US Immigration activists want reform now

Hundreds gather in Washington, DC to protest recent I.C.E. raids on illegal immigrants and US President Barack Obama's lack of work on comprehensive immigration reform.

About 200 protesters gathered outside the US Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC on Jan. 26 yelling things like, “Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha.” In English, “Obama, listen, we are in the fight.”

The fight they are launching is against the Obama administration. Protesters said they supported US President Barack Obama, worked tirelessly to get him elected, and now want him to deliver on his promise of bring change to their community.

“In 2008, President Obama promised us he was going to pass immigration reform in the first year of the administration,” said Gustavo Torres, Executuve Director of Casa de Maryland, an immigrant rights group. “Nothing happened.

”Some protesters wore yellow signs with names on them. Kim Propeack wore a sign that read “German Cruz.”

“He was picked up at a 7-11 raid in Baltimore,” Propeack said. “He’s been held for several years and he’s about to be deported. He’s volunteered countless hours and his deportation will most certainly mean that he’ll die."

About an hour into the event, several protesters sat in the middle of the street, claiming they were acting in solidarity with people whose family members had been deported.

“We’re acting in a rich history of civil disobedience that’s challenged unjust laws throughout history as and gained all the rights that we as citizens and as folks here without documentation deserve to have,” one protester said.

Some thought they may be arrested, but police were prepared and instead re-routed traffic around the street.

Despite Obama’s challenges overseeing two wars, healthcare legislation and an economy on life support, protesters said comprehensive immigration reform should take center stage and asserted that passing it would improve the economy.

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