Obama vows more humane immigration law enforcement

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has directed his Department of Homeland Security to enforce immigration laws “more humanely,” the White House said on Thursday.

The president made the pledge at a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the White House.

Obama pledged to work with them to pressure congressional Republicans to pass immigration reform, a second-term priority for him that appears stalled.

“He has asked Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to do an inventory of the Department’s current practices to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law,” the White House said.

The president has come under fire from Latino groups for deportation practices, and immigration rights groups urged him to back his words with action.

“The president has no excuse to continue his unjust deportation policy,’ the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said in a statement.

Despite some support, congressional Republicans are divided over immigration reform and party leaders have made clear legislation is unlikely to be taken up before the November congressional elections. Republicans hope to extend their advantage in the House of Representatives and regain control of the Senate.

In not waiting for Congress to act on immigration, Obama is following a pattern he has used to advance his agenda in other areas that congressional Republicans have opposed, such as raising the minimum wage. Unable to get lawmakers interested in legislation, the president used his executive power to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors.

Obama’s record on enforcing immigration laws has been a sore spot for some reform advocates. The president faced criticism in his first term for not using his executive power to ease deportations of illegal immigrants.

But before his re-election in 2012, he had Homeland Security temporarily halt deportations of undocumented children who were brought to the United States by their parents.

The president has enjoyed strong support among Hispanic voters and wants to rally support for Democrats in November’s elections. But he has faced criticism from some Latino groups for not pushing harder on immigration reform.

More in World News

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. A police officer attempts to escort Rushelle Gittens out of the court compound

    Woman threatens to kill cop at city court complex

  2. Colin Rodney

    Cop charged with taking bribes

  3. Courtenay Griffith’s home in Lodge that is earmarked to be demolished.

    City to tear down 52 derelict buildings

  4. Lakeram Kewlachand

    Gangaram man takes his own life

  5. Citizens fleeing country due to crime, IAC says

  6. The Rio Inn at Forshaw and Oronoque Streets

    Teen shot dead outside Rio nightclub

  7. Tricia Loo

    East Canje woman jailed over cocaine in suitcases

  8. 15-year-old charged with murdering suspect in sister’s abuse

  9. Jean Rodrigues

    Woman shot in crossfire between cop, fleeing bandit


Recommended For You