By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Dozens of immigration advocates braved the cold and rain Tuesday to hold an UN-Thanksgiving Day dinner to demand that President Obama immediately stop deportations of undocumented immigrants.
“No mas deportations! No mas deporations!”
The New Sanctuary Movement, SEIU and the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition were among the eighteen groups holding signs in protest outside of City Hall, calling for comprehensive immigration reform and an end to mass deportations.
“As millions of families gather to celebrate this Thursday and in the coming month for the holidays, another section of the population will face a literal depression,” said Lilian Webhe of the Nationalities Services Center. “Some will be displaced by their employers, separated from their families, imprisoned and deported.”
The groups want Congress to pass humane reforms immediately, saying the 1,100 deporations that take place every day, rip families apart, for infractions as small as traffic offenses.
“What would you do if your family was deported?” said one speaker. “Where would you be?”
“Today, 1,100 people were deported and we cannot stand that anymore,” said Blanca Pacheco, a community organizer with the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. “Enough is enough!”
Organizers say many unnecessary deportations take place because of what they call a “toxic” collaboration between police and immigration officials that leads to people getting deported for minor offenses. They say this relationship must end.