Obama Orders Deportation Review
On Thursday, the White House said President Obama ordered that deportation practices be reviewed, an announcement made amidst pressure from Hispanic organizations to cut back on the number of deportations.
In Thursday evening a meeting, the president told Congressional Hispanic Caucus leaders that he asked Jeh Johnson the Secretary of Homeland Security to examine the deportation practices of the department in order to see how they could be carried out in a more humane manner within the law.
Obama on Friday is planning to meet with groups pushing for immigrations laws to be overhauled, said a White House official.
It was not clear if the review would cause changes to the administration’s policies. Obama along with his aides repeatedly said they do not possess the authority to stop deportations without entering into an agreement with Congress.
Nevertheless, the president did use presidential authority in 2012 to stop the deporting of immigrants who were brought as children into the country illegally by their parents.
Many activists were hoping to extend that safe harbor offered the young immigrants to others illegally in the U.S.
Republican members of Congress have said there is increasing frustration amongst them that Obama has taken actions without the consent of Congress, such as his Thursday order for the review aimed at extending rules for overtime pay to a larger amount of workers.
Obama’s move comes as congressional Democrats have worked to motivate supporters to vote during the elections in November to counter the Republican Party’s efforts to regain control of the U.S. Senate.
The Senate approved an immigration bill that was bipartisan in June of 2013. However, many lawmakers from the GOP say they have little trust Obama would enforce that law and will not pass legislation in immigration without changes. Any move that is seen by them to undermine the existing law could add to complaints already voiced by the GOP.
Numerous Republicans said there is the possibility of crafting acceptable legislation in immigration and earlier in January support was found by John Boehner the House Speaker for a set of new legislative principles.
However, lawmakers in the GOP and their aides said they object to handling such legislation during an election year.