Jaime Valdéz spent 17 years in Phoenix before he was deported to Mexico in February, in what he says is retaliation for protests against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. On Tuesday, Valdéz turned himself in at the port of entry in Nogales, Ariz., to protest what he calls the inhumane practice of separating families. He hopes U.S. authorities grant him humanitarian parole.
“The president says he wants humane treatment, which is exactly what I was fighting for when ICE retaliated by deporting me,” said Valdéz, 31. “I hope that more humane treatment can start with our cases today.”
This act of civil disobedience by Valdéz is part of a growing campaign against President Barack Obama’s policy on deportations, which are expected to reach the 2 million mark this month. What started several months ago with isolated protests at immigration detention centers and border crossings has expanded into a national movement that will reach a crescendo on Saturday, when immigration reform advocates in more than 40 U.S. cities engage in a national day of action and call on Obama to suspend deportations.
The #Not1MoreDeportation campaign will include a rally in front of the White House, an attempt to shut down the Broadview Detention Center in Chicago and a march to City Hall in Los Angeles to call on ICE to change its immigrant detention policy.