Small communities across the United States are devising ways in which they can show support for neighbors who are undocumented immigrants while the wait continues for immigration reform to be addressed on Capitol Hill. Such immigrants are coping with one of their toughest periods in history, with the Obama administration having deported around two million people, the highest under any President in recent memory according to the New York Times.
The news has not deterred friends and family members from getting together to talk about and begin advocating organized action and demanding new immigration policies. In Lorain, Ohio, the undocumented immigrant population of the city seems minor in comparison to the number in much larger metropolitan areas such as New York City or Los Angeles, but that has not prevented Celestino Rivero, the city’s chief of police, from stopping his neighbors getting deported due to minor infractions.
Following a number of group counseling sessions in which he heard tales of undocumented immigrants constantly being pulled over for minor traffic offences, Rivero wrote an order that forbade his officers from contacting Border Patrol and the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency, allowing hundreds of immigrants in Lorain to no longer be afraid of being deported due to minor misdemeanors.
In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, citizens expressed their concern for their undocumented neighbors by focusing on the positive impact made by immigrants, in a forum earlier this month. Many communities in the United States are going out of their way to show their support for the undocumented immigrants they live and work alongside.