FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 1, 2014
PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOULD ACT NOW TO PROTECT IMMIGRANT FAMILIES AFTER YEARS OF STAGNATION IN CONGRESS
IMMIGRANT LEADERS ACROSS THE NATION WAIT TO SEE ACTION FROM THE PRESIDENT
CHICAGO – The President promised action to fix our broken immigration policies when he first ran for office in 2008 and again in his campaign for re-election in 2012.
In the last few days, the President has indicated that in face of opposition to legislative changes in Immigration Policy, he will finally use “the power of the pen” to make good on his pledge, and bring about changes short from reforming the law itself. The members of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC) applaud his initiative to ensure that the laws of the United States are administered fairly with respect to immigration. We eagerly await the details of the executive actions to be taken by the president. At the very minimum, we expect that the President will provide meaningful protections for families that allow them to live and work with dignity in the United States of America.
“For the many millions of immigrants living in the United States without immigration authorization, executive relief actions are long overdue,” said Oscar Chacon, NALACC’s Executive Director. “Programs such as Secure Communities have resulted in the deportation of more than 2 million people. Meanwhile, the recent shameful treatment of Central American children seeking humanitarian protections is just the latest in a long series of injustices,” he added.
NALACC and its members hope that Executive Action is the first step in a longer-term effort to bring some common sense to immigration policy. “In fact, the President could do much more,” said Claudia Lucero, President of NALACC, “including expanding executive relief to ensuring that those who seek humanitarian protections at our borders are not turned away to face violence and repression,” added Lucero.
“Whatever the President may do, it should not be seen as a substitute for Congressional action,” commented Lucero. “Our system is still broken and in desperate need of reform,” she concluded. NALACC does not expect a major legislative overhaul any time soon, given the dysfunction in Congress, but key legislative steps should be taken soon, such as changes that allow the clearing of the long backlogs for family-based visa requests, and dismantling the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, beginning with some of the elements of this law that have criminalized immigration for the past twenty years.
NALACC is a network of community-based, Latino and Caribbean immigrant-led organizations in the US that seeks to raise the quality of life for immigrant communities in the United States, as well as communities in migrant-sending countries in Latin America.
CONTACT CRISTINA GARCIA