Humpday Hall of Shame: Obama in town for civil rights speech, could end deportations

On Thursday, April 10, President Barack Obama will attend a meeting commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act in Austin, Texas, along with three former U.S. Presidents — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the event's organizers said on Monday.  The Civil Rights Summit, slated from Tuesday to Thursday, is organized by the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. 

President Obama is scheduled to give a keynote speech on Thursday, and while he is speaking about civil rights, let us not forget the President's executive power to end deportations and his aggressive roll-out of the Secure Communities Program.

Secure Communities, known coloquially as S-Comm, was implemented in 2009 to scan all arrested persons' fingerprints and allegedly remove immigrants with serious criminal offenses. Unfortunately, the program drives the deportation of immigrants arrested for driving without a license, having broken tail lights, and other minor offenses. 

Controversy over President Barack Obama’s immigration enforcement programs has been making an impact in Travis County. Locally, Sheriff Greg Hamilton has faced protests over his partnership with Secure Communities. Among the 2,000,000 people deported by Obama are 4,280 people who were deported from Travis County, averaging to 19 people a week. Local immigrant rights groups have been pressurng Hamilton to end Travis County's relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to keep Travis County families together. Sheriff Hamilton, while running for reelection in 2012, stated that he would end Travis County's compliance with Secure Communities if he could, claimed that he would continue to honor ICE detainers regardless of what the County Commission and Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided. 

In response to protests around the country, Obama last month ordered the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a humanitarian review of his administration’s immigration enforcement, including use of the “Secure Communities” program. 

It's clear what the humane thing is to do: for President Obama to use his executive power to end Secure Communities and stop the deportations.