President Obama made clear he would not halt deportations for those undocumented immigrants whose children are eligible for temporary relief under the president’s deferred action program. In an interview with Telemundo’s José Díaz-Balart Tuesday, Obama blamed House Republicans for not moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform.
But Obama’s own administration continues to deport more than 1,000 people per day, many of whom have not been accused of any crime. Obama made clear what worries him is that some advocates think that because Congress hasn’t moved forward to pass a bill, the president will issue some type of executive action to halt deportations. He’s planning no such thing. Instead, Obama urged people who want immigration reform to remain focused on Congress.
This morning, seven undocumented immigrant leaders–some of them already in deportation proceedings–handcuffed themselves to the White House gate in protest of Obama’s record deportations, which they say are tearing communities apart. The seven, who are active leaders in their communities across the nation, were arrested and taken into custody by Federal Park Police about a half hour after they started the action, as supporters screamed in solidarity a few yards away.
Narciso Valenzuela Siriaco, who identifies as Yaqui and lives in Tucson, participated in today’s action. He’s currently fighting deportation after spending time at Eloy Detention Center following a stop at a Border Patrol checkpoint in Arizona. “I don’t want there to be more deportations,” he said. “Our children suffer.”