Advocates of immigrant rights are urging President Barack Obama to make use of his executive authority in order to put an end to the deportations of undocumented immigrants. Dozens of advocates rallied on Monday in Washington DC and many of them were arrested as a result.
Civil rights and religious activists prayed and chanted together with undocumented immigrants close to the White House as Obama was urged to put a halt to the deportations that they claim are ripping apart families. Methodist Bishop Julius Trimble says that he wants to see humane and comprehensive immigration reform that offers a path to US citizenship. “A majority of people who are detained and deported have no criminal record or have done no crime,” he points out. “They are just here because they don’t have documentation and we don’t have a pathway for dealing with those persons who are our neighbors or parts of our churches and who have businesses in our community.”
The Center for Immigration Studies’ director of policy studies, Jessica Vaughan, sees things somewhat differently. The group wants to see changes to the law in order to benefit the country’s economy rather than undocumented immigrants, and Vaughan believes that the President intervening would be a very bad move politically and undermine law enforcement.
Over 1.9 million undocumented immigrants have found themselves deported from the United States since 2009, with the rate of deportations under the Obama administration actually beginning to outstrip those made under President Bush.