Photo: Rep. Gutierrez urging President Obama to act on immigration
Along with immigrant rights advocates, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is urging President Obama to fulfill promises he made during his presidential campaign regarding immigration.
Rep. Gutierrez, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ immigration task force, announced the launch of the “Change Takes Courage” campaign. It features stories of families affected by deportations, and the events will occur in at least 20 states.
The announcement was made at a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, and the tour will include meetings with local law enforcement, government, and immigration advocates.
“What we’re asking for is for (Obama) to use the broad powers he already has in his hands within the law to provide relief and justice to these families,” Gutierrez said.
Since President Obama took office two years ago, more than one million people have been deported, and more than four million U.S.-born children of immigrants are faced with the possibility of losing one or both of their parents.
The congressman is also asking that the president not give up on legislation like the DREAM Act, which would give undocumented immigrant students the opportunity to become citizens if certain requirements are met, saying, “We’re asking the president to give them the opportunity to go to university, graduate and work.”
A memorandum including suggestions of “methods and intiatives that alleviate the pain being suffered by the immigrant community” was given to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Alejandro Mayorkas. It contained seven points that President Obama could take within already existing laws, including halting the programs that criminalize people for being undocumented immigrants, and giving deportation priority to criminals.