After stops in Boston, Providence, and Chicago, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is taking his 20-city “Change Takes Courage” tour to Detroit, home to the recent ICE incidents involving agents stalking elementary schools and strip-searching mothers.
Gutierrez and various grassroots activists launched the “Change Takes Courage” tour late last month, asking President Obama to use executive powers to provide immigrants relief. From Gutierrez’s remarks at the kickoff press conference:
We have not come here to ask the president to sign an executive order somehow relieving these families from being deported; we have not come here to ask for Temporary Protected Status. We understand he has the responsibility and obligation to enforce the law. We’re asking him to use the discretion that he has to implement the law so that American citizen families can stay together…
Since then, Gutierrez and other advocates have been traveling around to different US cities, meeting in faith-based institutions and sharing stories about families split apart by current immigration policies. They hope to prompt the president into addressing the issue before the 2012 elections.
In Detroit tonight, Gutierrez is expected to address the recent incident at Hope of Detroit Academy, an elementary school where ICE agents grossly violated internal policies by following undocumented immigrant parents from their homes to the school, arresting some parents on the street while trapping others inside the academy. Community leaders met with ICE official John Morton to discuss the abuses last week; Morton has 30 days to review the cases before a second meeting.
Gutierrez drew attention over the weekend when he told supporters in Chicago—site of Obama’s reelection headquarters—that he was unsure whether he would be able to support the president’s reelection if Obama did not address current immigration policies.