With executive amnesty from President Obama seemingly imminent, pro-immigration groups are licking their chops at the prospects of such an action that will, according to reports, allow nearly five million illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. without the threat of deportation.
According to Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, this action needs to take place in a timely fashion. Speaking with MSNBC’ Jose Diaz-Balart Monday morning, the pro-immigration group’s head said the president’s need for action on immigration is “very important and urgent,” adding Obama needs to act “as soon as possible.”
Janet Murguia: The fact is that by delaying the executive action, the administrative action, I think it did harm some of the Senate Democrats who were in play for this last cycle. But frankly, we’ve moved on. We’re focusing on what the president will announce, and our hope is that he will be bold and that he will announce soon his intentions to allow those individuals who have been deeply rooted here in the United States for many years and are tied to citizen children. Hopefully advance opportunities for others and expand the category of “dreamers” as well. We see, unfortunately still, too many families being separated every day, and we believe it is very important and urgent for the president to act as soon as possible.
Jose Diaz-Balart: We have to remind ourselves that two million people have been deported, more than two million people, in the last six years. That’s about 1,000 a day. What about the argument this will forever end any chances of immigration reform getting passed in the future because of the, well, split that is going to exist between those on Capitol Hill that are Republicans and the president?
Murguia: I just don’t understand it. The Republicans have now taken control of the Senate and the House. They have the ability — they have the power — to provide and promote and pass any legislation that they believe will be the best solution in responding to our broken immigration system, and everybody acknowledges that it’s broken. If they don’t like what the president does, they have full latitude and authority to put a legislative solution forward, and frankly, we hope there will be a legislative outcome. We know it’s the only real permanent solution to our broken immigration system. But in the meantime, while there is this vacuum, we understand how important it is for the president to act and to make sure that we are addressing a broken immigration system. He has that authority within the law. This is something that he can exercise, and we understand that it is supported by legal experts far and wide. So it is a legal action for him to go forward. and he should. And if the Republicans don’t like what he does, they should respond and hopefully at the end of the day, we’ll see legislation that would be comprehensive and fix, ultimately, this broken immigration system.