Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Deportations to continue at a record pace all summer

By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – On May 27, President Obama told the head of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, to postpone his recommendations for changing deportations policies until after Congress wraps up in August. Under pressure from immigrant rights activists to stop the record number of deportations, more than 2 million, the President had promised a review of deportations back in March.

Obama claimed that any action to stem the tide of deportations would make the Republicans mad so that they won’t act on immigration reform. But the reality is that it has been almost a year since the Senate passed their Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill last June 27. Despite this bill being so loaded up with more militarization of the border, expanding workplace verification, expanded temporary worker visas and elimination of the diversity visa to woo right-wing Republicans, the Republican led-House of Representatives has refused to consider an immigration reform bill. While there are a lot of rumors that Republicans are softening, the House just shot down a bill sponsored by a California Republican that would legalize undocumented veterans of the U.S. military.

Many forces in the immigrant rights movement have condemned Obama’s latest action to appease Republicans. Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), said that the delay “damages legislation’s prospects, hurts real people...” Marisol Marquez, of the Tampa, Florida immigrant rights organization Raices, told Fight Back!, “Obama needs to stop hiding behind the House Republicans. Face the people and put a stop to deportations.”

But sadly enough, a few organizations, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, among others, not only approved of Obama’s delay, but actually encouraged him to do so. With deportations running at a pace of more than 1000 per day, supporting this delay means supporting the deportation of at least another 60,000 immigrants, many of whom could be eligible for legalization.

#SanJoséCA #deportations