Latinos, immigrants and their allies will hold a National Day of Action called “Obama, Immigration and the Latino Community” on Tuesday, October 18 in 10 cities across the nation – Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco, and Tucson. In conjunction with Presente.org, Latino community leaders, clergy, and family members devastated by the controversial Secure Communities (SCOMM) racial profiling program and the immigrant detention policies of President Obama will participate in the press conferences and town halls to express their outrage about President Obama’s failed immigration policies, which are documented in a PBS Frontline special, “Lost in Detention,” airing in the evening on October 18.
Latinos, astonished and disturbed by reports of President Obama’s record-breaking deportation of more than one million immigrants, will gather to denounce recent reports of the President exposing immigrants to even greater devastation, including rape and other sexual abuses, denial of due process and basic rights, separation of children from their families, and consumption of uncooked and worm-infested food.
Different cities are taking different actions to call attention to the deplorable and dangerous conditions President Obama and his policies are exposing immigrants to. In SanFrancisco, the lawyer and mother of a pregnant woman who was captured and placed in detention by ICE after she reported a case of domestic violence will call on President Obama to change his policies. A group of clergy will also pray for the heart of the President. In Houston, community members will gather in front of a detention center, while in Tucson groups will be holding their press conference in front of a police station. In Dallas, organizers will focus attention on the case of Anatolia Garcia a mother of 3 who is forced to wear an ankle bracelet and who is about to be deported.
“The issues of immigrant and Latino imprisonment that are exposed in ‘Lost in Detention’ will surely be a major concern in the upcoming elections. Latino families throughout the United States are deeply concerned with such reports because they expose the extremism that lies at the heart of President Obama’s SCOMM program, detention policies and other immigration policies,” said Roberto Lovato of Presente.org, the lead organization behind the National Town Hall. “Since signaling a new course in our immigration policy a few weeks ago, President Obama has continued his aggressive persecution, jailing, and deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who he has labeled ‘criminals’ and whose lives are being destroyed through traffic violations and similar minor infractions.”
Community members participating at the 10 different activities that will include victims of the Obama Administration’s destructive policies reflected in cases like that of a 45 year-old mother who was arrested and placed in deportation proceedings for driving without a license. “There are thousands upon thousands of cases of people literally ‘Lost in Detention’ that are emblematic of the kind of extreme and tragic treatment of immigrants in the Obama era. At our town halls, we will be mobilizing our community and educating them on how to fight back against abuses on the street, in prison, and at the ballot box,” said Adelina Nichols of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights. “At the same time that we will be gathering to view ‘Lost in Detention,’ we will be keeping watch of—and fighting back against—President Obama, the person who holds primary responsibility for the dangerous conditions faced by immigrants. We will be watching—and taking action.”
According to polls, such as the one conducted by Latino Decisions/Impremedia in June, most Latinos know at least one person trapped in President Obama’s deportation machine, which is responsible for deporting more than one million people already and which threatens more aggressive deportation of others.
Presente.org and its allies identified the 10 cities in which they will be holding town halls because they are the neighborhoods where both Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are aggressively chasing Latinos and where President Obama’s re-election campaign operatives are actively pursuing Latinos for their votes.