Undocumented immigrant mothers in New York have demanded that President Obama keeps his pledge to use his executive authority to enact immigration reform. Speaking at New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform at the Baruch College campus of the City University of New York, the women declared that they want the president to bypass Congress and enable undocumented immigrants to obtain work permits and end deportations by the close of summer.
Congress has failed to take action on immigration reform, with some conservatives in the House of Representatives threatening to withhold funding from the government if Obama tries to take unilateral action on the issue. “President Obama … came out on June 30th, he said if Congress cannot act, if they continue to allow such a broken system that does more harm than good, then he will act. And that is completely within his executive power,” says Betsy Plum of the New York Immigration Coalition.
The meeting, which took place last week, brought together politicians, undocumented immigrants and immigration activists to call for the creation of a path to US citizenship; however, Obama has since clarified that there are some limits to his executive powers, saying that Congress still needs to act to create reform that would truly strengthen US workers and businesses.
Horace Cooper of Project 21 agrees that the dilemma over immigration can only be solved by Congress taking action. “The right answer is for the White House and Congress to come together and work collaboratively to develop a solution to the issues involving immigration,” he states.