During the week that Congress will close for 2013 without having passed an immigration reform bill, a group of Jersey residents locked themselves together in the street that serves as an entrance to the Elizabeth Detention Center (625 Evans St.) to protest the President’s deportation arbitrary quota policy and call on him to stop removals and expand deferred action instead.
“We can’t let more families to be separated. We can’t wait for Congress. After what I saw my family go through I want to help other families that are in the same situation,” explains Rosa Santana, who migrated to the US after Hurricane Mitch hit her home country of Honduras and who’s aunt and uncle were deported.
The action is the latest in a series of civil disobediences
that have exposed the harm caused by current immigration policy and urged the President to act. In the midst of a pending snowstorm and on International Human Rights Day, they say they want to bring visibility to those in the Detention Center and to the people suffering from current policies like the Secure Communities deportation program.
Without further executive action, the President will hit the record of 2,000,000 people deported in the near future. But participants say there is still time for Obama to turn his policies around.
“We’re doing everything in our power to stop deportations,” says Carlos Canales of Casa Freehold. “We’re out here in the cold hoping I that President Obama’s heart softens, and understands that immigrants are here to work and help our families.”