Immigration activists say deportation raids could send families to their deaths

Immigrants and activists marched to the White House on Wednesday to demand that President Barack Obama call off reported plans for deportation raids on Central American families — and for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to speak out more strongly against them.

“If you deport the refugee community, they are going to be killed,” Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, said at a press conference outside the White House. CASA is the immigration advocacy group that organized the protest.

The Washington Post reported last week that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was planning raids on families that entered the country illegally during a surge in border crossings last year, most of them from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. According to the report, which ICE officials would not confirm, the raids would target hundreds of parents and children who were ordered for deportation by a judge.

The protesters began at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and then walked to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. Next, they went to the White House, where they walked in a large circle for about 20 minutes, drawing the attention of tourists. “Obama, don’t deport my mama,” they chanted.