On June 27, four activists were arrested for blocking the roads to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Downtown. More than 100 people calling for a moratorium on the deportation of all undocumented immigrants looked on as the activists were taken into custody.
The protest was in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's deadlock over President Barack Obama's executive actions that would grant relief from deportation and permission to work to immigrants who meet certain requirements. Millions of immigrants and family members across the country had looked forward to a day when they didn't have to fear being picked up by local police or ICE and torn from their families. The court's stalemate was a devastating blow to their dreams.
The dismay over the Court's decision was not the only thing driving the protest and calls for a moratorium. Metro Atlanta has also been the site of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that have rounded up women and children from Central America. These actions, often times aided by local law enforcement, are part of what activist Carlos Medina called a "sinister deportation machine" that creates a hostile environment for immigrants and drives many further underground. We should be creating welcoming communities for those who have often fled horrific conditions, including deep poverty and war.
To read the rest of this piece, visit Creative Loafing where the piece originally appeared.