We are gratified that the President has now stated publicaly that he will keep his commitment to take executive action to fix at least temporarily this nation’s broken immigration system and to stop the unjust deportations that are each day separating families. We agree that the Congress is at fault for failing to act and that the President is fully justified in implementing what the great majority of people in this country support. We would like to make a few points about what this executive action can and should include:
1) The President specifically cited the need to stop the exploitation of undocumented workers that give some companies an unfair advantage over companies that follow the law. This can only be accomplished if the DACA process is extended to the parents of dreamers and the parents of U.S. citizen children so that these workers can achieve work permits and become legal workers.
2) The need to clarify the situation at the border requires a clear way for families that have been separated by deportation to be reunited legally. The primary motivation for the surge of mothers and children at the border is family reunification. In addition to spreading the word in countries about who will not be admitted to this country a clear policy must be established to that those who have been deported, who have U.s. citizen family in the United States and no serious criminal convictions can return.
3) We support as part of the promised reallocation of enforcement resources the immediate termination of the secure communities program.
In summary, we believe that executive action should extend DACA to the undocumented parents of dreamers and U.S. citizen children and that the established procedure of humanitarian parole in place should be broadly authorized to reunify families which have been separated by deportations.
Finally, we take seriously our responsibility to defend the President’s use of executive authority. We will begin this month a “Quincenera” voter registration drive in which families threatened with separation identify all the U.S. citizens in their extended families and work to insure that they become registered voters and vote in the next election. We will put special emphasis on those who will turn 18 before the next election. Further we will continue our efforts to assist all eligible people to apply for U.S. citizenship.