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FACT: More people have been deported under President Obama than under any other president. 

19684_491113740936910_1397952706_nimage by Victoria Bouloubasis

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.

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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.

382285_491114054270212_490066599_nimage by V. Bouloubasis

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!

14771_491113110936973_348925104_nimage by Victoria B.

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 cinthia@thencdreamteam.org.

(2) WAIVER- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the ground of ineligibility under paragraph (1), (4), or (6) of section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the ground of deportability under paragraph (1) of section 237(a) of that Act for humanitarian purposes or family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest.

Conspiracy theorists like William Gheen made a big deal about the waiver authority included in the December version of the DREAM Act, claiming that itr allowed for the federal government to extend DREAM Act relief to all undocumented immigrants within the United States. Gheen recently restated this on the State of Things with Frank Stasio.

Aside from being incorrect, Gheen’s claim doesn’t make any sense. The waiver only applies to paragraphs (1), (4) and (6) of section 212a of the the Immigration and Nationality Act, which are health, welfare and unlawful entry considerations. It also states that DHS can only do so “for humanitarian purposes or family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest.”

Let’s humor the idea for a second: if the President were to interpret the waiver so loosely as to apply it to twelve million people rather than the estimated two million, why would he need the DREAM Act at all? The president can already unilaterally halt deportations, as 22 Senators are now asking him to do. He can also freeze someone’s immigration status (known as “paroling-in-place”) without legislation. The motivation to do what Gheen claims Obama is doing isn’t there, even it were possible.

The problem has been Obama’s failure to do everything he can for immigrants, not what he might do with legislative backing. Nonetheless, this is one conspiracy theory you will still find all over the Internet.

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.

by Domenic Powell

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the counties of Franklin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Robeson, Warren and Wilson have joined the Secure Communities program. This adds to the 77% of counties in North Carolina that are aleady part of the program.

Elsewhere in the U.S., Wisconsin joined the program on Monday, bringing the total to 37 states.

Under President Barack Obama, deportations have reached record levels, due in part to the Secure Communities program. While the record total of deportations was reached by adding tallies that would normally count as being carried out by U.S. Border Patrol, the increased deportations still work toward Obama’s goal of winning Republican votes for comprehension immigration reform, except it won’t.

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