Photo: Fair Immigration Reform Movement
Activists supporting comprehensive immigration reform announced Wednesday that they will continue exerting pressure to get President Barack Obama to act on immigrants’ behalf during Congress’ summer recess.
“The only option now is for President Obama to act on his own” to halt deportations and the separation of immigrant families, Kica Matos, the spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, said in a conference call.
During August, activists have planned almost 30 events supporting immigration reform in more than 15 states, including a march in New York on Aug. 26 and another in front of the White House on Aug. 28.
The pro-reform groups blasted the Republican majority in the House of Representatives for going on vacation without having moved forward with an immigration reform bill or approving funds to deal with the current crisis caused by the massive inflow of unaccompanied and undocumented Central American children along the southern border.
In this regard, Petra Falcon, the director of the Promise Arizona organization, said that there are two humanitarian crises: one on the border and another internal one, where families continue to suffer the threat of deportation and all the anxiety that goes with it.
House Republicans, pushed by the lawmakers aligned with the so-called Tea Party, approved a bill that includes blocking the renewal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program Obama launched two years ago to avoid the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented children and young people raised in this country.
The Republican proposal was not even considered by the Senate, which has a Democratic majority, and this has prolonged the legislative logjam, given that Congress will not reconvene until early September.
Given the situation, Obama has announced that he is intending to make decisions on the matter and resort to executive action to try and get the country out of the current impasse.
“The pressure is not only on the Republicans, the pressure is on President Obama, who promised immigration reform,” said Angelica Salas, with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
One of the options, activists say, is a temporary moratorium on deportations.