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

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    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.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora