Archbishop of Miami joins in demanding executive action on immigration reform

Known as a defender of immigrants in the local community, the Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, is no stranger to voicing his concerns for immigration…
Archbishop of Miami joins in demanding executive action on immigration reform

Archbishop Thomas Wenski recites a prayer as he joins with community members and immigrant rights organizations during a press conference in Miami to ask that President Barack Obama take action to help the immigrant families living in the United States.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Known as a defender of immigrants in the local community, the Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, is no stranger to voicing his concerns for immigration reform. Now that the midterm elections are over, he’s joined several immigrant rights groups in Downtown Miami to demand President Barack Obama implement immigration reform immediately.

The activists, as well as Archbishop Wenski, want President Obama to not delay his promise to take executive action on immigration before in the United States—a promise he broke when he decided to wait until after the midterm elections to act. However, after the Republican takeover as majority of the Senate, concerns that Obama won’t act. The group of mostly Hispanics and some Haitian demonstrators gathered in front of Downtown Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower, which was a processing center for Cuban refugees in the 1960’s

SEE ALSO: What’s next for immigration now that Republicans control the Senate

A fear that the Republican Congress unwilling to act quickly, and President Obama unwilling to act on an executive order,  gripped many of the demonstrators present on Thursday, especially after President Obama stopped short of saying he would sign an executive order implementing immigration reform now that the Nov. 4th elections are over.

“I’m eager to see what they have to offer, but what I’m not going to do is just wait,” President Obama said in a Wednesday press conference after the elections. “I think it’s fair to say that I’ve shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible, and I’m going to keep doing so.”

Archbishop Wenski told local ABC station WPLG that McConnell represents one segment of the Republican Party—he believes the party is a big “tent” and that Republicans are willing to work for immigration reform.

“If Obama doesn’t want his legacy to be deporter in chief, he needs to act now,” Maria Rodriguez, director of of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, in an interview with EFE News.

Both Rodriguez and Wenski want President Obama to not balk under Republican pressure and their threats of a veto.

Republican Mitch McConnell, who won reelection for Senator in Kentucky, will be the new Senate majority leader in 2015, and he has made it clear that a move such as executive action is the equivalent of “waving a red flag in front of a bull.”

As part of the demonstration, Archbishop Wenski led a prayer in the group.

SEE ALSO: Republicans regain a majority in the Senate after midterm elections