As momentum for immigration reform fizzles in Congress, acts of civil disobedience are growing in intensity as frustrated advocates push President Obama to take action on his own to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, the Arizona Republic reports. Hundreds of immigration-reform advocates from around the U.S. hope to bring that intensity to a head today by attempting to shut down deportation operations in Phoenix.
Their plans for a large-scale act of disobedience may have been thwarted. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has closed its offices in Phoenix until Tuesday. It was unclear whether deportation operations had also been suspended, and reform advocates still plan to continue their protest. Today's protest follows similar demonstrations, most recently in Tucson, where dozens of reform advocates on Friday attached themselves to detention buses and blocked a federal courthouse parking entrance. Advocates are frustrated that the Obama administration continues to deport more than 1,000 people daily, separating families in the process, even though many of those same people might qualify for legal status should Congress pass a bill that includes a legalization program.