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Resisting deportation

San Francisco activists block buses

On 18 October, immigrant activists in San Francisco blocked a bus carrying foreign nationals in the custody of immigration officials, shouting: ‘Undocumented, unafraid!’, part of a growing US campaign of nonviolent resistance to the deportation of ‘undocumented’ Latinos.

During October, activists chained themselves to the tyres of buses carrying immigrants to court, blocked traffic on Capitol Hill, surrounded Tucson police when they targeted two immigrants during a traffic stop, and blocked the entrance of a federal detention centre.

Protesters have also held hunger strikes and demonstrations outside immigration and customs enforcement offices.

Marisa Franco, campaign organiser for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which has coordinated some of the actions, commented: ‘Immigrant communities who are losing 1,100 loved ones every day to deportation cannot wait for congress to end its political games or for the president to rediscover his moral compass.’

In 2010, the house of representatives approved the DREAM Act, which would have given undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors a path to legal status. However, the senate then vetoed the bill. Other efforts at reform since have failed.

Meanwhile, a record number of deportations have occurred under US president Barack Obama.

Topics: Immigration