News / USA

US Immigrant Families Push for Reform

US Immigrant Families Push for Reformi
X
February 07, 2014 12:47 AM
Advocates for immigrant rights are calling on President Barack Obama to suspend deportations of otherwise law-abiding residents who are undocumented while Congress considers reforming the nation's immigration laws. Allies of the president are criticizing the Obama administration for deporting more than 1.9 million undocumented immigrants. VOA's Cindy Saine spoke to two women who are fighting their husbands' deportations.
Cindy Saine
Advocates for immigrant rights are calling on President Barack Obama to suspend deportations of otherwise law-abiding residents who are undocumented while Congress considers reforming the nation's immigration laws.

Allies of the president are criticizing the Obama administration for deporting more than 1.9 million undocumented immigrants. 

Immigrant rights groups are increasingly frustrated by the Obama administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

Two of those groups hosted an event on Capitol Hill, calling on Congress and the president to suspend deportations they say are tearing families apart.

Maria Perez is a U.S. citizen who never thought she would see her husband deported to Mexico. She came to the event.  

"Even though my husband was undocumented, I always believed President Obama that the focus of deportations were violent criminals and felons," she said. "My husband is neither. He’s a good father, a good husband who provided for his family. But on October 16, three officers came to our house..."

Perez says the arrest traumatized their children.

"They handcuffed him, they arrested him, in front of my children," she said. "To this day, my son goes white when he sees officers."

Many families face the same fate, including U.S. citizen Seleste Wisniewski, whose husband has been granted a one-year reprieve from deportation.  He's the primary caregiver of four American children, including her adult son who has cerebral palsy.

"I can speak firsthand that the family life is not taken into consideration," she said. "What goes on in the home - if they would have just listened and seen, I was begging them - put two ankle bracelets on every member of my household, don’t take this man, please. Don’t take my husband!"

Advocates for reform say the Republican-controlled House of Representatives should act.  The Senate passed immigration reform last year.

"Too many voices on the other side of the aisle are saying ‘go slow’ or ‘not now’ and it’s up to all of us who know that reform is urgent to say that’s not good enough," said Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren. "The time is now to move forward."
 
But Speaker of the House John Boehner was pessimistic about immigration reform passing this year. He said Republicans don't trust the president.

"... I think the president is going to have to demonstrate to the American people and to my colleagues that he can be trusted to enforce the law as it is written," he said.

Republicans say border security should be the priority before any talk of legalizing the undocumented.     

Immigration rights activists vow to keep up the pressure - on the president and Congress.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More