Darrow tribute focuses on immigration issues 2015-03-13
On the seventy-eighth anniversary of famed attorney Clarence Darrow's death, this year's annual Darrow symposium Friday, March 13 explored contemporary activism on the issues of undocumented laborers and immigration. Darrow's attitude is summarized by a quote from a 1929 debate on "Is Immigration Beneficial?" in which he said, "I am a foreigner; my people didn't get here until about 1710. They got here, and now I am asked to close the doors to the people who came over on a later ship."
This year's symposium viewed the issues through the work of three passionate and outspoken advocates for the undocumented. Tania Unzueta Carrasco is an immigrant queer community organizer and writer who is known nationally for using direct action and civil disobedience to fight against deportations and harsh immigration enforcement practices and policy. Catholic Sisters Patricia Murphy and JoAnn Persch founded the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, which works in detention centers, a deportation center, the immigration court and the Post-Detention Accompaniment program. Persch spoke about her and Murphy's multiple efforts to fight the system on immigration.
At the Darrow bridge before the inside ceremony at the Museum of Science & Industry, several speakers addressed Darrow's legacy, before flowers were tossed off the Clarence Darrow Bridge behind the MSI.
The program also included an appearance by high school junior Marissa Howe, winner of the Clarence Darrow History Award ( which is sponsored by the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee ) at the 2014 Chicago Metro History Fair.
Darrow, who died March 13, 1938, is remembered for his crusading role as "attorney for the damned" in such controversial cases as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder case, and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.
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