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Activists track ICE raids in Champagin-Urbana

While federal agents are doing their job by enforcing immigration policy, protesters will take a stand against this law on Saturday at the ICE Out of CU! Rally. (WCCU)

Brian Dolinar has been tracking Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Champaign-Urbana since 2015.

Dolinar, the program director of Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, said in 2017 he recorded 28 separate days when ICE agents came to town arresting undocumented citizens.

While federal agents are doing their job by enforcing immigration policy, protesters will take a stand against this law on Saturday at the ICE Out of CU! Rally.

“They've been flying under the radar, breaking up families very quietly,” Dolinar said. “But now with the national news of ICE breaking up families at the border, it also puts a spotlight on CU."

Dolinar said every story is different.

“They picked up one man,” he said. “He was a father of four. He spent a few weeks in jail… and he has a deportation proceeding and now the future of his family is fairly uncertain."

Dolinar confirms and tracks ICE raids by accessing public documents.

"If there is word in the community that somebody has been picked up by ICE, we try to confirm that,” he said. “We have a relationship with local police, and its data we are able to get through the 911 dispatch system.”

Dolinar said ICE’s presence in the community affects more than just those arrested.

"There's been a deep fear in the community,” he said. “People are afraid to go to church. They've been afraid to send their kids to schools."

According to reports, there are at least 7,000 undocumented citizens living in Champaign County.

Ashli Anda, who will speak at Saturday’s rally, said her message will focus on the need to stand together as one CU community.

"Let people know that here we welcome people and that we don't want families separated or torn apart,” Anda said. “That people should be safe regardless of their citizenship."

The ICE Out of CU! Rally is Saturday, June 23 at 11 a.m. outside The Drury Inn & Suites Champaign.

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