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Activists Denounce 2 Million Deportations, Press Obama To End Family Separations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:00

Photo Courtesy CHIRLA

Pro immigrant activists in Los Angeles are denouncing the fact the Obama Administration has deported more than two million since taking office, and want the President to stop the separation of thousands of families.

“On the day when we honor Irish immigrant ancestry, St. Patrick’s Day, we shame and denounce the ‘do-nothing’ Congress and President Obama for failing to stop the bleeding of immigrant talent, the separation and suffering of countless families, and the unjust practice of deporting hard-working undocumented immigrants," Angelica Salas, executive director for Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), said during a March 17 press conference in downtown Los Angeles.

The number of deportations under Obama matches all the deportations during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration. The figure is based on official data provided by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

“Instead of passionately and seriously seeking humane and permanent bipartisan solutions to the broken and cruel immigration system, President Obama and Congressional Republican leaders such as Mc- Connell, Boehner, McCarthy, and Cantor have stood by and watched the carnage take place,” Salas said.

“Two million and counting deportations of our loved ones is a deplorable milestone in a compassionate, fair, and kind nation such as the United States of America. There is no precedent for these type of family separations except during the times of slavery, under what was then the cruel and flawed Law of the Land. Enough is enough.” CHIRLA called on Congress and President Obama to fix the “broken immigration system" and pass a comprehensive immigration reform.

Last year, the Senate approved a measure that would legalize millions of undocumented immigrants. However, the House of Representatives has stalled the measure and has not even brought it to the floor to be discussed. Earlier this year, Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it would be very unlikely that immigration reform would be debated this year.

The Santa Ana City Council made the similar plea for approval of a comprehensive immigration reform and a stop to deportations, passing a resolution calling for the President to grant deferred action (DACA) status to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the country.

Two years ago, President Obama granted DACA to undocumented youth under 30 who had been brought into the country before they were 16-years-old. The measure allows them to remain in the country legally for two years and to obtain a work permit. At the end of December 2013, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had approved nearly 522,000 immigrants for the program. And last month, USCIS officials announced that young immigrants who received deferred action from Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2012 can now apply to renew for another two years.

The Santa Ana City Council resolution calls for the “consideration of resolution encouraging the United States Congress and President Obama to support comprehensive federal immigration reform to expand the deferred action program to protect families impacted by deportation,” according to the City Attorney’s Office.

Tania Reyes of pro-immigrant organization Hermandad Mexicana, applauded the motion.

“We are pleased that that Santa Ana Council members and Mayor Miguel Pulido are considering this important resolution in light of the fact that by next month some 2 million people will have been deported under President Obama’s administration,” she said. "We realize that the resolution is advisory to the President, however, considering that Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County and enjoys the largest population of immigrants in the county, it is politically important that this council and mayor weigh in on this matter.”

In December 2013, the Los Angeles City Council approved a similar resolution.

Obama has responded to the criticism. In a meeting at the White House with congressional Latino leaders last week, the President said he would ask Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to “do an inventory” of current practices related to deportation and “see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law,” according to statement on the session from the White House.

This week, members of Hermandad Mexicana of Panorama City and Coalición de Federaciones Mexicanas en Norteamérica will travel to the Vatican in Rome, Italy, and attempt to have Pope Francis hear their plight regarding immigration so he can convey it to President Obama when the meet on March 27.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 02:47