This week, the New York Times reported that immigration authorities have gone through with record numbers of deportations in the past two years, amounting to nearly 800,000 immigrants being removed from the United States. Now Latinos, immigrant groups and Democrats in Congress are asking President Obama to step in as it appears that immigration reform will not be happening anytime soon, the New York Times reported.
President Obama's promised immigration overhaul bill, which would grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, has been stalled in Congress as it is opposed by most Republicans, who have control of the House of Representatives.
While Democrats and immigrant advocacy groups have praised Obama for making an effort to get the bill passed, they now say it's time for President Obama to use his executive powers under current immigration law to defer the deportation of different groups of people, the Times reported.
One of the groups people would like to see spared from deportation is students. The Dream Act, which was blocked in the Senate in December, would grant conditional permanent residency to certain students who graduate from high schools in the United States and have been in the country continuously for at least five years.
Some groups have also asked President Obama to make residency more easily attainable for illegal immigrants who are immediate relatives of American citizens.
In addition, Democratic lawmakers recently sent a letter to President Obama asking him to hold off on deporting immigrants who are in legal same-sex marriages with American citizens as they currently do not have the same green card opportunities as opposite-sex bi-national spouses.
Even more broadly, some Hispanic lawmakers have argued that President Obama should stop the deportations of all illegal immigrants who have children that are American citizens. The New York Times reported that there are about four million United States citizens who have at least one parent who is in the country illegally.
However, there is also fierce opposition for the suggestions to pull in the reins on deportation. Many Republicans say that President Obama has not done enough to enforce the removal of immigrations and call any deportations spared by President Obama a "stealth amnesty," the New York Times reported. Only time will tell what President Obama will do, if anything, to address the issue.
Source: The New York Times, "Latinos and Democrats Press Obama to Curb Deportations," Julia Preston, 4/20/2011.