Deportation: August 2011 Archives
I just came across a radio segment by the talented María Hinojosa at NPR's Latino USA where she interviewed Luis Miranda, Director of Hispanic Media at the White House. Mr. Miranda confirmed my worst fears about the Obama administration announcement that it would review the deportations of the 300,000 people who are currently in proceedings. He said the following to Ms. Hinojosa:
I got this press release from Gutierrez's office last week:
Gutierrez Calls Changes to "Secure Communities" Program Unacceptable
Recent ICE Changes Erode "Any Semblance of Legitimacy the Program Ever Had," Congressman Writes
(Washington) - Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) sent a letter (pdf) to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton renewing his call to end the "Secure Communities" state and local immigration program and objecting in particular to changes in the program that now make it mandatory for all states and localities, even those who have chosen to opt out. The State of Illinois is one of three states, all with Democratic Governors, that are seeking withdrawal from the program that enlists state and local law enforcement in identifying individuals for deportation. The text of the Congressman's letter is below. URL for this release:
Dear Director Morton:
I have made no secret of the fact that I oppose the Secure Communities state and local immigration program and its rapid expansion because it undermines public safety and has not lived up to its stated goals of identifying and deporting serious criminals rather than non-criminal immigrants. However, the announcement you made last week that the program is now mandatory for all states and localities and that all existing agreements between the federal government and state and local governments are revoked, is simply unacceptable and amounts to little more than reneging on previous commitments for the sake of political expediency.
When Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-4) got arrested last week to protest Barack Obama's one millionth deportation, little attention was paid to the letter Obama wrote to Gutierrez in defense of the increasing hardship Obama has forced on migrant communities. I was able to get a copy of the original letters from Gutierrez's office after the White House leaked it to media outlets seemingly in retaliation for Gutierrez's act of defiance.
I will embed the letter Gutierrez originally sent along with Obama's response, below, but they are linked to in this sentence in case people want to read them before I continue. I will provide a little background, first, but I think Obama's defense shows just how extraordinarily out of touch this administration with the immigrant community.