In a couple hours, immigrant rights activists will lead a march from Union Park at Lake and Ashland to Grant Park aimed at protesting further deportations and raids until congress passes an acceptable immigration reforms.
Last year on May 1, nearly 500,000 marchers followed a similar route protesting a federal bill that would have made it a felony to assist illegal immigrants.
This issue strikes a cord with me. Before last year's march it was my job to tell the story of one immigrant's tale of living an illegal life.
With the help of activists, I found Martin Barrios, a hardworking fellow who was a manager at Sara Lee.
With the help of a translator we talked about his life in great detail. Barrios was already set to be deported, but held hope a bill being considered in congress to delay further deportations would keep him in Chicago.
He agreed to have his picture taken and to use his real name — to stand up for the thousands of guys like him who consider themselves contributors to American life, not criminals.
And for that he was fired from his job and later arrested by immigration, breaking apart his family and destroying his American dream.
His only sin was climbing over a mountain range toward opportunity. Barrios was strong enough to admit it, believed he had proved his worth to America and hoped that this country could forgive him.
Anyway, I'll be thinking about Barrios today. What do you think?