Let's face it. House Republicans are not going to bring immigration reform to a vote. The President asserts that he cannot issue an executive order to halt deportations, and he is unwilling to to order ICE to radically reduce (or even reduce in the slightest) the number of deportations. In fact, total deportations have increased while he has been in office.
The prospect of Democrats retaking the House is dismal (Quinnipiac, December 9th, Generic House ballot R 41%, D 38%) That leaves one avenue for those seeking justice, and it - multiplied by thousands all over the country - seems more and more likely to be the only way things are going to change.
Bi-coastal demonstrations erupted Monday morning as over one hundred demonstrators in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles shut down the regional offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with a message for the "deporter-in-chief," President Barack Obama: Not one more deportation.
"The House might have closed for the year but ICE will be deporting families on Christmas unless we stop it," explained protester Rosa Lozano of DC. "Blaming Republicans can't stop the suffering in immigrant communities."LGBT activists felt they had to chain themselves to the White House fence multiple times, interrupt the President at fundraisers and persist in other acts of civil disobedience before their voices would be taken seriously.
"For the president to say that he can't do anything is the biggest lie he can tell the community," said Blanca Hernandez, who was one of the nine protesters who chained herself outside the ICE office in Fairfax. "During his electoral campaign he said he was ready to take action. I do this to remind him that he needs to keep that promise, and for all the families that continue to be separated, hoping that it stops."
The protest is the latest in a growing tide of direct actions in cities across the country by immigrants and immigration rights groups.
On November 10, demonstrators in Elizabeth, New Jersey braved falling snow for hours while they laid in a human chain blocking road access to an immigration detention center.
The same thing seems to be playing out with immigration reform.
Here is to all those brave individuals who are blocking trucks, forming human chains, hunger striking and invading Congressional offices in search of justice for their fellow human beings. May their actions inspire others to multiply their hundreds into thousands and tens of thousands.
Too many different law enforcement agencies here to count: ICE, LAPD, Sheriffs, Federal protective Service, Marshals. All on hand. #not1more— Chris Newman (@newman_chris) December 16, 2013