With the midterm elections less than a week away, immigration activists are reminding President Obama that they still expect him to enact unilateral executive amnesty before the end of the year.
“We won’t take anymore excuses” Cristina Jimenez, the managing director of the pro-amnesty group United We Dream told reporters on a Wednesday conference call.
The Obama administration angered amnesty activists earlier this year after he promised to take unilateral action on immigration by the end of the summer, but balked at doing so in advance of the midterm elections.
“We expect [Obama] to be unapologetic and bold abut his actions on any administrative package. He must be inclusive and he must be broad to protect as many people as possible from our community. It is his legal authority and any package of administrative reform must include our parents,” Jimenez said, adding there there is “there is no excuse.”
The call featured an immigration lawyer who argued that Obama has the legal authority to expand prosecutorial discretion to more illegal immigrants — particularly parents — of U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status — living in the United States.
“Any decision by the administration to include or exclude certain groups will be a policy choice, not a legal one,” Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, a Penn State law professor, said.
An illegal immigrant granted DACA status who lives in Northern Virginia — Diego Mariaca — and his illegal immigrant mother — Ingrid Vaca — also spoke on the call about the difficulties they face.
“My mother continues to drive without a license and that leaves her helpless to being stopped and being deported,” Mariaca said on the call, explaining he and his brother fear the potential deportation of his mother.
“She deserves the same opportunities that I have with deferred action. My mother should not live in fear her whole live,” he added.
Ingrid Vaca, Mariaca’s illegal immigrant mother from Bolivia argued that she deserves remain in the United States. Vaca, who said has been in Virginia for 14 years and highlighted her work as a housekeeper.
“What would my children do if I wasn’t there?” Vaca asked.
“President Obama promised action on immigration and he has already delayed. That’s wrong. Presidnet Obama, we need action now! Our families cannot wait anymore. We will not take anymore broken promise,” she said.
Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, called on Obama to act “boldly to provide deportation relief to all those who have ties to the United States.”
“Some might worry that the backlash if there is a bold program would be too great. The truth is that the anti-Obama wing of Congress will be enraged by any actin the president takes. whether his executive action provides relief for 1 million or 2 million or 5, 7, 10, 11 million people, he will have backlash. This is an opportunity for the president to do what is best for our country, to do what is best for his legacy and most importantly what is best for the undocumented immigrants who are aspiring citizens,” Hincapié said.