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Immigration News 2014: Hispanic Community Unites On Saturday For Nationwide Anti-Deportation Rally

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First Posted: Apr 05, 2014 09:57 AM EDT
Immigration Reform rally
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 20: Protesters from the New York Immigration Coalition stage a demonstration for immigration reform on February 20, 2014 in New York City. Protesters gathered near the Staten Island Ferry terminal in downtown Manhattan and called on President Barack Obama to halt deportations of undocumented immigrants and for U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), to push comprehensive immigration reform legislation. (Photo : Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

During the last several months, numerous civil rights and immigration reform advocates have protested at detention centers around the nation calling for President Barack Obama to end deportations and the inhumane treatment of detainees.

Since then, the movement has grown and on Saturday demonstrations and protests will be held in more than 40 U.S. cities as part of the #Not1MoreDeportation rally, a national day of action against deporting individuals that have been separated from their families.

According to Al Jazeera America, a few of the rallies will take place in front of the White House, the Broadview Detention Center in Chicago and a march to City Hall in Los Angeles.

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In recent months the detention center protests have had advocates trying to block the gates in and out of the facility as an effort to stop the buses from hauling off deportees.

They have insisted that the facilities provide better conditions for detainees and demanded that the president sign an executive order halting all deportations as well pick up talks on immigration reform because Congress has failed to act on that front.

Arturo Carmona, executive director of Presente.org, a Latino Advocacy organization, told Al Jazeera that immigration reform has hit a dead end in the nation.

"We see a significant change in the immigration debate," Carmona said. "Efforts at comprehensive immigration reform have been declining in momentum and are officially dead."

According to a recent Gallup poll Al Jazeera reported, Hispanic support for the president has decreased as his approval rating has dropped 23 points in the last year, which is the largest decline among major subgroups.

Obama said in 2011 at an even in El Paso, Texas that he was only focused on deporting individuals who are have been convicted of crimes and are violent offenders, "not families not folks who are just looking to scrape together an income."

One Congressman, however, has been supportive of the grass-roots movement in the face of Obama's recent deportation policy. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ and author of the Senate-approved immigration reform bill, said he supports halting deportations of individuals who are relatives of U.S. citizens and asked Obama to do so.

According to a report by the Immigration Policy Center, the majority immigrants caught by Immigration and Customs Enforcement don't have criminal records and are not violent criminals.

Some Republicans also addressed the urgency of passing immigration reform policy as they face reelections and try to gain the support of the Hispanic community.

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky, told the Washington Post that until reform is passed, Hispanics would only care about that one detail.

"The bottom line is," he said, "the Hispanic community, the Latino community, is not going to care (about other issues) until we get beyond this issue."

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