They’re Not Going To Take It Anymore: New Generation of Immigrant Advocates Take Radical Approach

Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News Latino, October 16, 2013

The frustration, say immigration advocates, is reaching a fever pitch.

That is why, many say, recent weeks have seen activists use chains and pipes to tie themselves to the tires of buses that carry immigrants slated for deportation to court, block traffic on Capitol Hill and get arrested, surround Tucson police when they targeted two immigrants during a traffic stop, and chain themselves and block the entrance of a federal detention center.

More such actions, they vow, are coming.

“It’s absolutely out of frustration and impatience,” said Marisa Franco, campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which helped coordinate some of the more provocative actions. “Immigrant communities who are losing 1,100 loved ones every day to deportation cannot wait for Congress to end its political games or for the President to rediscover his moral compass,” she added.

“The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow,” Franco vowed.

The more radical approach to protesting the record number of deportations that that have occurred under the Obama administration, and the stalled efforts in Congress to work on an immigration reform bill, differs from the more traditional nature of immigration demonstrations.

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Many feel that being measured, Young said, has yielded no results.

“That’s what the ‘good immigrants’ have been doing for years, and what has it won them,” he said. “The Obama administration has deported almost 2 million people.”

Younger immigrants, known as DREAMers, began walking away from the more mainstream advocacy movement about three years ago, after seeing the defeat of the DREAM Act in Congress.

“They were raised by the [mainstream advocacy] groups, which helped [DREAMers] with their message,” Young said. “But then they started seeing them as compromised, and leaving them made them feel unleashed.”

Some of the more provocative DREAMer groups started using terms such as “non-profit industrial complex” to refer to the more Old Guard organizations that were involved with immigration reform efforts.

The more recent actions have focused on fighting deportations – mano a mano, and, often, at the local level, experts say.

They’ve also branched out beyond DREAMers.

Last Friday, the actions outside a federal courthouse in Tucson prompted a judge to cancel deportation proceedings.

Some 15 people were arrested after immigration rights activists blocked two buses bringing suspected illegal immigrants to a federal courthouse in Tucson. A few days later, on Tuesday, officers in Tucson pepper-sprayed members of a crowd trying to prevent U.S. Border Patrol agents from detaining two people who originally police encountered during a traffic stop.

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Demonstrators also have held hunger strikes and demonstrations outside offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, taking the battle right to the source.

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