Unfortunately, the threat of deportation and removal proceedings for immigrants accused of committing a crime in California is not limited to crime shows; it is a fact of life for many immigrants facing charges. The Latino community is consequently disenchanted with the perceived failure of the Obama administration to live up to its campaign promises concerning immigration and deportation.
Barack Obama won election in part due to garnering the support of two-thirds of the Latino vote, but that support appears to be slipping. Immigration reform was a significant element of Obama’s platform, though some Latino leaders are suggesting that he simply hasn’t followed up on his campaign promises. Rather, Latino community members use terms such as “betrayal” and “disappointment” in describing their feelings toward the administration.
A program known as Secure Communities is a federal initiative to ascertain the immigration status of those arrested. This program has led to almost 200,000 immigrants being deported this past year, roughly half of all deportations. But Latinos argue many of those deported as a result of criminal charges were deported following minor offenses or traffic violations.
Deportations under the Obama administration have reached staggering numbers, and they are significantly higher than under the Bush administration. Obama met with Latino journalists for a roundtable discussion on the topic in early October, and suggested his administration was “being selective” in deportation and removal proceedings. A University of New Mexico political science professor disagrees, saying that approximately 25 percent of Latino voters personally know someone who has been deported during Obama’s presidency, a statistic that is anticipated to affect the Latino vote in the coming presidential election.
In many cases, deportation can be avoided. While immigration reform will not occur overnight, an experienced immigration lawyer may provide assistance to those facing charges or deportation and removal proceedings.
Source: Southern California Public Radio, “Some Latinos see Obama ‘betrayal’ on immigration,” Brian Naylor, Oct. 9, 2011