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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid