On Immigration, Obama Must Act Boldly

June 30, 2014

Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, [email protected]

National Immigration Law Center Responds to President Obama’s Remarks on Administrative Relief

President must go bold, says NILC’s Marielena Hincapié

WASHINGTON — In remarks from the Rose Garden, President Obama today announced he would no longer wait for Congress to begin fixing the immigration system. Although he did not provide a specific administrative proposal, the president noted that he would begin allocating judicial resources along the U.S.-Mexico border, moving funding away from interior enforcement operations. The president also announced that he had asked the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to provide recommendations to determine how the president can use his legal authority to improve the immigration system. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, who attended a meeting with the president and his senior staff shortly before his speech at the Rose Garden:

“In a historic shift, the president acknowledged what many of us have long noted: The House of Representatives’ GOP leadership lacks political will to bring immigration reform to a vote this year. In the meantime, 1000 immigrants are ripped from their families and communities each day.

“Today’s announcement brings a sliver of hope to those of us who have advocated for President Obama to use the power of his pen to create a system that allows immigrants, who are vital members of our communities and economy, to come forward to apply for relief from deportation and for work authorization. This shift in the administration’s priorities is a testament to the courage and leadership exemplified by immigrant communities, who have been calling on the president to use the full extent of his legal authority to allow immigrants to contribute fully to society.

“In order to truly change our immigration system, however, President Obama must be bold, and he must act quickly. Rather than tinker at the edges of a formidable enforcement machine, President Obama should create a system that embraces immigrants as an inextricable part of the fabric of our society. Doing so would both cement his legacy and improve our nation’s economy.”

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Click here to read NILC’s fact sheet on how Obama can stop deportations.

Click here to read NILC’s fact sheet on ways the Department of Homeland Security can immediately scale back detentions and deportations.