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Protesters rally on I-355 bridge against illegal immigration

People protest illegal immigratiSaturday 127th Street bridge over Interstate 355 Lemont.  |  ErGallagher/For Sun-Times Media

People protest illegal immigration Saturday on the 127th Street bridge over Interstate 355 in Lemont. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 21, 2014 7:01AM



Members of Southland Tea Party groups and others protested on the 127th Street bridge over Interstate 355 on Saturday in response to the thousands of undocumented children crossing the border into the United States,

“We are trying to bring attention to our topic that we don’t want any of these people in our area, and if we found out where they’re at, we’ll go protest where they’re at,” said organizer and Will County Board member Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen, a member of the Will County Tea Party Alliance. “I’m talking about the children, but that’s the other fallacy, they’re not just children, they’re under 18.”

About 35 people waved flags and carried signs reading “secure our borders” and “don’t believe the liberal media.” Two people carried “Don’t tread on me” flags.

Balich said the group is concerned about the children entering the country illegally and the problems they bring with them.

Another protester, Fred Willams, of Lemont, said he joined the rally not only to bring attention to the border crisis but to protest the federal government on other issues.

“We’re against everything that’s happening in Washington bringing socialism to America,” Williams said.

Williams plans to join the Tea Party but is not a registered member. Balich said the group included people from across a broad political spectrum.

“The main people who are organizing the event is the Lemont Tea Party,” Balich said.

Balich said illegal immigrants are a financial burden on taxpayers, bringing costs for education, health care and employment.

“We don’t have enough jobs for our own people,” Balich said. “They shouldn’t be burdening our taxpayers.”

In advance of the rally, Balich anticipated being arrested, he said.

“I’ll tell you what I’ll do,” Balich said Friday. “I’ll lay down on the street and tell (the police) to call a paddy wagon and make them take me away.”

Saturday’s demonstration remained calm, he said afterward. The Lemont Police Department arrived and passed out bottled water to the protesters, Balich said.



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