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Advocates for undocumented immigrants rate White House poor on fulfilling 2008 campaign promises

LatinaLista — As days go for being President of the United States, this one had to have been rated one of the worst for President Obama — no pun intended.

In the morning, he was greeted with the news that Standard & Poor (S&P) had cut its outlook on U.S. government debt from “stable” to “negative”.


It seems the S&P has little faith in our nation’s leaders. It’s a sentiment that is quickly spreading among other corners.

Just as President Obama is getting his 2012 campaign underway, one important ally has announced that support for Obama this time around will be harder to give unless Obama shows some leadership on an issue that was a cornerstone of achieving widespread Latino support in 2008.

Illinois’ U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez announced on Saturday he’s not sure he could back President Barack Obama in 2012 if the president doesn’t step up efforts to change deportation policy and education opportunities for undocumented students.

So far, the President has resisted calls to use his authority to influence current immigration enforcement procedures. Yet, things are not getting any better in some Latino immigrant communities.

Over the weekend, the federal head of immigration enforcement John Morton, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), made a rare venture outside the Beltway to Dearborn, Michigan where Latino communities are outraged over the behavior of ICE agents.

Federal agents raided two elementary schools in Detroit in the past two weeks.

On March 31, federal agents followed parents as they dropped off their kids at Hope Elementary, community residents and advocates said. After complaints were raised, ICE issued a statement saying it would examine the allegations and conceded that its agents may have acted improperly.

On April 7, a similar ICE action took place at Neinas Elementary


Schools have traditionally been considered safe zones from intrusions by federal immigration agents. It makes little sense to terrorize children for the sins of their parents. Yet, in Detroit, it seems these agents wanted to reach an easy quota.

Detroit isn’t the only city.

Across the country, reports have been filtering in through immigration advocacy groups of an abuse of power by some federal immigration agents.

So much for the pledge from the White House and Department of Homeland Security for only seeking out those undocumented immigrants who have a real criminal history.

Hard to imagine what kind of criminal history an 8-year-old has.

These actions, under the watch of President Obama, not only insult the Latino communities who campaigned for his presidency based on the promise of reforming the immigration system but they add insult to injury when it’s known that someone has to be giving the order for these raids to happen.

No one knows exact numbers, but there were thousands, if not millions, of undocumented immigrants who helped campaign for Obama — from marching in the streets handing out flyers, talking to their neighbors who were legal residents and convincing them to cast their vote — some for the first time — for Obama, organizing rallies holding signs and continuously pushing the message that a vote for Obama was a vote for change.

It’s clearly a message that can’t be repeated — namely because Latinos have to believe it first.

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