Two days ago, the U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it deported record numbers of immigrants during this fiscal year, and that same day, immigrant advocates announced a national day of action called “Obama, Immigration and the Latino Community. This day of action took place in ten cities across the nation-Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco, and Tucson. In conjunction with Presente.org, Latino community leaders, clergy, and family members devastated by the controversial Secure Communities racial profiling program and the immigrant detention policies of President Obama participated in simultaneous screenings of the PBS Frontline special, “Lost in Detention,” which aired that same evening. This documentary goes deep into the detention, deportation, and enforcement aspects of what is happening with immigration in our country today. To film the documentary, they received unprecedented access that allowed them to shoot footage from detention centers in three different states-in Florida, California, and Texas. Maria Hinojosa, who is a journalist and producer in this film, summarizes the conditions inside a detention facilities as very distressing to the men, women, and children who are dealt with as if they were criminals even though they may not be, and who are housed in bunks with no privacy, very little sunlight, and very poor health and food conditions. According to the Miami Herald, “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Tuesday his agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year 2011 that just ended in September.” ICE said that about 55% of the 396,906 individuals deported had felony or misdemeanor convictions. Officials said the number of individuals convicted of crimes was up 89% from 2008.
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