Obama Delays Action on Immigration

September 6, 2014

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

President Puts Politics of Fear Over Sound Policy

Decision to delay executive action on immigration will tear more families apart, hurt the economy

WASHINGTON — Several major media outlets have reported that President Obama will delay making any decisions about changing immigration policy until after the November 2014 elections. This is a stark reversal from the June 30 promise he made in the Rose Garden, when he stated that, once he’d reviewed recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice at the end of the summer, he would “adopt those recommendations without further delay.”

This decision, though not unexpected, was widely discouraged by advocates, who sent a letter to the president signed by more than 180 Latino and Asian American groups, along with labor, faith, and immigrants’ rights organizations, to encourage him to act without delay. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Today, President Obama let the politics of fear get in the way of standing up for justice and fairness. It is ironic that at a moment when immigrant, Latino, and Asian American communities have shown their strength — at the ballot box, at the workplace, and in their communities — the president has chosen to stand instead with politicians and others who would prefer a short-term political gain instead of doing what is right and what will have the greatest long-term benefits.

“The president’s decision to delay any action will only allow our dysfunctional immigration system to continue to devastate families, communities, and our economy. The Obama administration now shares blame for this devastation: The president has noted that his staff have already provided recommendations that could prevent further separation of families and remove the threat of deportation, leaving the choice entirely up to him.

“Although immigration reform voters and the communities they represent are deeply disappointed today, we will not back down. We will continue to fight for policies and laws that allow all aspiring Americans, regardless of economic status, to live fully and freely in this country. We hope President Obama’s disappointing detour from the path to justice is short, and that he joins us on this fight soon. While many immigrants will find it hard to believe that the president will indeed follow through on executive action before the end of the year, the National Immigration Law Center remains steadfast in advocating for administrative reforms that we know will be life-changing for immigrant families and communities, and good for our country.”

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