President Barack Obama warned lawmakers in Congress in January that if they did not approve his measures, he would issue executive orders. Now is the time to issue them about immigration.
Today, we cannot count on the House of Representatives passing any immigration reform that is not punitive. Whether based on political strategy or ideology, GOP lawmakers decided to turn their backs on the Latino and immigrant communities.
It is time for the White House to take another step to decrease the pressure that now exists over the undocumented; to review in detail all the options within its reach to prevent the deportation of people with deep roots in this country; and to take action similar to that involving the Dreamers and the use of discretion when processing undocumented immigrants.
The latter move resulted in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) losing the majority of cases heard by immigration judges. But that is only happening in some states, like California and New York. It is not enough, since there are still too many families that are being torn apart by deportations.
It is true that executive action that helps the undocumented will renew Republican criticism about what they call the “imperial presidency.” They already say that anyway, just like they have called the president all sorts of names throughout his administration. That won’t damage Obama’s government even more, while it will recover his lost popularity among Latinos.
A White House action that decreases deportations of working people who contribute with their taxes will reinforce the image of Democrats among Hispanicsespecially when it comes to the 2016 presidential and legislative elections.
Let’s be clear: it won’t benefit Republicans to relish and take advantage of the pressure being exerted now on the White House over immigration. The House of Representatives’ failure is so serious that it has even disappointed many Republican Latinos.
Obama recently called himself the “champion-in-chief” on immigration reforma title that, without legislative approval of reform, only reflects the impotence of what he was unable to achieve.
Reality rules the day, like the fact that his administration has carried out record numbers of deportations. Obama has an opportunity to change this path and do the right thing.