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.