Immigration Reform Update: Obama's Executive Action Delay is 'Betrayal' for Latinos, Say Immigrant Rights Groups
With President Barack Obama confirming that execution action on immigration won't come until November, likely after Election Day, national Latino and civil rights groups expressed anger over his "betrayal."
As Latin Post reported, Obama said his decision to delay execution action was not done to benefit lawmakers in the Democratic Party who are facing election this November. Obama said he wants to guarantee his executive action is "sustainable," has the right legal authority. He said he wants the public to understand the facts about the current immigration climate on the southern U.S. border.
"What I'm saying is I'm going to act because it is the right thing for the country, but it's going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we've done on unaccompanied children and why it's necessary," Obama said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Obama's delay was not well received by immigrants' rights advocates.
According to the Latino organizing group Presente.org, Obama's delay is "shameful."
Presente.org's Executive Director Arturo Carmona said, "[Obama] is once again demonstrating that for him, politics come before the lives of Latino and immigrant families. Adding salt to the wound, President Obama raised the hopes of millions of Latinos across America by promising action only to smash them for perceived political gain."
Carmona said the delay is a "betrayal" of the Latino community and "one of the single biggest attacks" by the Democratic Party against Latino families in recent memory.
"With news of recently deported children dying in Honduras and record level deportations and separations of families continuing, all eyes are on the President's actions that totally devalue Latino life."
The Dream Action Coalition (DRM), a lobbying organization for undocumented youths, said "The president has shown that, once again, he has been scared out of his boots by some of the least reasonable elements within the Republican Party."
The DRM added that the issue at hand is not solely about the delay on immigration policy, but "about real families, who will suffer an addition 1,100 deportations per day until [Obama] acts."
"The president has solidified his "Deporter-in-Chief" legacy. He will be responsible for ripping families apart from now until he acts," the DRM noted.
National Council of La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguia said the delayed executive action shows Obama is submitting to "fears by Democratic political operatives" and crushed the hopes of people living in fear of deportation and family separation.
"Tens of thousands of human beings are likely to be separated from their families between now and the election," Murguia said in a statement. "These families have embraced and contributed to this country. All they ask is for a chance to get right with the law, step out of the shadows and further contribute to a nation where most of them have lived for more than a decade. Their suffering, and that of their family members, who include U.S.-citizen children and spouses, should weigh on the consciences of each and every person responsible for this delay,"
Obama is not the only one to blame, according to Murguia, but also Senate Democrats and House Republicans. She said the lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have all agreed immigration reform is "the right thing to do" but have "succumbed to their political fears."
The National Education Association's Lily Eskelsen Garcia said the NEA was "deeply disheartened" about the delay.
"Every day, our nation's educators continue to see the fear and distress that our broken immigration system causes for students, families and communities. We know that the inaction delays dreams, prolongs trauma, and hurts our nation," Eskelsen Garcia said. "We are disappointed but we will not give up; that's not what educators do."
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