Obama and DHS to address deportation changes

Two weeks ago President Obama issued a statement calling for changes to the deportation practices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In that statement, that was acknowledged by DHS, Obama sought to make the deportation practices more “humane” by ensuring that those without criminal records and family ties in the United States may be able to halt their deportation.

However, this is nothing more than a statement by Obama and DHS to “look into” how to address making the deportation process more humane. What we really need is action not an examination of the process. Obama, DHS and the rest of the government (hopefully Congress can act at some point) need to create a plan that allows for those without criminal records and strong family ties in the United States to have their deportation halted, delayed or prevented altogether. If Congress cannot pass immigration reform soon, the President needs to act using his pen and phone to reform our broken immigration system, as he promised in this year’s State of the Union address.

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Obama Orders Review of Deportation Practices

According to the White House and yesterday’s article in the Huffington Post, President Barack Obama is directing the government to find more humane ways to handle deportation for undocumented immigrants. The directive to consider changing how the U.S. government enforces deportations comes as immigration groups grow increasingly impatient with Obama, despite his efforts to secure legislation that would create a path to citizenship for about 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally, that have been halted most recently by House Republicans who refused to take up the Senate bill that was passed last June.

Under Obama’s leadership, almost two million people have been removed from the U.S. and while Congress delays action, Obama has enforced laws even he acknowledges must be updated. Immigration reform advocates have been putting pressure on Obama to halt all deportations — a step Obama has insisted he does not have the authority to do by himself. However, by announcing he’s open to changing how the U.S. enforces its current laws, Obama is signaling he may be growing more inclined to test the limits of his authority in the face of a Congress that has been able to do little in pushing reforms through both houses.

Obama’s announcement came Thursday in a meeting with Latino lawmakers — all Democrats — that he is concerned about the pain families suffer when they are separated due to an immigration system that is largely broken and in dire need of reform. The White House was vague on what changes were made but activists encouraging reform will likely call for Obama to halt deportations for parents of children brought to the U.S. illegally, among other steps. Obama has already moved to ease deportations for some of those children, but not their parents with Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that was announced in June of 2012.

For more information on DACA, other relief, or how our immigration law offices can help you or a loved one now, please contact our Las Vegas and Reno Immigration Law offices.  We offer free consultations and can give you up-to-date information on changes in the law and methods for relief from deportation.

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United We Dream urges Obama to Curtail Deportations

Following announcements that House Republicans would not move on immigration this year, more than 500 leaders of a national network of young immigrants, known as “United We Dream” protested in Phoenix, Arizona last week  in an effort to pressure President Obama to act to stop deportations.

After months of lobbying, rallies and sit-in demonstrations ended with no movement in the House on a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally, the organization of youths who gathered in Phoenix last weekend for an annual congress of the network, United We Dream, said they felt disappointed by both  parties in Congress. Their protests and sentiments pointed to Mr. Obama’s pledge early this year to use his phone and pen when Congress did not move on his agenda. They also said they would demand that he take executive action to increase protections for immigrants without papers.

It is clear that the young immigrants’ demands will be uncomfortable for Mr. Obama and the Democrats in a midterm election year when his low approval ratings could allow Republicans to make important gains. However,  recent polls show wider sympathy among Americans for young immigrants than those who are older without legal status. Fortunately, “United We Dream” and other organizations of young people have become leaders in setting strategy among immigrant groups.

Hopefully, action will be taken by the Obama Administration since Congress, besides the Democratically-controlled Senate that passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in June of last year, has mostly failed to act before the midterm elections.

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