Above photo: By VDLF, More than one hundred supporters and family members of immigrants stage rally and sit-in in front of Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s Milwaukee office.
In response to Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Voces executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz issued the following statement:
“We applaud President Obama’s proposed minimum wage hike in the fight against income inequality, and for economic justice for the working poor. His action shows that President Obama can use executive orders such as that one to achieve victories for the people who elected him in the face of obstruction by the most unpopular Congress in history.
We call on him to do the same with today’s deportation crisis, and use his legal executive authority to provide real relief for America’s immigrant families, who are being torn apart at historic levels since he took office campaigning on federal immigration reform.
President Obama is on the verge of cementing a shameful legacy as Deporter-in-Chief, presiding over what will soon be 2 million deportations – the most under any President in history.
In his speech the president said, “Let’s make this a year of action.” Our movement lives by those words, and in 2014 we will honor them through increasing pressure on both the Obama administration and a Congress which has failed every opportunity to act, despite overwhelming consensus on the urgent need for a new legal working system that provides equality and dignity through citizenship and protections for all workers.
The President’s stated desire for reform continues to contradict his own capacity to make relief a reality. It is within his power to provide relief by expanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other options to help the 11 million, and he can stop the deportation machine by ending ICE policies that lead to criminalizing people who would be the very beneficiaries of the reform he says he wants Congress to pass.
Immigration reform that treats our families with respect is not a political football to be tossed around between two political parties. President Obama has the obligation and the power to provide immediate relief from family separation, criminalization, and exploitation. He needs to use it.”