On Tuesday, Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart interviewed President Obama and asked if he would consider stopping the deportations of the parents of DREAMers, undocumented young people who were brought tot he U.S. as children. Last year, the administration issued a directive to not deport young undocumented people who met certain criteria using the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program. President Obama said that he is not able to stop the deportations of other people because he would be “ignoring the law.”
Check out the clip below:
Activists have been asking the President to reconsider deportations for months now in light of the immigration debate taking place in Congress. On Wednesday, a group of seven undocumented activists were arrested and later released after chaining themselves to the fence of the White House demanding that “not one more” be deported.
The Obama administration has set records for deportations, removing some 1.5 million people in the President’s first term as of the end of last year. If Congress doesn’t enact reform, the deportations will likely continue at a similar pace. The immigrant community has been waiting for over two decades for some kind of relief. As the debate about the debt ceiling looms, some fear that the prospect for passing an immigration bill is unlikely.
While the President insists that he cannot do more to stop deportations, Pablo Alvarado, the executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, thinks that Obama can do more to help undocumented immigrants. In a statement released on Tuesday, Alvarado said in reference to the remarks in the Telemundo interview, “The President’s statement is factually inaccurate. He has the power to reduce deportations, the legal authority to expand deferred action, and the political obligation to lead the national debate through bold action. In fact, courageous leadership will only galvanize momentum for reform and focus Congress’s attention on their constitutional duty to modernize immigration law.”