A contrast on immigration

The path to improving the situation of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. showed a marked contrast last week that should not be disregarded, despite widespread disappointment about the obstacles against achieving immigration reform this year.

On the one hand, the White House reacted to complaints from the Latino community. Because of the lack of reform, the community is urgently calling for some sort of action to decrease the number of deportations. President Barack Obama’s order for his administration to review which internal measures or executive actions can be taken to make this process “more humane” should be welcome.

On the other hand, the House of Representatives, which brought immigration reform to a halt, passed HR 4138—a bill that would make it easier for lawmakers to take the president to court when they believe that he is not faithfully executing the law. This is a result of the mistaken perception that Obama is leading an imperial presidency that ignores the legislature. In practice, this bill, which for now has no chance of being enacted as law, can prevent the renewal of deferred deportations (DACA) for the Dreamers.

What a contrast! While Obama meets with Latino leaders to figure out ways of decreasing deportations, Congress says that the president is not complying with immigration laws because he is not deporting more people. The words and intentions toward immigrants could not be more different.

Also, the arguments behind the House bill are a slap in the face of the truth—because Obama is the president who in the past 30 years has made the least use of those options granted to him by law to implement legislation however he sees fit.

When it comes to disappointment among immigrants, there is a big difference between those who listen to them and those who want to kick them out of the country. Let’s not lose sight of that.

With its actions, the House of Representatives ratified the antagonism that its majority has toward all undocumented immigrants. Now, the White House, also with its actions, must confirm the intention expressed: decreasing deportations.

Actions are what determine the position on undocumented immigrants