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Legislators ask president to stop even more deportations

Proponents of immigration reform who at one point thought there was a good chance the matter would be resolved this year have to come to terms with the reality that legislators in the nation’s capital are not going to get to it in 2013. In the meantime, deportations of individuals, who under immigration reform would potentially be able to remain in the United States, continue. In response to this situation, earlier this month 29 members of the House of Representatives requested the president suspend deportations on a grand scale. 

Scaling back on deportations is nothing new to the current administration. The first move President Obama made in this direction was to inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the focus of deportations should be on individuals with criminal records or who could potentially harm the community. Last year, the administration took the next step when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was announced. Individuals who qualify for that program will not be deported either. More recently, we wrote about a move to remove that risk for certain undocumented family members of current or past members of the United States Armed Forces via “parole in place.”

Despite these previous changes, the White House asserts that any further expansion of the deferral of deportations cannot be done by the president alone. This is because he reportedly does not have the authority. There appears to be some disagreement regarding what exactly the president does have the authority to do.

For many undocumented individuals living in South Florida, deportation is the number one thing they are trying to avoid. Not every deportation order results in that individual being returned to his or her native country. For many people the best way to reach a different conclusion is to work with an immigration lawyer.

Source: People’s World, “Officials call for further suspensions of deportations,” Emile Schepers, Dec. 11, 2013

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