Conditions Serious at Obama For President Office, CADWALK2012
Two students from the Campaign for an American Dream shut down the Obama For President (OFP) Office in Denver, Colorado for nearly a week last week. Veronica Gomez and Javier Hernandez entered the OFP office last Tuesday and have refused to leave. They are also on a hunger strike nearing 7 days. The students demand President Obama issue an executive order halting the deportation of undocumented youths pending the passage of the Dream Act.
A prior order, called the Morton Memorandum, was issued by the President. However, rank and file ICE agents criticized the order as going against ICE's self stated goal of 450,000 deportations a year. Some agents also openly criticized the President. No disciplinary action was ever taken against the disrespectful ICE agents. True to form, ICE continues to deport persons who clearly qualify for relief under the Morton Memorandum.
The Obama Administration's response to the sit-in has been mixed. On the one hand, the Administration sent a doctor at the Administration's expense to insure the students were in good health. Water is provided and it is clear staff genuinely cares for the well being of the protesters. Further, the Administration refuses to arrest the students. On the other hand, the Administration won't engage the students, and has closed and locked the office, hence denying free access to the walkers and the press. Press interviews are accomplished via a telephone and by placing the camera lens close to the window to avoid glare.
What is the message behind the Administration's Actions? Michael Amodeo, Denver OFP office manager poses the question, "What would Mit Romney do if he were elected President? Romney says he will veto the Dream Act. Amadeo also pointed out the wall of resistance encountered by Democrats when trying to pass the Dream Act.
"A choice of evils is not good enough!" said Nico Gonzalez, another CADWALKER, as he addressed a growing crowd outside the OFP doors. "The President could halt deportations until the Dream Act is passed. At that point, the President would be assured of the Latino vote."
Gonzalez may have a point. Democrats can't get the Dream Act passed now. If the Dems hold the White House, they will surely loose seats in congress, and be even less able to pass meaningful immigration reform legislation after the election.
Hence, the standoff continues. The President seems uninterested in seeking alternatives for those at risk of immediate arrest. The two youths continue their hunger strike and occupation of the Denver Obama For President Office.