Activists To Take Aim at Obama Headquarters

As part of a nationwide rally, immigrant advocates will protest a controversial fingerprint sharing program at Obama's 2012 headquarters

By Lisa Balde
|  Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011  |  Updated 7:35 AM CDT
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President Barack Obama gestures during a town hall event at Lower Hannah's Bend Park in Cannon Falls, Minn., Monday, Aug. 15. The President is on a three-day Midwestern bus tour.

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Activists upset with a controversial immigration enforcement program will protest Tuesday in 16 U.S. cities, including in Chicago at President Barack Obama's 2012 headquarters.

As part of what coordinators call a National Day of Action, hundreds of immigrant advocates are expected to rally and deliver "thousands of petitions" to Obama's headquarters at 1 Prudential Plaza. The group demands the federal program known as Secure Communities be stopped.

At issue is the program's process of sharing fingerprints of those arrested by state and local police with federal immigration officials. Secure Communities initially was created to help the Department of Homeland Security identify convicted felons, but protesters say the program has been used to deport those with minor offenses.

“There have been more deportations on President Obama's watch than at any time in American history," said Carlos Roa, of advocacy group Presente.org, in a statement. "He cannot expect Latino voters and an entire community [to] simply stand by and watch as he expands the extremely controversial SCOMM program that tears families apart."

Hundreds gathered Monday night in Los Angeles to address a task force proposing changes to Secure Communities. About 200 walked out of a public hearing and urged others to follow in protest.

Immigrant advocates will gather at 11:25 a.m. at 130 E. Randolph St.

Obama is on a three-day Midwestern bus tour that stops in western Illinois on Wednesday.

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