Undocumented Students Sit-in at Obama Campaign Office
A group of undocumented studnets have occupied Obama campaign offices in Denver and are demanding an executive order to stop the deportation of students. ICE has previously released the Morton Memo stating unodcumented students would go to the back of the line of deporations, but deportations have continued. You can sign the petition here!
via Denver Post
About three dozen immigration activists are protesting outside an Obama campaign office in Denver tonight, while two more activists have staged a sit-in inside the office.
The activists want President Barack Obama to sign an executive order ending the deportation of young, undocumented immigrants who would be eligible for conditional permanent residency under the DREAM Act. The activists waved signs and marched in a circle in front of the office, at 77 W. 9th Ave. They said they planned to spend the night in front of the office.
The two activists staging the sit-in inside the campaign office — Javier Hernandez, from Denver, and Veronica Gomez, from California — say they are undocumented and could face deportation if arrested for their protest.
"If that's what it takes, that's what it takes," Gomez said.
"We decided it was time to escalate (the campaign) for an executive order that will end deportation for DREAMers," Hernandez said. "That's something (Obama) can do."
Gomez and Hernandez said they also plan to go on a hunger strike until Obama signs the demanded executive order.
The protest is calculated to put pressure on the Obama campaign in a swing state with a sizeable Latino population. Inside the campaign office, just feet from where Gomez and Hernandez were sitting, was a table with literature on the Latinos for Obama effort. A flier for the effort notes that Obama is committed to passing the DREAM Act, which would create a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship for young immigrants who came to America as children, have stayed out of trouble and serve in the military or go to college.
In an e-mailed statement, the campaign re-iterated Obama's support of the act, while noting that Obama's Republican rival, Mitt Romney, has said he would veto the measure as it currently stands.
"Only the Latino vote will send Republicans the clear message that they must stop playing politics with immigration and join the President to advance sensible immigration proposals such as the DREAM Act," the Obama campaign statement said.
The president, though, has previously offended Hispanics by using the unpassed act as the centerpiece of a fund-raising pitch.
Obama has earlier said DREAM Act-eligible immigrants would not be a focus of deportation efforts. But the activists outside the campaign office tonight say that deportations have continued.
They want Obama to sign an executive order that would immediately halt all deportations of those eligible for the DREAM Act. That message has been gaining support across the country. Many of the activists participating in today's protest are part of the Campaign for an American Dream, whose members are walking across the country to generate support for immigration reform.
Both Gomez and Hernandez said they came to America as children — Gomez when she was 3 and Hernandez when he was just 6 months — and haven't been to their native Mexico since.
"We grew up here," Gomez said. "We consider ourselves American."
John Ingold: 303-954-1068 or email@example.com