News / USA

Immigration Reform Advocates Urge Obama to Stop Deportations

Pamela Dockins
Immigrant rights advocates are urging President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to stop the deportations of illegal immigrants. Some arrests were made Monday when dozens of advocates rallied in Washington.

Religious and civil rights activists chanted and prayed alongside illegal immigrants near the White House as they urged the president to stop the deportations, which they say are tearing families apart.

Methodist Bishop Julius Trimble said he wants comprehensive, humane immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship.

"A majority of people who are detained and deported have no criminal record or have done no crime," he said. "They are just here because they don't have documentation and we don't have a pathway for dealing with those persons who are our neighbors or parts of our churches and who have businesses in our communities."

One of those undocumented immigrants is Gerardo Torres. He's from Mexico, but he said he has lived in [the U.S. state of] Arizona for more than 20 years.

"I want to have the freedom to go to my country and visit my family and just the freedom of movement," he said. "That's all I want."

Police moved in and arrested some of the demonstrators after they edged closer to the White House.

Jessica Vaughan is director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. The group believes the law should be changed to meet U.S. economic needs -- not to satisfy the demands of those who have entered the country illegally or overstayed visas.

She said it would be wrong for Obama to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

"Not only would it be a bad political move, it would be a horrible thing for public safety, national security, and immigration law enforcement in general for him to do that. Enforcement is already about as bare-bones as it gets," she said.

More than 1.9 million undocumented immigrants have been deported since Obama took office in 2009. The rate of deportations under his administration is outpacing that of his predecessor, President George W. Bush.

During a November speech in San Francisco, the president heard first-hand from immigration reform advocates who are unhappy with his policy.

Obama said he needs to rely on Congress.

"If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so," he said. "But we are also a nation of laws. That is part of our tradition."

The Senate passed immigration reform last year, but the legislation has stalled in the House.

House Speaker John Boehner has said he is pessimistic about immigration reform passing this year.

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: tara from: nj
February 21, 2014 7:47 AM
This is my opinion. They have every right to be in the united states. There trying to better there lives for there children. I'm black. African American. My ancestors didn't have a choice they were force to be slaves. People need to start opening there hearts. Ignorant and greed is the problem in the USA.


by: Vickie Arnold
February 19, 2014 9:43 AM
Get rid of them. There is nothing whatsoever the millions of unskilled, uneducated, welfare dependent illegals can offer this country. They have strings of anchor babies we have to raise.

In Response

by: Amadeus Mac from: Califronia
February 20, 2014 12:55 AM
Vickie, I have been working with immigration laws for 15 years. EVERY YEAR around harvesting, my office gets calls from US employers saying that they can NOT get people to work in the fields and need to apply for H-2A visas. Please let me know if I get you or your family a job working in the fields in 100 degrees heat...

In Response

by: Kc from: Va
February 19, 2014 1:17 PM
Ignorant


by: Mike coggins from: Usa
February 19, 2014 3:06 AM
We need to fix immigration reform


by: Dee from: Arkansas
February 18, 2014 10:59 PM
We have laws and laws are to be followed. Brake the law and you have to go back where you came from everyone follows the law and come in the right way, Or forefathers came in took their tests, learned english and worked hard. We have not enough jobs for Americans now. Get jobs going, Look at the crimes and drugs these people are bringing into America. Our prisons are full, I am all for people coming in as citizens the right legal way.


by: Pontoon from: Mexico
February 18, 2014 3:46 PM
Unless the garden of Eden is in the u.s we are all aliens from somewhere else. Give amnesty to all then secure the border and have better enforcement.

In Response

by: BoulderJR from: Boulder Colorado
February 19, 2014 1:25 PM
Nonsense. If a foreigner has worked in the US using a false or stolen social security number or ID then have committed a felony, which is a very serious crime. There should be no amnesty for felonies, period. Criminal illegals should be prosecuted, serve their sentence and be kicked out.


by: Jacw from: Houston, Tx
February 18, 2014 2:07 PM
They have broken the law by being here illegally first and foremost. They should be deported period. I have seen the fake SS cards have use, again a crime... Maybe we should use the same laws of Mexico on illegal immigration.. Everything in our language, no welfare or support. Here an interesting fact from the LA times
Lou Dobbs reported this on CNN and it cost him his job.
From the L. A. Times
1. 40% of all workers in L. A. County ( L. A. County has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes.
This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.
2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
7... The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
8 Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
9. 21 radio stations in L. A. are Spanish speaking.
10. In L.. A. County 5.1 million people speak English, 3.9 million speak Spanish.. (There are 10.2 million people in L. A. County ..)
(All 10 of the above facts were published in the Los Angeles Times)
Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but29% are on welfare. Over 70% of the United States ' annual population growth(and over 90% of California , Florida , and New York ) results from immigration. 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens .


