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Labor, Latino and immigrant advocate groups called on President Obama on Monday to suspend deportations of illegal immigrants who could be eligible for a pathway to citizenship under a bipartisan bill to overhaul the immigration system that is under consideration in the Senate.
Among the organizations demanding that the White House halt most removals were the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the country’s largest federation of labor unions; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or Maldef, a Latino civil rights group; the National Day Laborer Organizing Network; and United We Dream, a national group representing young illegal immigrants. They said Mr. Obama should act immediately, even before Congress votes on the bill.
They based their demand on an enthusiastically upbeat analysis of the bill’s prospects for passage.
“Immigration reform has unstoppable momentum,” said Ana Avendaño, director of immigration for the A.F.L.-C.I.O. “For the A.F.L., this bill is not fragile. It is supported by a broad coalition.”
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Immigration advocates called on President Obama on Monday to suspend deportations of undocumented workers who would qualify for legal status under a comprehensive immigration bill being debate in the Senate.
With an estimated 1,100 illegal immigrants per day being deported from the United States, the advocates said Obama has a moral obligation to stop breaking up families when lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow most of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status.
“The president is not and cannot be a bystander in the process,” said Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “This is the moment for him to intervene.”
The advocates have been frustrated with the high levels of deportations during Obama’s presidency — more than 410,000 undocumented workers were deported last year, an all-time high. Obama declined a similar requestto stop deportations in February during a meeting at the White House with Latino, Asian-American, African-American and labor leaders.
At that time, the president emphasized that he is focused on “getting reformed passed, and not easing up on enforcement,” the advocates said. Republicans, and some Democrats, would like raise concerns if the administration were to ease up on deportations during the debate over comprehensive reform, the president told them.
05.13.2013 – Washington, DC Following the first round of mark-up in the Senate Judiciary Committee of the “Gang of 8” immigration reform proposal, rights groups held a telebriefing to call on the President to immediately suspend deportations of those who could be included in the reform.
The AFL-CIO, MALDEF, United We Dream, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network announced an organizational sign-on letter of immigrant rights groups, begun today, asking the President to take immediate action to alleviate the suffering caused by on-going record deportations and help build the bi-partisan consensus in the Senate through a suspension of removals of those who would qualify for the bill once it passes.
Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy at United We Dream said, “As DREAMers, who won relief from deportations from the administration, we know firsthand the difference this can make. We’re pushing for an end to deportations for our parents and the rest of the 11 million, who are working, paying taxes, and raising their families in this country. They should not be threatened with deportation every day when they would be on the path to citizenship Congress is debating now. The President has deported more people than any other president and we will not stand by while these out-of-control deportation continue, tearing apart our families and communities.” Read more
NotOneMoreDeportation.com is a campaign made of individuals, organizations, artists, and allies to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws.
As the immigration debate continues, #Not1More enters the discussion from the place that touches people in concrete ways and can offer tangible relief. By collectively challenging unfair deportations and unjust policy through organizing, art, legislation, and action, we aim to reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion.
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