#Not1More Deportation

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Phoenix Daca for All

PHOENIX — President Barack Obama came to Phoenix on Tuesday to speak about the housing market, but dozens of activists showed up with their own agendas. Among them were critics of the President’s deportation policy.

More than 40 immigrant rights activists gathered outside of the high school where the President spoke, some holding signs that called Obama “Deporter in Chief” — a reference to the record-breaking deportation numbers during his presidency.

They also called for the release of nine young immigrant activists who were recently detained after they crossed into the country without documentation.

“We are here to ask president Obama to stop the deportations,” said Carlos Garcia of the Phoenix advocacy group, Puente. “You can’t come to a place like Arizona, that has been the epicenter of this issue with Sheriff Arpaio and 1070, and not address immigration.”

The President did manage to mention immigration — though only briefly.

In the plan he unveiled to improve the housing market, one step was fixing the nation’s broken immigration system.

That line got big applause.

“It’s pretty simple, when more people buy homes and play by the rules, home values go up for everybody,” Obama said. “And according to one recent study the average homeowner has already seen the value of their home boosted by thousands of dollars just because of immigration.”

He went on to urge the audience to encourage House Republicans to “stop dragging their feet” on passing immigration reform.

I’m in a waiting room in a large courthouse in San Francisco. Immigration court. Sitting next to me is Magdalena Martinez. She’s here for her mom: Bertha Mejia, from El Salvador. Bertha’s undocumented.

In 2011, immigration officers came to Mejia’s home in Oakland. There was raid in the neighborhood. Martinez remembers that morning.

“I got a phone call from my sister, Vanessa, saying that immigration had come and picked my mom up. So I rushed to my mom’s home and, yeah, she wasn’t here,” says Martinez.

Here’s her sister, Vanessa Madrigal, was there when officers approached her mother’s home.

“They came and knocked on the door, so they asked for identification and as my mom gave them the identification she stepped out, and as soon as she stepped out, they grabbed here and arrested her and said, ‘Call immigration.’”

Mejia was one of several people arrested that day. That was nearly two years ago. Ever since, she’s fought to remain in the US, from a jail used for immigrant detainees that’s hours away.

Madrigal says they hope the judge will let Mejia fight deportation from outside a cell and rejoin the family.

“She’s the caretaker for Pablo, my sister’s son, and for my daughter, Jasmine,” says Madrigal. “So, they spent a lot of time with her.”

We see Mejia walk into the courtroom, ushered by a guard. She is 54 years old, petite, with curly hair. She wears an orange uniform and has shackles on her ankles and wrists.


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In meeting with family of Jose Maria Islas, a Connecticut man facing deportation after a case of mistaken identity, Sen. Murphy described the removal of people who could qualify for reform that could be passed soon as particularly insane.

Sign the Petition for Jose Maria Islas at http://bit.ly/IslasFree