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FACT: More people have been deported under President Obama than under any other president.
Despite the hype about comprehensive immigration reform, we can smell the horse manure from miles away. We continue to get calls from people in our community who are getting deported. Mothers like Lorena and Maria Juana, fathers like Isaias, grandfathers like Miguel, and dreamers like Flavio, are the gangbangers President Obama has tried to deport.
This was taken at McLeansville Elementary School. It is a note Maria Juana Perez dropped off at the front desk explaining why her daughters, 9 year-old Nayely and 7 year-old Blanca, missed school the previous day. They were at Senator Hagan’s office asking her to help stop their mother’s deportation. Maria Juana was set to be deported 6 days from the day this note was written.
You see, as undocumented youth who belong to undocumented families, we cannot afford to wait around for comprehensive immigration reform to happen. We at the North Carolina Dream Team have decided to take matters into our own hands. We are securing our own families and in doing so, we plan to secure our own community.
On Sunday, February 17th, NCDT members and our families gathered for an afternoon of information and preparation. We shared with our parents and aunts and uncles and cousins the work we have been doing in the past year. Our families had heard about our work but there’s nothing like bringing them all together. Everyone left with an emergency packet ready to go in case of an arrest by the police or ICE. You see, it is not only us – undocumented youth – who want to no longer remain in the shadows. Our entire families want to no longer remain in the shadows. And it’s our responsibility as undocumented youth to inform and prepare our families for whatever may come. We are our own voice. We are our own power!
If you are interested in having a Secure Your Own Community training, get in touch with Cinthia Marroquin. That’s her in the picture above. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are we bothering Rep. David Price, who supported the DREAM Act? Well, because we had some important questions to ask him about his support for Secure Communities:
According to Rep. Price:
“The Secure Comm program…represents an effort to do a couple of things. One is to focus immigration enforcement on people who have committed serious crimes as opposed to workplace raids…as opposed to more discriminatory forms of enforcement. Number two, it’s an effort to clean up the so-called 287(g) program, which has proved to be…a very problematic program. It mixes up state and local law enforcement responsibilities for immigration in a very dangerous way. It makes local law enforcement appear to be the long arm of ICE.”
The most obvious problem with the statement above is that the reasons he cites for 287(g) being a “problematic program” all also apply to Secure Communities. In Florida, non-criminals accounted for 42 percent of detentions under Secure Communities between October 2008 and November 2010. In some counties the number was as high as 62 percent. Doesn’t sound like a “reform effort” against “indiscriminate enforcement” to us.
Also, the idea that “indiscriminate enforcement” happened only in the Bush years is just plain wrong. Obama has deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants–a great many of whom were good, decent people.
Rep. Price had more courage than other politicians (Kay Hagan) to support the DREAM Act, and for that we thank you. But Secure Communities needs to end, which as it stands is deporting DREAMers and their families as much or more as anyone else.
More videos to come.