Cups Spell Out Message “Not one More Deportation”

It was a symbolic gesture when members of the Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance gathered somberly gathered this past Saturday to spell out #”Not One More” at the walkway bridge over Southwest Trafficway near 29th St.

The act was part of a coordinated national day of action calling for immigration reform. The call comes on the heel of reports that President Barack Obama’s administration will soon reach the two million mark when it comes to the number of deportations of undocumented individuals.

Jackie Saavedra with the KS/MO Dream Alliance, an organization organizing and advocating for immigration reform, talked with Kansas City Hispanic News about the importance of the demonstration.

“In Kansas City we are standing in solidarity with the rest of the city and other organizations nationwide that are doing this,” she explained of the sign that went up early in the morning. “We are hoping that this will lead people to go online and research this hash tag that is connected to all the actions nationwide.”

The Not One More deportation campaign seeks to pressure President Obama to take steps through executive orders to relieve deportations in light of Congress’s inability to go forward with immigration reform.

Saveedra has been disillusioned by the absence of movement on the issue.

“Congress is supposed to work together and we have been waiting now for many, many years now. Two million deportations later after President Obama made his promise to pass an immigration reform bill, we see that we are not getting anything accomplished and it is both parties that are definitely to blame.”

Saavedra pointed out that Obama has the power to provide relief and bear pressure on Congress to address immigration reform.

“ We simply cannot wait any longer and something needs to happen. President Obama has the power through executive action to bring pressure on both parties if they don’t act now, through administrative relief. We hope that would pressure them [Congress] to realize that they need to do something.”

Though Saavedra has hope that Obama will act accordingly, she is critical of the President. “Just recently … he was called the Deporter in Chief” because of the number of deportations. He has said that he is our friend, and that he is in it with us and that yes we can pass immigration reform, but his record does not portray a friend of the undocumented immigrant movement.”

Saavedra remains hopeful that the stigma of “Deporter in Chief” will sting enough to force Obama to take action. “We do believe he can act now and redeem himself.”

Some Latino leaders, like Representative Ted Cruz of Texas, who are calling for undocumented immigrants to get in line, anger Saavedra.

“We wish there was a line for us to get behind and for many people there is no line to get behind. There is no path to legalization. The easiest pathway is to marry someone and … apply for a visa that way.”