President Obama Must Keep His Administrative Relief Announcement Deadline

August 29, 2014

President Obama Must Keep His Administrative Relief Announcement Deadline

 
The following is a statement by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) on President Obama’s recent announcement suggesting that he will delay an announcement on administrative relief


President Obama took a bold step in late June by stating that in the absence of Congressional action, he would use his executive authority to make fixes to the immigration system by the end of the summer.  We urge him to remember and fulfill this promise that he made to our families and communities, who have pinned their hopes on the administrative relief that he could announce.  As a candidate, President Obama campaigned on hope.  Our communities continue to hold out for the hope that he promised, but has yet to be delivered.  


We also remind Democrats in the US Senate and elsewhere who have been lobbying President Obama to hold off any such announcement of administrative action.  Latino and immigrant communities are not an appendage of the Democratic Party.  They will remember any derailment this November and in coming Novembers.  The road to the White House and retaining Senate control runs through Latino and immigrant communities.  


“Since House Republicans refuse to do their job and pass any new laws to permanently fix the immigration system, the President must step in —not to create or change any laws—but to use his existing authority to allow millions of hardworking immigrants to come out of the shadows, get work permits to provide for themselves and their families, and keep their families together,” said ICIRR’s CEO Lawrence Benito.


Earlier this month, House Republicans attacked the most vulnerable in our society: children, women and undocumented youth.  They first passed a bill that would create a fast-track process to deport children who have fled violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. That legislation would also waste millions of dollars to unnecessarily deploy the National Guard to the border.  They then voted to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established two years ago for eligible “DREAMers” who have grown up in the U.S - and put these young people at risk of deportation again.  


With Congress incapable of passing any compassionate immigration legislation, President Obama must act.  The announcement of administrative relief cannot wait. Each day we wait 1,100 more people are deported. We can not play politics with our families.  The announcement needs to happen by the end of the summer, as the President promised.  


The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit www.icirr.org.


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