Immigration activists were placed under arrest on Tuesday while protesting in front of the White House over the deportation of undocumented immigrants from Central America to nations that have high rates of violent crimes. Over 50 immigration activists gathered outside the White House holding a large poster emblazoned with the words “President Obama, you have blood on your hands” in reference to undocumented immigrants who were killed after being returned to homelands such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
An academic study that analyzed news reports claimed that 83 undocumented immigrants that were deported from the United States were killed upon being sent home to those countries in 2014. The protestors demanded that the Obama administration stop the immigration raids that began last month. The protestors paraded crosses meant to symbolize those killed.
“Look around you, and you will see 83 crosses. These crosses stand for 83 immigrant deaths that took place in 2014. All 83 immigrants came here to escape the terrible violence taking place in their home countries,” says Fair Immigration Reform Movement Spokeswoman Kika Matos. Of the activists, 14 were arrested by police after ignoring warnings not to sit by the fence that separates the White House gardens from the street, which is an area that people are allowed to walk by but not linger.
The Obama administration has defended the deportations of undocumented immigrants recently arrived from Central America, saying that many do not deserve refugee status and have exhausted their legal avenues to remain in the United States.