by: Lourdes from: nyc
February 18, 2014 10:25 AM
Can't believe we are still getting carried away by "differences", "nationalities", "prejudice"... We need each other as humans, there is poverty all over thr world, kids that need shelter and they need their parents. I feel sad and disappointed to read this comments. We belong to the land not the other way around. I am sorry if someone unlicensed had an accident and unfortunately killed an innocent, but it could've been someone else with a license too.

Please remember we are all immigrants in this country, do not forget where you come from, remember we all come from the same essence. We don't know why people had to make extreme decisions to leave all behind and came here, what kind of necessity or situation were they going through? To those who are blessed and mever ahd to even consider or imagine something like that please have compassion for those less fortunate.

In Response

by: Pamela from: Massachusetts
February 18, 2014 12:14 PM
We are tired of illegal people in this country. They deserve to deport. Nobody wants them to be here. Congress and Obama, please take care Americans first. Please send every Americans a vote and paid stamps on it. We will vote to deport them all. Americans do not want illegal people and more crimes.

In Response

by: Don Rosenberg from: Westlake Village, CA
February 18, 2014 11:42 AM
Lourdes, I understand your feelings but what you are suggesting is anarchy. Unfortunately there are more in this world that live in poverty than not. In many instances it is because of bad and cruel governments. It is because of religious zealotry. It is because people have children they cannot afford. Whatever the reason if we allow anyone to do and go wherever they want we will all live the same way. We should be compassionate and try to help. I do not fault those whose situation was so bad they decided to enter this country illegally. I fault our government for letting them do it.

My son and 60,000 others could have been killed by a licensed driver but they weren't. They were killed by people who weren't allowed to be here. Had they followed the law, had our government enforced the law these people would be alive.


by: Claudia L from: USA
February 18, 2014 7:43 AM
Deporting All Of America's Illegal Immigrants Would Cost $285 Billion. Which is FAR cheaper than subsidizing and paying for their children. CHEAP! compared to what they cost!

Just to educate 1 child in the US it costs $156,000. There are 6,000,000 Children of citizens of other countries here unauthorized. To educate will cost:

6,000,000 X $156,000 = $$936,000,000,000. and double that for 18 years of subsidy like WIC, TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, Disability, Supplemental Housing and Pell Grants so they can look for the jobs that AREN'T THERE!


by: John from: Boston
February 18, 2014 7:31 AM
You know its not fair all the immigrants get the jobs and I was BORN in America pure red blooded American, but an immigrant gets a job over me? Come on America...

In Response

by: Vickie Arnold
February 19, 2014 10:00 AM
Hey Juan from Chicago, he's not lazy, just out of a job because of illegals working under the table for less.

In Response

by: Claudia L from: USA
February 18, 2014 10:16 AM
For Juan, from Chicago.
Americans are among the hardest and smartest working people: Output per hour worked. Mexico, Russia and Poland ranked lowest for productivity in 2009—bringing in $19.00, $20.50 and $23.40 per hour worked, respectively. THEY'RE JUST CHEAPER! Like you.
At the other end of the spectrum the US has an output of $57.40 per unit hour of labor.

In Response

by: juan from: chicago
February 18, 2014 9:30 AM
you must be some lazzy character if you cant get a job


by: Don Rosenberg from: Westlake Village, CA
February 18, 2014 1:10 AM
"A majority of people who are detained and deported have no criminal record or have done no crime," Methodist Bishop Julius Trimble said. Nothing could be further from the truth. First everyone who is detained have done a crime. They entered the US illegally. Second, almost no illegal aliens are detained for just being here illegally. In fact many are not even detained when they illegally drive a car and kill someone. I know because it happened to my son. The USCIS response was he will not be detained and deported because, "He's only committed one crime of moral turpitude". My case was not the exception but the rule. Despite unlicensed drivers killing over 7,200 people a year (about 3600 aare by illegal aliens) the US Government considers it a minor offense. Bishop Trimble please learn the truth before you make comments that so many people will believe.. www.unlicensedtokill.org

In Response

by: Claudia L from: Kitty Hawk, USA
February 18, 2014 7:30 AM
The penalty for being here unauthorized is DEPORTATION even if it is not a crime.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid