A recent report from the U.S. Justice Department indicated the number of deportation cases has steadily declined since 2009. Some experts believe that this is because undocumented workers are receiving legal advice from immigration reform advocates and actually hiring lawyers to help get their cases thrown out. Despite these optimistic numbers, undocumented immigrants are still working toward better immigration laws and are putting the pressure on both state and federal legislators.
Grassroots movement for immigration reform
Even though it may seem like reform for immigration laws has stalled, many advocates have not lost hope. Instead, they have shifted their strategy to one that is more local and focused on grassroots activism. Activists in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and 40 more U.S. cities rallied at detention centers and city hall offices to express their frustration and disappointment in the U.S. government’s inability to establish real progress in immigration reform. Chicago residents stood outside the Broadview Detention Center holding signs that said the center should be shut down. Immigration advocates stood outside government offices in LA to make a statement against the unjust Immigration and Customs Enforcement policies. They also took to social media outlets to call on President Barack Obama to take a human rights stand on immigration reform.
Focusing on President Barack Obama’s response to immigration reform
The president’s administration has been the target of many immigration reform advocates who say it has deported thousands of hard-working undocumented immigrants for non-serious crimes. However, the Justice Department recently released a report that showed the number of court cases involving undocumented immigrants has dropped significantly in the past five years. Homeland security officials say that the decrease is partly due to the office’s efforts to focus only on removing convicted criminals and foreigners who pose a threat to national security. If this is the case, immigration reform advocates can focus on helping non-violent and non-criminal undocumented immigrants fight unfair treatment and injustice.