OC Immigrant Rights Activists to Rally Against Record Deportations
Nearly two million undocumented immigrants have been deported under the Obama administration, more than in any other previous presidency, and OC activist groups are saying ya basta!
They will be meeting, marching and rallying today at Sasscer Park in downtown SanTana around 10 a.m. as part of a nationwide call to have the Deporter-in-Chief use his executive authority powers to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for all.
But that doesn't cover the entire demands of the day...
As immigration reform languishes in Congress, with many pronouncing its death, President Obama addressed the issue in San Francisco during a speech last week when 24-year-old Ju Hong disrupted it telling him he had the power to halt deportations. Obama turned to the youth claiming he had no such authority to do so as chants arose saying "Stop deportations, Yes we can!"
Locally based organizations such as the Orange County DREAM Team (OCDT), Keep Our Families Together, RAIZ, CopWatch Santa Ana and Seeds of Resistance will echo Hong's sentiment this morning. In addition to a moratorium on deportations with Deferred Action For All (DAFA), the coalition's demands include calling on the end of the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program and the immediate release of TRUST Act, Prosecutorial Disrection and Parental Interest eligible immigrants currently held in detention.
Casting an eye on the gear shifts of the local deportation machine, activists point to the outing of the Theo Lacy facility by Detention Watch Network as one of the ten worst immigrant detention centers in the nation last year. They continue to highlight the existing contract between the city of SanTana and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for usage of its jail to house detainees.
More recently, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice revealed in August that OC led the state in ICE hold detentions of youth accounting for nearly half of all such requests.
Speakers whose families have been torn apart by immigration enforcement will give personal testimonies at this morning's action. There will also be music, art and a march all in the name of saying "Not 1 More."
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz