Protesters Demand a Halt to Deportations

Pro-immigration reform activists protested on Tuesday in front of President Barack Obama's reelection campaign headquarters in Chicago and delivered 24,000 signatures demanding the end of the Secure Communities program, which has led to the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

Earlier, the executive director of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, Oscar Chacon, demanded "immediate executive action" from Obama to cancel the controversial program.

"What makes the communities unsafe is the bad state of the economy," Chacon said in a statement, adding that the president should devote himself to creating good jobs. "Deporting innocents and breaking the trust between the police and immigrants will have a devastating effect on our communities."

The Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that participation in S-COMM is obligatory, nullifying efforts by states to opt out of the program. S-COMM requires local authorities to share with the federal government fingerprints and other biometric data taken from undocumented prisoners in local jails.

More than 1 million undocumented immigrants have been deported since Obama took office in January 2009. The Chicago rally was part of a "National Day of Action" that includes planned protests in Houston, Boston, Miami, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.

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