Pro immigrant groups have slammed President Obama after he announced he would postpone action on the immigration issue until after the mid-term elections, reneging on statements that he would do so before the end of the summer.
“Latino and immigrant voters are deeply hurt by the lack of inaction in Congress over immigration reform since 2012,” stated Angelica Salas, executive director for The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
“Just recently, our families once again learned how easy it is to be bypassed by political ambitions unless you have the votes to fight back. Our families will not stand for take-two of double-cheek slapping by either party,” added Salas.
CHIRLA officials have announced they are embarking on a get-out-the vote campaign for the Nov. 4 elections, concentrating in the Antelope Valley, Coachella Valley, Inland Empire, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel, and San Joaquin Valley/Central California.
“We are walking hundreds of precincts during the next fifty days to make sure as many Latinos and immigrants as possible register and turn in completed ballots by Nov. 4,” stated Diana Colin, director of civic engagement for CHIRLA.
“The vote we cast sends a strong message that our families are not without protection. Our canvassers include U.S. citizens whose loved ones could be deported any day if Congress doesn’t change course, or if President Obama doesn’t act on Administrative Relief. That’s why we are so convinced staying at home is not an option for our community.”
Bending to political pressure from Democrats trying to retain or win seats in the upcoming election who were worried any immigration action from the President would affect their political outcomes, Obama decided to delay the action until after the mid-term elections.
Increased Separation Of Families
Pro immigrant groups say this only exacerbates the separation of families and the rate of deportations, which number above two million since Obama took office — the most under any President.
“President Obama placed political calculations over the hopes and needs of immigrant communities. He reneged on his own commitment in June to do what is right, and instead chose what is expedient, betraying the trust of some of the most vulnerable among us,” stated Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).
“When the president pledged to act, he raised expectations among those struggling in our broken immigration system — he led them to believe that despite Republican intransigence, executive action was imminent, and their suffering would soon be addressed. In a word, he gave them hope.
“Now everyone is left wondering why those hopes were set aside so callously in a political calculation,” the Congressmen noted. “The outcome of these senate races will not change the political landscape for immigration reform, whether won or lost; the president will still have to act alone to get this done.”
LAUSD Board Supports Immigration Reform
The Los Angeles Unified School District board has approved a resolution that calls on the federal government to enact immigration reform that “will teach and affirm the ideals of the United States of America as set forth by the original undocumented immigrants.”
“As we celebrate the contributions of the Latino community in this nation, I want to recognize those still in the shadows including many of whom are children,” said board member Mónica García. “Our immigration system is broken and our communities have waited long enough. President Barack Obama, there is still time to fulfill the promise you made for comprehensive immigration reform.”
Introduced by García, and co-sponsored by board President Dr. Richard Vladovic and Steve Zimmer, the resolution also asks Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to ensure “the humane treatment” for the thousands of minors in detention centers. More specifically, it calls on the Obama Administration to extend protections to these young people, including humanitarian relief, advocacy, legal support, and reuniting minors with their families and the consideration of their status as refugees.
More than 60,000 minors have arrived in the country — many of them without parents or adults accompanying them — since October of last year, creating a crisis for government officials who had to turn U.S. Army barracks into improvised detention centers for minors.
While all this is happening, a new poll by the website Politico, notes that 64 percent of likely voters in key U.S. House and Senate races disapprove of how President Obama is handling the immigration issue; 34 percent say they trust the Republican party more to handle the issue, and 31 percent say they trust Democrats more.