Supporters of immigration reform in the United States are urging President Barack Obama to make use of his Presidential powers and introduce immigration reform by cutting through the current gridlock in Washington DC. They want Obama to act now in order to enable undocumented immigrants to put in an application for US citizenship.
However, the White House says that Obama has no intention of going in that direction and that any changes to current laws are a matter for Congress to decide on. Constitutional lawyers in the United States claim that the powers that the President has do not allow him to enact such a change anyway although a number of Republicans do not believe them and have been warning the President against attempting to do so.
Those who support immigration reform do not believe that the comprehensive bill that was passed by the Senate back in June has a chance of being passed by the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republican Party. “If Congress doesn’t move, the President has a duty to act,” says Ana Avendano from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. “Just because the Republicans have buried their heads in the sand doesn’t mean that immigrant communities aren’t feeling the sting of constant deportations.”
Bobby Whitmore, the White House spokesman, has ruled out any executive action being taken by President Obama, insisting that Congress enacting common sense immigration reform is the only option.