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 South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid