Texas: 2,000 rally against deportation

On Sept. 26, some 2,000 people rallied at City Hall in Irving, Texas, a suburb west of Dallas, to demand that Irving officials stop handing over people held at the city’s jail to immigration authorities. Demonstrators waved US flags and chanted “We are America.” Irving police have turned over at least 1,600 people to ICE since June 2006 under the”Criminal Alien Program,” which targets immigrants accused of crimes. Opponents of the program say the Irving police engage in racial profiling; that people stopped for minor traffic infractions are being handed over to ICE; and that the policy has made local residents fear contacting police. The week of Sept. 17, Mexican Consul Enrique Hubbard Urrea warned immigrants from his country to avoid Irving. Community leader Carlos Quintanilla said he would organize a boycott of Irving businesses if the city persisted in the policy.

A few counter-demonstrators carried signs in support of the deportation program. Two counter-demonstrators were arrested for attacking protesters at the rally; police said Jerry Don Grayson put his hands around a demonstrator’s neck and Teresa Williams scratched at other protesters. They each face a misdemeanor assault charge and were out on bond on Sept. 27. (Dallas Morning News, Sept. 27; AP, Sept. 27)

From Immigration News Briefs, Sept. 30

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