Others, of course, are all too eager to call for deportation of undocumented people.
The result has been a political standoff that has left the U.S. unable to come up with a comprehensive immigration reform law. The Obama administration partially resolved this impasse in June with the announcement of a new policy. Under the new policy, immigrants who are 30 or under will not be deported, as long as they meet certain criteria. They may also be eligible to seek work authorization.
The policy change has stirred the hopes of many young immigrants, both in Minnesota and across the country.
Calls for deportation of undocumented immigrants have not subsided, however, despite the change of policy. In Minnesota, those calls sometimes come from rural Minnesota communities.
For example, in Albert Lea recently, a business owner placed a sign on a building advocating the deportation of undocumented immigrants. The sign said, “check dictionary, illegal is criminal.”
The sign, it should be noted, is factually inaccurate. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that it is not a state crime to be present in the U.S. without authorization.
Last week, a group of about 100 people marched in Albert Lea to protest the sign. The march was organized by Centro Campesino, an immigrant rights organization based in Owatonna. A handful of supporters of the sign also gathered.
A community organizer for Centro Campesino, Jeffrey Jurewicz, acknowledged that the First Amendment gives Americans the right to express their views. His hope is that a healthy exchange of views will lead to a more welcoming culture for immigrants in the U.S.
Source: “Albert Lea residents protest sign against illegal immigrants,” MPR News, Elizabeth Baier, 8-6-12
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