Today, during a telephonic press conference FIRM and partner groups called on the Obama administration and Secretary Janet Napolitano to dismiss John Morton, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“The reality is that ICE has gone rogue and needs to be reined in with dramatic action,” said one of the speakers, Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change. “We call on President Obama to take control of the agency in order to ensure that public assurances from the top are reflected in the behaviors and practices of the enforcement agents on the ground.”
While the Obama administration and Secretary Napolitano have made clear their stance on targeting only undocumented immigrants with criminal records, recent memos from ICE and public statements made by Morton have directly contradicted those priorities.
“This department is under the control of our president, and we expect the president to hold it accountable,” said Maria Rodriguez, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “We are not going to be victims to politics. We are demanding they stop the criminalization of immigrant families.”
You can check out an audio recording of the event [audio = http://www.communitychange.org/file-repository/firmconference.mp3]