Posted 9 months ago on March 7, 2014, 12:28 p.m. EST by flip
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President Obama is facing increasing calls to stop his record deportations of undocumented immigrants. Obama granted a reprieve in 2012 to undocumented youths who came to the U.S. as young children, but critics want that extended to their parents and all those who would be spared under the proposed immigration reform Obama has endorsed. In statements this week, three Democratic senators who helped draft the bipartisan immigration reform bill — Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Chuck Schumer of New York — have called on Obama to stop the deportations. Speaking at the group’s annual gala, the head of the National Council of La Raza, Janet Murguía, called Obama the nation’s "deporter-in-chief."
Janet Murguía: "For us, this president has been the deporter-in-chief. Any day now, any day now, this administration will reach the two million mark for deportations. It’s a staggering number that far outstrips any of his predecessors and leaves behind it a wake of devastation for families across America. … The president says his administration does not have the authority to act on its own. All we hear is no—no from Congress, no from the administration. But here’s the thing: We won’t take no for an answer."
Responding at a town hall event on Thursday, Obama called himself the "champion-in-chief" of comprehensive immigration reform and repeated his claim to have done all he can within the confines of the law. House Republicans have all but ruled out an immigration reform vote until after the mid-term elections. Obama also came under criticism from immigration advocates this week over priorities in his 2015 budget. The request seeks funding for speedier deportations, expanding immigration courts, and the controversial "Secure Communities" program involving local law enforcement in deportations. In a statement, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said: "The administration cannot hide its own record behind Republican extremism when it continues to propose funding for extremely cruel enforcement."