CWS decries the Obama administration's decision yesterday to delay a critical review of deportation policies. Less than two months ago, President Obama called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to review current deportation policies, noting his "deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system." Yesterday, however, President Obama asked the Department to hold off on completing the review process until the end of the summer, in hopes of creating space for the House to act on immigration reform. Speaker Boehner has asserted that the House will not work on immigration legislation because House Republicans do not trust the Obama administration to enforce the law.
CWS whole heartedly disagrees with House Speaker Boehner's false narrative that the Obama administration has not enforced immigration law, as this administration has deported a record-breaking 2 million individuals, more than any president in history. The administration has full authority to review its deportation policies, and delaying that process will only perpetuate a broken immigration system that separates families.
"It is morally wrong for the Speaker or the President to delay action for their own political expediency while families continue to suffer," said CWS President and CEO, the Rev. John L. McCullough. "The human cost to such delay is too high."
The President's announcement came on the heels of a statement made by a handful of organizations urging the administration to give House leadership all of the space they may need to move legislation before taking administrative action. CWS strongly disagrees with this statement and approach, as CWS believes that all policy makers, the Congress and administration alike, must be held accountable to doing everything in their power to alleviate the suffering caused by deportations.
CWS remains committed to holding both Congress and the administration accountable to doing their part to fix our broken immigration system. CWS urges Congress to enact immigration reform that provides opportunities for our undocumented community members to apply for citizenship. And in the interim, CWS urges the administration to expand deferred action to all undocumented individuals, to end deportations, and to stop the Secure Communities program and other initiatives that force local police to serve as immigration officials.