Illegal immigrants vow to defy Trump, call on Obama to halt deportations

Demand localities become sanctuaries

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Immigrant rights activists vowed Wednesday to resist President-elect Donald Trump, labeled the federal immigration system racist and called on localities across the nation to adopt “sanctuary” policies and refuse to cooperate with agents trying to deport illegal immigrants.

Some groups said they’ll make the best use of the next two months to try to shield as many illegal immigrants as possible, but said real “terror” is spreading throughout their communities over the looming change from President Obama’s lenient policies to Mr. Trump’s promise of a crackdown.

Perhaps more than any other community, Hispanic and immigrant leaders took Mr. Trump’s victory hard, saying they were singled out as targets in the Republican’s “racist” campaign rhetoric.

Now, rather than advancing their agenda under the banner of Hillary Clinton, they’re preparing for a bruising struggle just to defend the gains they made under President Obama, who during his tenure halted deportations for most of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and granted tentative legal status to more than 700,000 so-called Dreamers.

“Immigrants are declaring a state of urgency and resilience. Over the coming weeks our families and community members will need to tap into the incredible strength that brought us to this country and which we use to survive,” said Cristina Jimenez, co-founder of United We Dream, an advocacy group.

After vowing to turn out Hispanics in huge numbers to defeat Mr. Trump, advocates were left Wednesday morning wondering what went wrong and questioning the value of exit polling that actually showed Mr. Trump improving in terms of Hispanic voters over Mitt Romney four years ago, winning nearly 3 in 10.

Illegal immigrants vow to defy Trump, call on Obama to halt deportations