San Juan, TX—Today, Obama announced that he will use his administrative power to improve the immigration system. He did not go into detail but made it clear that the time has come for action and that the failure of the Republican Party to take up meaningful immigration reform legislation has pushed him to act.
The president announced that the first step is to move resources from the interior to the border. Meanwhile, he will be awaiting recommendations from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of the other ways that he can use his power to make changes to the system. He expects those recommendations by the end of the summer.
We have two months to see exactly what the president will do to change the system. While we are hopeful that the president's announcement heralds the relief that our communities need, we can't celebrate just yet. It could be that the recommendations, coming from a department that has caused so much suffering in our communities, are not so beneficial for our families and communities. Or it could be that the recommendations are a combination of help—like protections from deportation for some—and criminalization—like increasing Border Patrol presence and mandatory use of E-Verify.
“The immigrant community is suffering because of Congressional inaction,” says Juanita Valdez-Cox, Executive Director of La Union del Pueblo Entero. “We hope that the president will take decisive action to alleviate the suffering. We will be ready to work so that as many of our community members as possible can take advantage of that relief. But we need to keep up the pressure during these next two months for executive action that protects our families from deportation while not criminalizing us even more.”
LUPE staff and leaders will prepare and send to the administration a series of recommendations that President Obama can make that will be beneficial to immigrant and mixed status families of the Rio Grande Valley.
h/t to Alliance4Citizenship for the graphic accompanying this story.