Immigration activists direct anger at Dems

Immigration activists direct anger at Dems
© Francis Riviera

Proponents of swift executive action to stem deportations shifted their focus Monday to the Democratic National Committee, warning the president and his party’s political apparatus not to assume their support is a given ahead of this fall’s midterms.

“We are voters,” said Andrea Adum, one of more than two dozen activists who staged a protest outside the DNC’s Washington headquarters. “Democrats have taken us for granted, and we’re not going to take any more of this B.S.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

The protesters are angered over President Obama’s decision to delay executive action on immigration until after Election Day.

The White House announced the delay earlier this month, blaming “Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue.” Obama is still expected to announce administrative steps — potentially including a major expansion of his deferred action program for younger illegal immigrants — by year’s end.

But that isn’t soon enough for immigrant advocates who gathered Monday at the DNC’s national headquarters, wearing shirts reading, “Obama Deports Parents” and carrying signs demanding “No Mas Deportaciones.”

The group points to federal data showing as many as 1,100 immigrants are being deported every day, including many parents of children allowed to remain in the country under the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Last year alone, the government deported more than 72,000 immigrants who had one or more U.S.-born child.

The group’s organizers blamed the delay on White House deference to vulnerable Senate Democrats, including Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems shift strategy on impeachment vote Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan dies at 66 MORE of North Carolina, Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorTom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation MORE of Arkansas and Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCongress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world MORE of Louisiana, whose reelection bids will help decide which party controls the chamber for the final year’s of the Obama administration.

But the White House’s political calculus falsely assumes that backers of strong administrative actions, including coveted Hispanic voters, will support Democrats unconditionally.

“We’re not in their hands,” Erika Andiola warned.

“We know Republicans are horrible,” she continued, referring to the GOP’s positions on immigration. “That doesn’t mean that Democrats are just going to step on us, because they think we’re just going to vote Democratic.”

Following a news conference, the group marched into the street adjacent to the DNC, stopping traffic on Washington Avenue at Canal Street. U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police officers arrived soon after but did not immediately make any arrests.

Asked why they were making their appeal at the DNC, rather than the White House, Andiola said the group has become convinced that the way to reach the president is through Democratic Party operatives.

“Obama listens to them, not communities,” she said.