The National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the United Methodist Church organized a President’s Day protest attended by more than 50 people in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House.
After three warnings were issued from officers to the President’s Day protesters, police began making arrests in Lafayette Park. These protesters were comprised of around 30 religious leaders, immigrants, and their supporters. They held signs and sang songs protesting Obama’s deportation policy, which has allowed the deportation of 2 million people during his five years in office. By comparison, during Bush’s full eight-year term, the same number of people were deported.
Earlier in February, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network filed a petition to request that Obama’s Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be extended by DHS to “the fullest extent permissible by law.” Also, the petition including the request to suspend deportations of people who would likely benefit from future immigration reform legislation.
The DACA program has managed to stay hundreds of thousands of deportations of young undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children who are either currently enrolled in or have graduated high school and/or college in the United States for up to two years under visas. Some Democrats in Congress have asked Obama to extend this program to other family members of those who qualify for DACA and to working immigrants.
President Obama has urged legislators members to continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform legislation, stressing that there is only so much his administration can do without congressional approval.
Source: Delmore, Erin. “Immigration protest sparks arrest outside White House,” MSNBC. February 17, 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/all/activists-arrested-outside-white-house
This article was written by Rebecca Little