01.31.2014 San Francisco, CA
Today in a google hang out Sheila Chung Hagen of the Public Utilities Commission directly asked President Obama whether or not he would consider an executive order halting deportations. The President responded with optimism regarding immigration reform in Congress but saying that absent their action he would weigh all available options to ensure a rational immigration policy.
Ju Hong, the protestor who interrupted the President’s speech in California responded, “I’m glad that the President has begun to respond to my question. His answer makes clear that he CAN stop deportations. My question now is why hasn’t he?”
Marisa Franco, Not One More Deportation campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said, “Today, for the first time that I’m aware of, President Obama has acknowledged that his use of discretion in current policies that have resulted in record deportations are part of a legislative strategy. If that’s the case, I would say that two million people deported is a sign that his strategy has failed. Instead of expanding deportation quota programs like Secure Communities, it’s time he expand the one bright spot of his administration, the deferred action program, and grant real relief now.”
Tania Unzueta, national campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network added, “It seems like both parties want to have it both ways on immigration. The GOP voted to defund DACA and now says it wants citizenship for DACA recipients. President Obama says he wants to see reform passed but is delaying his own ability to stop the deportation of its beneficiaries. If we learn anything from this week’s news, it is that just as establishing DACA was a precursor to the GOP’s endorsement of citizenship for immigrant youth, expanding it to adult immigrants will be the first step toward seeing citizenship for those who would qualify. The President admits now that he could do it and he should without delay.”