Advocates gathered at Baruch College where they encouraged President Barack Obama to use executive action on immigration reform. According to the New York Daily News, the event was called “New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform,” and was attended by people who shared stories of how deportations of family members resulted in ripping families apart.
“Every day, people live in fear that their families will be destroyed because they or someone else will be deported,” Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition and an undocumented New Yorker, told the New York Daily News. “It is inhumane to live not knowing if your father, mother, brother or sister will be captured by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The President has to act now and give us administrative relief to stop this inhumanity.”
The New York Immigration Coalition said that it hopes President Obama will use his authority to reverse deportations so that families can stay together, the source reported. Currently, there are thousands of children who were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border and are now waiting to hear their fate at immigration hearings. Until they can go in front of a judge, however, they must wait with family that already lives in the U.S.
While it’s important to keep families together, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth told the Courier-News that immigration reform is also about being humane, practical and fair. She added that passing immigration reform will reduce the national debt by approximately $1 trillion because immigrants will be able to contribute to the economy.
According to the Courier-News, a bi-partisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill passed in the Senate in 2013, but House Speaker John Boehner has yet to bring it to a vote. In June, Boehner said that he wouldn’t touch immigration reform, causing President Obama to consider executive action.
Until something can be done, immigration advocates will continue to encourage lawmakers and the president to pass legislation that will keep families together.