Five years into his presidency, President Obama is facing more scrutiny and pressure than ever on immigration issues. Curiously, his policies on immigration are under attack from both sides of the debate, and the issue of deportations has become a particularly fervent source of contention. While Republicans continue to accuse President Obama of being weak on enforcement and accuse him of not doing enough to deport “illegals” from within the country, immigration advocates and the Hispanic Caucus have repeatedly lobbied the President to reduce deportations, citing unkept promises to only go after criminals and gang members.
A recent article in the New York Times shows the reality of the situation. Since President Obama took office, nearly two million people have been deported from the U.S. – this represents an enforcement rate higher than any previous administration. According to the Times, two-thirds of those cases involve people who had committed only minor infractions including traffic stops or had no criminal record at all. Only twenty percent of deportations involve people convicted of more serious crimes.
President Obama has expressed his desire to relieve the innocent undocumented of the threat of deportation, to stop tearing families apart and to create a path to productive citizenship for worthy immigrants now living without legal immigration status in this country. While the country waits for immigration reform, a huge sector of society remains in the shadows, in fear of removal and separation, unable to realize their hopes and dreams or to fully contribute to the economic strength of the U.S. For the betterment of America and for the sake of the deserving undocumented, it is time for President Obama and the Congress to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform. To contact your Congressman, please click here.