Washington, DC – April 28th, 2014 – Pressure on President Obama over deportations is increasing as 12 people were arrested outside the White House today in an act of civil disobedience for family unity — broad administrative relief for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and an end to the record deportations occurring under President Obama’s Administration. More than 1,100 people from the racial and economic justice group National People’s Action (NPA) and the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) came together for the event alongside White House Hunger Strikers from Georgia with one clear message: #not1more.
Speakers at the event the event included people whose families had been torn apart by deportations, as well as those currently facing deportation proceedings.
“I am the mother of six children, two of whom are U.S. citizens. My four older children and I have a deportation order and have been told we need to leave the country on June 25th. If that happens, I’ll be separated from my two younger children. We have already suffered through family separation when I had to leave my country for economic reasons,” said Ana Cañenguez, an NDWA member from Tremonton, Utah. “I am here to fight for my own family and for millions of others. I ask President Obama to do everything in his power to prevent this tragedy and millions more.”
Participants at the event struck 1,100 drumbeats to signify the 1,100 people who are deported every day. With so many families at risk, they underlined the urgent need for President Obama to take immediate action.
Rally goers held signs reading “Keep Families Together,” and chanted passionately as the others risked arrest in an act of civil disobedience.
Carolina Hernandez, an 18 year old NPA member with Sunflower Community Action in Kansas, testified to the culture of fear that is created by our broken immigration system. When she was only 12 years old, she witnessed the deportation of 11 family friends, which resulted in the separation of four families.
“From that day on,” Hernandez testified, “I knew that at any moment my family could be separated. I am risking arrest for my parents, for my family, for my neighbors and for my community because enough is enough!”
“There are 11 million families suffering, our nation is suffering,” said Andrea Christina Mercado, Campaign Director at National People’s Action. “The time for President Obama to stop tearing families apart is now.