Civil rights advocates are pushing the Obama Administration to stop deporting labor organizers. Several facing deportation hearings attended a rally outside New Orleans City Hall.
Jacinta Gonzalez is lead organizer for the Congress for Day Laborers. She translated for several Spanish-speaking members of the so-called “Southern 32.” Gonzalez says the Department of Homeland Security is using the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency – known as ICE -- to target workers demanding their civil rights.
“Last summer they announced that they were going to be using prosecutorial discretion to close these cases. And they specifically said that they were going to be closing cases that had civil rights components. And so we think that these 32 cases are precise examples of that. But instead of closing their cases, we’re seeing that ICE is doing the opposite.”
Gonzalez says federal immigration officials are set to finish reviews by Friday on 3,000 cases pending in the New Orleans regional office.