Update: This afternoon AP reported Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is weighing limiting deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. who don’t have serious criminal records. Read more.
The AFL-CIO today called upon President Barack Obama to halt deportations that tear families apart from each other, and today the AFL-CIO sent the president a memo urging him to take swift action on the urgent needs of workers and immigrant communities.
While Republicans in Congress are abdicating their responsibility to create a commonsense immigration process, the AFL-CIO recommends the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) take the following three steps:
- DHS should grant affirmative relief with work authorization to individuals who are low priorities for removal or eligible for prosecutorial discretion under existing DHS policies. This would stop employers from “playing the deportation card” that pits workers against each other.
- DHS should reassert the primary role of the federal government in determining and implementing enforcement priorities by ending programs that effectively delegate those responsibilities to state and local law enforcement.
- DHS should reform the enforcement and removal system to stop criminalizing immigrant communities and ensure that individuals who are low priorities for removal or eligible for prosecutorial discretion are not removed.
This article was originally printed on AFL-CIO on April 21, 2014. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Jackie Tortora is the blog editor and social media manager at the AFL-CIO.