As the number of deportations since 2009 reaches the 2 million mark, activists grow impatient towards President Obama’s idleness.
On Friday, activists and families that have been separated by current immigration policies joined HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont and Univision’s Raúl de Molina to talk about what the current administration can do to stop the record number of deportations.
Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Pablo Alvarado, joined the conversation to explain that Obama’s “enforcement only” had done little to compel Republicans to pass immigration reform.
“Obviously these strategies aren’t working at all, the only person who has the ability to move this debate forward at this moment is President Obama by acting forcefully and by telling [Republicans] I am going to legalize the undocumented people with or without you. And I bet you they will come to the table,” Alvarado told Lamont.
The Los Angeles-based activist continued by saying that Obama must “dismantle a deportation machine that he himself has built.”
Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente.org, said the president’s negative approval rating is connected to his record-breaking deportation numbers.
“If the President wants to do something that’s really going to energize Latinos and is really going to do the right thing morally, he needs to stop these deportations. It’s senseless to continue in this course,” Carmona said on HuffPost Live.
For a larger part of the segment, Lamont allowed families to talk about the pain of being separated by deportation. Activist Evelyn Rivera and her mother Yolanda, who was deported back to Colombia over a minor traffic infraction, joined HuffPost Live via webcam to talk about what it’s been like to have been separated for the last 7 years.
Hareth Andrade also spoke about almost losing her father after he was detained for a traffic infraction. For two months, she campaigned to stop her father’s deportation and was ultimately successful.
Check out Evelyn and her mother's plea above and the full segment below.