I'm almost in denial about having to ask people to do this: sign this petition at change.org to help stop the deportation of Prerna Lal. It's difficult to think of a more stupid move for the Obama administration to make than to initiate removal proceedings against Prerna. Prerna is arguably the most visible undocumented person, or Dreamer (after the DREAM Act), in the U.S.
As her website will tell you, she helped found dreamactivist.org, one of the most powerful online hubs for migrant youth, she's a blogger at change.org, and she's a board member of Immigration Equality. She also earned her Master's degree in International Relations and is currently studying to get her law degree at George Washington University.
The Obama administration is telling us that they're focusing their resources on the worst of the worst while folks on the ground know that they're going after people like Prerna all the time. If you don't want to read on, please sign this petition to stop Prerna's deportation.
The political consequences of this for the Obama administration going into the 2012 elections are enormous. While the mainstream media is ignoring it, pro-migrant voters certainly aren't going to vote for anyone who is deporting away more of our family members, neighbors, peers, and friends than any other President, Democrat or Republican, in history.
While pro-migrant voters shouldn't be equated with Latino voters, Latinos are easily the largest, most visible, and most organized segment of the pro-migrant electorate. According to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center a record 14.7 million Latinos stayed home during the midterm elections in 2010. It gets worse. Obama's approval ratings among Latinos has decreased from 73 to 54 percent. Obama is not going to be able to win Florida and the Southwest with numbers like that.
The Obama administration's strategy up to this point has been to try and talk about this out of both sides of it's mouth. The Obama administration tries to brag about it's skyrocketing enforcement numbers to independents while blaming Republicans for the mess. Pro-migrant voters aren't stupid. Even 7-year-old Daisy Cuevas understands that it is Obama who is responsible for forcing her to live in terror.
Meanwhile we're left to try and stop the deportation of our friends, like Prerna Lal, one-by-one. The Obama administration deported almost 400,000 people in 2010 and only granted deferred action to 542 people. Obama deports more people in a day than we're able to save in a year.
Instead of expending our energy trying to help elect Obama we're expending that energy trying to stop deportations. As the 22 Democrat Senators who signed a letter (pdf) asking Obama to halt the deportation of all Dreamers point out, not only is this inhumane, but it's a waste of the Department of Homeland Security's resources. People like Prerna are going through the entire system only to have their deportations halted at the last minute.
Sign the petition to stop the deportation of Prerna Lal, and shout from the rooftops that it's time for Obama to stop this madness.
[Kyle de Beausset (@kyledeb) is a pro-migrant blogger at Citizen Orange]