the program intended to inform immigrants “what to do and say when in contact with immigration and police officers,” and also promised to give information about what recent presidential executive orders meant for immigrants. The program also intended to discuss preparation for those at risk of being detained or deported.
Representatives with Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.
Jessica Hernandez, legal counsel for Community Activism Law Alliance said these types of legal workshops for immigrants have for years been offered in suburban communities, and this is the first time officials have had to cancel a presentation due to concerns about threats.
Hernandez said that while it was…