by Jason Hopkins
Immigrant rights activists protested inside Joe Biden’s campaign headquarters in Philadelphia, demanding the former vice president apologize for the deportations that took place during the Obama administration.
“We are here with families who have had their families separated both under the Obama and Trump administrations, and we are demanding that Biden apologize for overseeing 3 million deportations under the Obama administration, and we are calling for Biden and 2020 Democratic candidates to commit to ending deportation and detention in their first day in office,” said a spokeswoman Wednesday during the Facebook live coverage of the protest.
🔴Immigrants are occupying the offices of Biden's campaign headquarters to confront his campaign with their stories of family separation, detention, and deportation that happened under the Obama-Biden administration and let him know that we haven’t forgotten the nearly 3 million people lost to deportation. 👉 DIGNITYPLAN2020.COMIt is time to hold the political parties to a new standard. Opposing Trump’s policies and returning to a status quo of silent deportations is not good enough. We must start a conversation about what dignity for immigrants really looks like. #DignityNotDeportationWe are demanding that he, along with all presidential candidates, commit to the following demands as part of an immigration platform that recognizes dignity for immigrant workers and families: ✅ An end to all detention and deportation on day 1 in office ✅ The reunification of families unjustly separated under both the Trump and Obama administrations ✅The immediate legalization of all 11 million undocumented immigrants. 👉We need to change the debate around immigration. See our vision here: DIGNITYPLAN2020.COM
Posted by Movimiento Cosecha on Wednesday, July 10, 2019
The group behind the rally, Movimiento Cosecha — which translates to “Harvest Movement” in English — has been behind other immigration-related protests, such as a push to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses. Members of the organization wanted to bring attention to the Obama administration’s record on immigration enforcement.
The protest highlighted a seemingly incongruous fact: Deportations were higher during the Obama administration than they are under the Trump White House.
Norma is currently shutting down @JoeBiden's campaign office to share her story. Her son, who came at the U.S. at age 10, would have qualified for the "Obama-Biden DACA program" in 2012…but he was deported by the administration in 2011. Her family needed #DignityNotDeportation. pic.twitter.com/IrvB61u3h9
— Movimiento Cosecha (@CosechaMovement) July 10, 2019
Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported more than 385,000 illegal aliens each fiscal year from 2009 to 2011 — and reached a record high of 409,849 in fiscal year 2012. The numbers drove critics to brand former President Barack Obama as the “deporter in chief.” Deportations are steadily rising under President Donald Trump’s watch, however, the number of people getting booted out of country has yet to reach the highs seen during his predecessor’s time.
Relatives of those who’ve been deported, and other immigrant activists, took their Wednesday protest inside Biden’s campaign headquarters, speaking Spanish via a microphone and chanting “Shame!” continuously.
“We are here to say that we have not forgotten the 3 million deportations that happened under the Obama administration. Biden oversaw 3 million deportations,” the spokeswoman reiterated during the protest.
The rally was not only meant to attack Biden, but also to highlight their demands for immigration reform. Movimiento Cosecha called Wednesday for Democratic presidential candidates to end all deportations beginning on “day one” of their administration, the return of aliens who have been “unjustly” deported during the Obama and Trump era, and the immediate legalization of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens currently living in the U.S.
Biden is campaigning in Iowa Wednesday and was not present for the protest at his campaign building.
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Jason Hopkins is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Joe Biden Protests” by Movimiento Cosecha.