The Common Good

44,000 can’t wait for immigration reform in Congress

Source: The Hill
Date: August 2, 2013

Having allowed Janet Napolitano and John Morton to mold immigration enforcement into Arizona’s image, the president is in an uncomfortable position as the heads of DHS and of ICE end their tenure.  Their attempt to appear tough on enforcement to win reform credentials with conservatives has placed the administration to the right of some Republicans by continuing to deport the very people that both parties agree deserve legalization.

The fact that people continue to be torn from their loved ones at the same time the president and others advocate for their inclusion only adds insult to injury. As Jim Wallis of Sojourners told the New York Times in February, “Enforcing a broken system aggressively right before we’re about to change it is not just not compassionate, it’s cruel.”

Luckily for the president and for those victimized by the current broken system, such cruelty is optional.  Building upon prosecutorial discretion and the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, the president has it in his executive authority to expand the relief he’s granted dream-eligible youth to their parents, neighbors, and the other potential citizens who are watching the Congressional debate closely.