In August 2011, the Obama administration announced it would prioritize deporting people convicted of crimes.
That meant shifting resources away from low-priority cases—such as undocumented children who came to the U.S. at a young age, or DREAM Act kids, and others.
One idea behind the new policy was to protect DREAM Act-eligible kids from deportation in case Congress were to soon approve the federal bill that would provide a path to citizenship to some undocumented immigrants.
But last Friday, 25-year-old Shamir Ali, a DREAM Act-eligible undocumented Florida resident, was denied deportation relief by the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Office Director, Marc Moore (see the letter from Moore below).
The Palm Beach State College student was born in Bangladesh and came to Florida with his mother at age seven. Last Wednesday, he was picked up in an workplace raid at his job at a luxury car dealership in Miami. Ali is now scheduled for deportation.
The White House announcement was meant to formalize a policy of tolerance for undocumented immigrants with no criminal record that was already applied by some local Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices.
Immigrant advocacy groups, like the Florida Immigrant Coalition say Ali’s deportation order is a “clear contradiction to the [Obama] administration’s alleged intentions.”
Shamir Ali supporters are scheduled to protest what they say is President Obama’s broken promise to stop deportation of DREAM-Act eligible youth tomorrow. The protests are expected to take place in 8 cities, Boston, MA; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; Yadkinville, NC; Austin, TX, Providence, RI and Washington DC.
Felipe Matos of Presente.org is one of the organizers. He said, “I am undocumented. I know I could be next to be jailed and deported. I will not wait to become the next possible Shamir.”
Back in August, we profiled one student who was denied relief from deportation until a powerful Florida advocate intervened.