U.S. Electoral Politics: April 2011 Archives



[This post was originally written for Crooks and Liars]

I'm almost in denial about having to ask people to do this: sign this petition at change.org to help stop the deportation of Prerna Lal. It's difficult to think of a more stupid move for the Obama administration to make than to initiate removal proceedings against Prerna. Prerna is arguably the most visible undocumented person, or Dreamer (after the DREAM Act), in the U.S.

As her website will tell you, she helped found dreamactivist.org, one of the most powerful online hubs for migrant youth, she's a blogger at change.org, and she's a board member of Immigration Equality. She also earned her Master's degree in International Relations and is currently studying to get her law degree at George Washington University.

The Obama administration is telling us that they're focusing their resources on the worst of the worst while folks on the ground know that they're going after people like Prerna all the time. If you don't want to read on, please sign this petition to stop Prerna's deportation.

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... therefore, the #1 goal of the immigrant rights movement should be to unelect Obama in 2012.

The defendant faces the following charges:

  • Assault: Obama has ushered in a reign of terror against immigrant families in the U.S., with almost 400,000 deportations in 2010, a new record. A generation of children in immigrant families, many of them U.S. citizens, experience the ongoing trauma (pdf) of knowing that their parents could be stolen away from them in the night, any night.

  • Fraud: Obama claims to oppose entangling local law enforcement in federal immigration matters while foisting the national racial profiling program called Secure Communities on localities around the country which does exactly that. He claims to oppose deporting Dreamers while his agencies deport more of them than ever before.
  • Theft: The Social Security Administration collects payroll taxes from millions of immigrant workers who never see a dime in retirement benefits and who are not eligible for SSI disability payments. Increasing numbers of undocumented workers are applying for Temporary Tax ID (ITIN) numbers to pay federal income taxes, yet they are excluded from all public benefits programs and instead are targeted for imprisonment and deportation by federal agencies funded by those same tax dollars.
  • Absence of remorse or rehabilitation. Instead of recognizing the immigration Policy and Political Traps into which he has fallen (or jumped), at every opportunity, Obama boasts of his record as Deporter in Chief. Feeling politically vulnerable as the child of an immigrant himself whose American bona fides have been challenged, he has responded by out-persecuting the persecutors. Like a schoolyard bully, he targets others to avoid being targeted himself.

The evidence is now before the jury, who will deliver the verdict on November 6, 2012. The jurors will not be as easily fooled this time around with promises the defendant doesn't intend to keep. He should hope he has a skillful defense attorney.


I don't believe he can pin these crimes on subordinates or co-conspirators. In the end, responsibility for terrorizing immigrant families rests with the Perpetrator-in-Chief. Unlike the detainees who've died in his jails or in the countries to which he's sent them, Obama's only punishment will be carried out at the ballot box, his only sentence a comfortable and lucrative retirement.

Janet Napolitano has to go.  Her comments to the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board are the last straw.  The Secure Communities program is easily the greatest threat to migrant communities around the nation, today.  

For those not following closely, Secure Communities will turn every local cop into a border patrol agent.  Everyone police arrest will be checked for their immigration status.  Remember the millions of pro-migrant people that marched on the streets in 2006 in opposition to the U.S. House passing H.R. 4437?  This is the sort of criminalization of migrant communities we opposed.  Remember the nationwide boycott against Arizona's S.B. 1070?  These are the sorts of expanded police powers with the potential for racial profiling that we were concerned about.

The only real difference between Secure Communities, H.R. 4437, and S.B. 1070, is that Secure Communities is not a law being debated in Congress or a State House.  Secure Communities federal program that is being imposed upon us by the Obama administration completely against the will of our local elected officials.  Janet Napolitano has now made that clear and that is why she has to go.