Boston Rally Demands Action from Obama on Immigration Legislation
BOSTON/Government Center - Immigration reform activists and supporters gathered in front of the JFK Federal Building near city hall on Wednesday to demand immediate action on immigration legislation from President Obama.
“The administration has not finished what it started,” Juan Vega, executive director of Centro Latina, said. “We ask and urge President Obama to make a down-payment on his promise to stop destroying families.”
In June, Obama promised the nation that he would take executive action on immigration reform before the end of summer. Earlier this month, the president said changes would be postponed until after the November elections.
“President Obama has put misguided political calculation ahead of human lives,” Vega said.
Currently, undocumented children who meet certain guidelines are protected from deportation by DACA – Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – but the parents of these children are still open to being arrested, detained and deported if their undocumented status becomes known. According to the Student Immigration Movement, the Obama administration has deported over two million undocumented immigrants; 70,000 people living in the U.S. will be deported before the November elections.
“My husband was detained by ICE [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] outside our home when he went to get my daughter’s bag from our car,” said Judith Mendez, a local mother of three with Temporary Protected Status from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “This morning at 5 a.m. I was told he was moved from South Bay [House of Correction] to Louisiana.”
“I want to ask President Obama to do something about our broken immigration system,” Mendez said. “My husband is a good man – he’s a hard worker, he pays his taxes. His only crime is to work in the United States.”
Wednesday’s rally was a part of National Week of Action, a week-long series of demonstrations and protests in response to the Obama administration’s decision to delay addressing legislation that would provide relief to immigrant families.
“Day in and day out we’re seeing families being divided,” said Ronnie Millar, executive director of the Irish International Immigrant Center.
“It’s cruel and unfair. We have to do better as a society, we are better than this…we are not going to let this go away,” Millar said.
Photo: Haley Hamilton
Photo caption: Carlos Rojas Alvarez of the Student Immigration Movement