Over 100 people, primarily working class Hispanics, came together on Tuesday in a rally in downtown Cleveland to protest about the lack of government action on the issue of immigration reform and the continuing deportations that the protesters say are ripping apart many of their families.
The rally appeared to generate little interest or support, however, with no business leaders, elected officials or even local establishment types showing up to join the hotel housekeepers, dishwashers and nursery workers taking part in the rally. “We’re not going to put up with this anymore!” yelled immigrant rights activist Veronica Dahlberg, who organized the rally but admits that the movement is starting to become increasingly desperate. “I’m running out of solutions,” she says.
The rally took place against the backdrop of the long haul toward a modernization of the immigration system in the United States, which many say is decades out of date. President Obama decided earlier this month to delay taking executive action on the issue until after the midterm elections in November, which dismayed many Hispanic leaders and immigrant advocates after the president had previously vowed to move on immigration reform before the end of summer.
The surge of unaccompanied immigrant minors from Central America crossing the border changed the political situation, however, further intensifying an already heated debate and concentrating public attention on border control. The deportations continue in the meantime, with the Washington Post putting the figure as high as 1,000 per day.