Immigration activists and Latinos are warning that President Obama and the Democratic Party could be in political peril in the upcoming fall election unless bold action is taken by the President soon to cut deportations and enable more undocumented immigrants to legally remain in the United States.
Some activists are warning that President Obama has not yet realized the level of the growing emotions within the Latino community as deportations under his administration head to the two million mark and hopes fade for legislation on immigration reform. With Republicans in the House of Representatives unlikely to take action on the issue, having Obama take executive action is increasingly being seen by activists as their last hope for change.
“There is tremendous anger among core constituents of the President and the Latino and Asian communities in particular,” says the Center for Community Change’s executive director, Deepak Bhargava, adding: “He has a momentous choice to make.” Activists credit their sit-ins and hunger strikes for persuading Obama to ask for the deportations policy of his administration to be reviewed by Jeh Johnson, the new Homeland Security Secretary. The focus being on an expansion of the policy to allow work permits for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States when they were children.
Over 600,000 people have been helped by the program and activists would like to see it expanded to cover more immigrants. They want Obama to take executive action to ensure it, regardless of the increasingly intransigent attitude of the Republican Party.