After the government was re-opened this week and default was avoided, the President and the Democrats attempted to shift political debate toward immigration reform. On Thursday, President Obama said that “we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.”
Then on Saturday morning, President Obama in his weekly address said, “If the House has ideas on how to improve the Senate bill, let’s hear them.” This statement was in reference to the immigration bill that passed in the Senate back in June. The President said that there is a coalition across the country that spans law enforcement, faith leaders and business to advocate for immigration reform. Obama suggested that this bill could be passed before the end of the year.
Earlier in the week, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said that the budget battle harmed the prospect of getting immigration reform done. Labrador blamed President Obama saying, “If the president is going to show the same kind of good faith effort that he’s shown in the last couple of weeks, I think it would be crazy for the House Republican leadership to enter into negotiations with him on immigration.”
And while the partisan bickering on immigration continues in D.C., the Department of Homeland Security is nearing the 2 millionth deportation in the Obama administration. That grim milestone has prompted activists across the country to start stopping deportations in protest.
On Friday, a group of activists in San Francisco blocked a bus believed to be filled with immigrants who were going to be deported for a few hours. This comes just days after another group of activists halted “Operation Streamline” proceedings in Arizona. Operation Streamline is a program aimed to deter border crossers by criminalizing unauthorized entry. Protests that block the deportation process are meant to pressure President Obama to halt the deportations of people who would be eligible for legalization in an immigration reform bill.
The local CBS station in San Francisco captured this footage of the protest:
Art credit: Melanie Cervantes, Not1More Deportation