26 Apr Obama Urged to Curb Deportations
The New York Times reported that with prospects for an immigration overhaul looking dim, President Obama is facing increasing pressure from Latinos, Democratic lawmakers and immigrant groups to use his executive powers to offer relief from deportation to broad groups of illegal immigrants. Demands for immediate action by Mr. Obama to slow the pace of the immigration crackdown in Latino communities have not eased since a White House meeting on Tuesday in which the president gathered political, business and religious leaders to brainstorm about how to revive the overhaul legislation, which is stalled in Congress. Latinos and Democrats praised Mr. Obama for trying to jump-start efforts to pass the bill, which would grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. But with many leaders of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives strongly opposed to the measure, the bill’s supporters remain skeptical that it will go anywhere before the presidential election next year. They are calling on Mr. Obama to use authorities they say he already has under current immigration law to defer deportations of illegal immigrant students who would be eligible for legal status under a bill known as the Dream Act. “At the end of the day, the president cannot fix administratively what is broken in the immigration system,” said a senior White House official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. The official said the White House had made a strategic decision to focus all its efforts on passing the overhaul rather than acting unilaterally to make smaller changes.