By David Bacon, Truthout
March 27, 2014
With Congress gridlocked and unable to pass even the deeply flawed comprehensive immigration reform, activists around the country are successfully challenging the injustices inherent in US immigration policy and enforcement.
Two weeks ago, hundreds of people inside the Tacoma (Washington) Detention Center launched a hunger strike against its private operator, GEO Group, demanding better conditions and a moratorium on deportations. Activists, who have held vigils outside the center for years, now gather every day to support those inside. A week later the strike spread to a GEO facility in Texas. According to Maru Mora Villapando of Latino Advocacy in Tacoma, in both locations the company has isolated the strikers and in Tacoma threatened to force-feed them.
This is only the most dramatic action of a wave of activity around the country, in which community and labor activists, and now deportees themselves, have refused to endure increased immigration enforcement quietly. They are mostly young, deriving much of their inspiration from the Dreamers who forced the administration two years ago to begin providing legal status to some of those who otherwise would be deported. These activists refuse to wait for Congress to enact its immigration reform proposals. In fact, many reject those proposals as fatally compromised. Instead, they're organizing actions on the ground to win rights and equality. [...]
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