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August 2, 2012
The Meaning of the Threatened Deportation of the Tamale Lady for Election 2012
Ruben Navarette is publicizing the case of Juana Reyes, the "tamale lady," an undocumented immigrant woman facing deportation from the United States after a trespassing arrest involving the sale of tamales outside a Walmart in Sacramento. “I am fighting and selling tamales to get my family ahead,” Reyes, the mother of two, explained to Nick Miller of the Sacramento News & Review.
Reyes apparently came to the attention of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement through the controversial Secure Communities program, in which local police share information about persons arrested -- even for minor offenses like Reyes' -- with U.S. immigration authorities.
Always the provocateur, Navarette uses the threatened deportation of the tamale lady as a chance to indict the Obama administyration for its immigration enforcement policies:
"When it comes to immigration, Obama is a bully. He's trying to build support with conservatives and organized labor by deporting as many illegal immigrants as possible, nearly 1.5 million since taking office."
"Obama's Latino defenders buy the line that this is a kinder and gentler administration. They'll buy anything to keep from admitting that they made a mistake in 2008 and helped put in office the most anti-immigrant president in a half century."
These are harsh words indeed for the Obama administration. And some of the criticism is no doubt justified. ImmigrationProf has been critical of the Obama administration's "enforcement now, enforcement forever" immigration policies. However, there have been some positive policy developments in the administration, notably the efforts to refine and focus prosecutorial discretion in removal matters and to create a program of deferred action for undocumented immigrants brought to this country as minors.
This is an election year and important decisions will be made for the nation. In thinking about immigration, do ImmigrationProf readers really think that Mitt Romney will be better on immigration than President Obama? I, for one, do not think so.
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