Release: Leading National Group Denounces Record Deportations

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 22, 2011Contact: Donna De La Cruz,, (202) 339-9331

Leading National Group Denounces Record Deportations Decries impact on families as a ‘Moral Catastrophe’

WASHINGTON—A report published today revealed the Obama administration has a record of deporting nearly 400,000 immigrants last year, many for minor traffic infractions.

“The record level of deportations is a moral catastrophe for our nation,” said Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change. “The current deportation practice is separating families, driving breadwinners out of jobs, and sending a statement to immigrant communities that America is not a land of opportunity and fairness.”

“That so many of these deportations are for minor traffic offenses only adds to the tragedy of today’s report,” Bhargava continued.

The Center for Community Change and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement urge President Obama to stop this vicious deportation strategy and uphold his repeated promises to the immigrant community.

“We have waited too long for the Obama administration to make good on its promises to really put forward an immigration reform strategy that would benefit the hardworking immigrants who contribute so much to their adopted country,” said FIRM spokeswoman Marissa Graciosa. “It’s time for President Obama to show the immigrant community, who overwhelmingly supported him in 2008, that he is truly serious about this extremely important issue.”

President Obama must work to enact immigration reform that will keep families together by: *ending the deportation of military veterans; *ending the deportation of young people eligible to attend U.S. colleges and universities under the DREAM Act; *ending the deportation of immigrants who have jobs and deep roots in the U.S. and who contribute to their communities, and; *protecting all immigrants vulnerable to deportation because of bureaucratic red tape.

President Obama also must discontinue Immigration and Customs Enforcement programs that undermine the public safety of all communities, including addressing the role of local police in enforcing federal programs. And immigrant workers must be given the same rights as other workers in organizing and preventing unscrupulous employers from exploiting these workers.

Details of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement’s Change Takes Courage campaign can be found here.

### The Center for Community Change, founded in 1968, is a national nonprofit that strengthens the leadership, voice and power of low-income communities and communities of color nationwide to confront the vital issues of today and build the social movements of tomorrow.