Latino Groups Take To The Street

Latino rights groups are unhappy with the number of Latino undocumented immigrants being sent to prison. Some of them protested outside the downtown federal detention building calling for change.

They lined up along Texas Street in downtown Houston holding signs accusing the government of racial profiling and unfairly arresting illegal immigrants.

Maria Jimenez is with the group CRECEN, the Central American Resource Center.

“We’re here today because we have seen that there’s a dramatic increase in the number of federal prisoners who are Latino and who are being held on immigration violations.”

Jimeniz would also like immigration and customs to stop deporting people who have been arrested on minor offenses.

“I’ll give you an example, there was a deacon of a church who was driving on the freeway. He basically changed his lane without a signal. He was stopped by a police officer. He was taken to jail, and then to the detention facility and awaiting deportation.”

Diana Gomez is with the Houston United Coalition. She’s concerned about authorities targeting people based on race, regardless of whether they are illegal immigrants or U.S. citizens.

“We’re here basically to tell our community to come and join us in order to fight racial profiling that’s affecting our community. Whether you’re Hispanic, or African American, or Muslim everybody is affected by racial profiling.”

The changes they are calling for may not happen anytime soon, but immigration does figure to be an issue in the upcoming presidential election.