A program that is central to President Obama’s immigration enforcement strategy has drawn protests by Latino and immigrant organizations in six cities in the last two days, as those groups stepped up their confrontation with the administration over the fast pace of deportations.
In Los Angeles, about 200 immigrants and their supporters walked out of a stormy hearing Monday evening that was called by a task force advising the enforcement program, known as Secure Communities. Bearing signs that said “Stop Ripping Families Apart,” the protesters called for an end to the program, which they said had led to the deportation of victims who reported domestic violence to the police, and to parents of American citizen children.
On Tuesday in Chicago, several dozen protesters delivered thousands of petitions calling for an end to the program to the headquarters of Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign. Petitions were also delivered by small groups of protesters to Democratic Party offices in Miami, Atlanta, Houston and Charlotte, N.C.
About two dozen prominent immigrant advocacy organizations issued a report denouncing the program and calling on the administration to halt it.
Organizers said the protests were a response to an announcement on Aug. 5 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that runs Secure Communities, that the program would continue to expand to meet its declared goal of covering the whole country by 2013. Clarifying doubts about whether states and cities could choose whether to participate, John Morton, the agency’s director, said that agreements with state and local officials were not required for the agency to proceed. Read full article in The New York Times.