Tampa protests against deportations, demands solution now
Tampa, FL – Dozens of immigrant rights supporters gathered here to protest against President Obama's continued delays on stopping deportations. His administration has deported a record number of more than two million people; Obama has also backtracked for the second time after issuing Deferred Action for All Childhood Arrivals saying that he won’t take action on immigration until after the election. While Obama has accused the Republicans of playing politics with the immigration issue, this latest action shows that he is also willing to sacrifice the hopes and dreams of tens of thousands of immigrants for political gain.
Cielo Gomez director of Casa Chiapas said, “My children should not live day to day, asking themselves, 'Will today be the day our mom will be torn away from us?' Like many families in my very own community of Tampa, President Obama's continued delays affect the lives of all of us.”
The protest was held at 1002 E. Palm Avenue – the same place where Hillary Clinton spoke as she visited Tampa. Clinton was Secretary of State in 2009 and helped back the Honduran coup against then-president Manuel Zalaya. This coup resulted in harsher living conditions for Hondurans and a massive migration of the refugee children coming to the U.S. to seek asylum.
“Instead of spending millions on wars overseas, President Obama should worry about unification of our families!” said Alicia Gazga of Raíces en Tampa who is a Honduran immigrant and whose mother self-deported in 2013. “Many of us go to sleep without saying, 'Goodnight' to our mothers! Our fathers! Sisters! Brother! Uncles! Cousins! Obama needs to stop lying and breaking his promises!”
Hundreds of thousands of undocumented who were brought here as children now are finding at least temporary relief with Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. They are now able to work, get a driver’s license, and come out of the shadows. Their parents and siblings who don’t qualify are under constant threat of deportation. This is why Raíces en Tampa which is part of the Legalization for All (L4A) Network calls on Obama to grant deferred action to all of the undocumented.
Present at the event were Casa Chiapas, Raíces en Tampa, Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. The rally ended with those present promising to continue with their protests if President Obama does not act after the elections like he has promised. Jared Hamil of Freedom Road Socialist Organization stated, “Obama has the power to stop deportations like he did with DACA and the DREAMers. So what can we do? We can continue fighting like the DREAMers to have DACA extended to all of the 12 million!”