U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4), immigrant families in the state and members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) called on President Barack Obama Tuesday to take strong administrative action on deportations.
“Deportations have taken a devastating toll on our neighborhoods, and the process of healing can begin if Obama takes aggressive action this year,” Gutierrez said in a statement. "The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has recommended a broad and deep set of options for the president. I believe he will take bold action and I believe Chicago will be ready when he does.”
On June 30, Obama said he would take administrative steps on immigration reform following long-standing inaction on the issue by House Republicans. June 27 marked one year since the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which GOP leaders in the House continue to refuse to bring for a vote.
Back in March, Obama also called on the Department of Homeland Security to reevaluate its deportation practices "to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law."
“President Obama has the legal authority and the moral obligation to stop the deportation crisis,” said ICIRR CEO Lawrence Benito. “Now that the president has indicated a willingness to act, he should take immediate action and do everything in his power to address this crisis.”
“Just as we were with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program two years ago, our state will be prepared for whatever the president announces — which we hope will protect as many families as we can,” he added.
ICIRR has launched new website, www.ILisready.org, to include "information about any action that President Obama announces later this summer and how immigrant families and communities can prepare now for potential immigration relief," according to news release from the organization.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Obama asked Congress to sign off on $3.7 billion worth of emergency funds to help address the influx of migrant, Central American children crossing the southern border in Texas. Pending approval from Congress, the money would be used in part to bring on extra immigration judges and asylum officers, construct additional immigrant detention buildings and ramp up border surveillance, among other efforts.