Tough Enforcement Against Illegal Immigrants Is Decried

Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times, Aprl 21, 2010

When the Obama administration went before California’s 9th Circuit Court last year seeking to deport a middle-class couple from Nevada, one judge criticized the government’s case as “horrific.” Another labeled it the “most senseless result possible.” A third complained of “an extraordinarily bad use of government resources.”

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The case against the carpenter and the clerk is one of many examples, immigrant rights advocates and labor activists say, of how the Obama administration has continued a policy of tough immigration enforcement against people who are no threat to the United States, even as the administration calls for a new immigration law designed to legalize many of them.

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But immigrant rights activists and immigration attorneys point to climbing deportation levels and say the government is pursuing untold numbers of equally disturbing cases against students, nannies and janitors.

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“People feel betrayed,” said Deepak Bhargava, executive director of Center for Community Change, a pro-immigrant group. “The president never said he was going end immigration enforcement, but he sent a clear signal that he would redirect it to a focus on people with criminal records who are a threat to the country. That hasn’t happened.”

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