House Democrats and other immigration reformers are calling on President Obama to go big when it comes to administrative changes in deportation policy.
For months, liberal reform advocates on and off Capitol Hill have urged Obama to tap his executive powers to stop deporting certain qualified groups of undocumented immigrants while waiting to see if House Republicans would take up reform legislation this year.
But in the wake of Obama’s Monday Rose Garden speech vowing unilateral action, some reformers want the president to go far beyond a limited expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to essentially legalize the millions of undocumented immigrants who would be eligible for work permits under the bill passed by the Senate last summer.
“The administration has unquestionable legal authority to provide all those who would qualify for citizenship under the bipartisan Senate Bill affirmative status with work authorization while making immigration enforcement more just,” Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO said Tuesday in a statement. “The administration should act boldly and without further delay.”