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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Susan from: Ohio
February 18, 2014 12:17 AM
The reason why we have 11 million illegal immigrants is because
the federal government did not enforce laws and deport them
sooner.

In Response

by: mary from: Brooklyn,NY
February 20, 2014 9:13 AM
How do you feel if your husband get deported after 51 years living in
New york and serving in the marines and you wont be able to see him anymore, because the country in where he was born is not the same as yours? Also, being here since he was 5 years old he should be considered an american. My husband doesn't speak spanish. I am an american citizen they should take that in consideration also.


by: anotherview2 from: California
February 17, 2014 11:47 PM
Illegal aliens have no right to live and work in America. An illegal alien has broken the law by his illegal immigration. U.S. Congress and Mr. President: Make the federal E-Verify program mandatory nationwide, and apply it to both job applicants and existing employees. This program screens for a right to work. With no job, the illegal aliens will self-deport, at their own expense -- no national roundup necessary. Jobs will open for citizens at a time of high unemployment.

America can get along without illegal aliens, and will prosper all the more.


by: Joel Wischkaemper from: Longmont, CO
February 17, 2014 11:08 PM
I want to thank the VOA for taking comments from the Centre for Immigration Studies. We hear endless reasons for accepting the massive effort of the illegal aliens to become free of restrictions, and seldom any of the down issues with the illegal aliens. Their web site is at... cis dot org... and it is well worth while for doing research there.


by: nancy from: lexington
February 17, 2014 10:48 PM
Have americans and congress forgot who was in this country first let me remind u american indians the ones that white man take away burn their home destroyed their familes handed them lies on peace treaty what right u have to say who stay or go they have right to make better life same as white man did when come to america

In Response

by: Raduski from: Maine
February 18, 2014 1:02 PM
Claudia L is all that's wrong with the Republican Party today, Hypocrites and cowards. If this country really wanted the Illegal immigrants out, it would happen just as quick as attacking a middle eastern country. Money is never a problem with these invasions isn't it? Americans are hard working is like saying that Mexicans are all drug dealers(witch is actually one of your strongest argument)

I met a lot of Americans that were really lazy. They rather collected unemployment than work for 10$ an hour. But no, you don't see that. Most, if not all of the produce on your every day table is worked by "illegals". Also you don't see the fact that Most of our Greatest "AMERICAN" Companies and Corporation gave millions of our jobs to China, Taiwan,India and others Instead of giving it to us. Why? Wouldn't you rather have those jobs instead of cleaning mountains of dishes or toilets every day for minimum wage?

In Response

by: Claudia L from: USA
February 18, 2014 7:47 AM
I don't know if you noticed but things have changed in 500 years as "We the People" now have immigration laws to protect our jobs and Social Services from being squandered. And that is the purpose of Immigration Law.

US citizens have MORE of a right to a better life because THEY HAVE PAID FOR IT IN TAXES ALL THEIR LIVES!!!

In Response

by: Joel Wischkaemper from: USA
February 17, 2014 11:20 PM
I don't want to go into the history of the Americans that should be called .. "first settlers". They were hunter gatherers, did not own land, and did not claim xyz as 'their' land. They generally moved into an area, hunted it out, and then moved on. But when they did move into an area, they came in ones and twos, built very simple shelters, and hunted the area out, and moved on. When the Bison became mainstays of many tribes, the first wars between tribes began, and were there when the Europeans arrived. As the horse became the mode of travel for the plains Indians, Americans who moved into the area were treated as all the other tribes attempting to encroach on their hunting grounds, and were fought as they fought among themselves.
The issue is intensely complicated and not even vaguely as other suggest it is.
Finally, the issues of that time are not the issues of this time. They do not compare.

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
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 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.

AppleAndroid