Brown: Neighbors joining together to block Trump deportations | Chicago Sun-Times

In the 35th Ward on the city’s Northwest Side, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has started what he calls the Community Defense Committee.

In Rogers Park, home to an extremely diverse immigrant population, volunteer organizers have chosen to dub their effort Protect RP.

In Little Village, the Mexican capital of the Midwest, they have picked the name La Villita Se Defiende, which translates to Little Village Defends Itself.

As with the different names, each group seems to be charting its own tactical approach, but the overarching goal is the same: to protect undocumented immigrants by resisting efforts to deport them.

Resistance eventually could take the form of actually interfering with federal agents in the performance of their duties, something not to be taken lightly but a measure of what’s at stake.

I was among more than 400 people who attended a Protect RP organizational meeting Monday night, an extraordinary display of how hungry people are to Do Something.

The meeting was held at Living Water Community Church, where pastor Kristin Jackson said two-thirds of the congregants are immigrants, some of them undocumented.

But my impression is most participants that night were American citizens acting in support of their neighbors, not out of self-preservation. And they weren’t just the liberal fringe.

Trump won the election with his promise of mass deportations, but many still believe the better answer is to change the immigration laws to protect most of those who are living here and to map out a more coherent system going forward.

Call that a path to citizenship or call it amnesty, but that’s still the goal to me, even if we’re now playing defense instead of offense.

“People are very receptive and very eager to support this effort,” said Rosa, who is using techniques learned by immigrant groups in Arizona and Georgia in response to deportation raids conducted by the Obama administration.

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