(WASHINGTON)–The Fair Immigration Reform Movement, (FIRM) the nation’s largest immigrant-rights coalition, released the following statement on behalf of FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos after news that President Obama asked DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to postpone any changes to immigration practices until August:
“A broad majority of the American public, voters, and civic groups have long been clear about our demands: Our country needs immigration reform and a stop to family separation immediately. While a delay in executive action to fix the broken immigration system may not mean much to the White House and House Republicans, in our communities it means that brave workers, parents and children go about their lives with the prospect of losing a loved one every single day – that should be a bigger priority than the Congressional calendar. Every day there is delay means 1100 additional deportations. The legacy that President Obama has created is a devastating one, rife with family separation and the destruction of our communities.
“Our groups have long worked for – and are still working for – a legislative fix to our broken immigration system which we believe can be accomplished this year. At the same time, we remain steadfast in our call for President Obama to use his executive authority immediately to stop the family separation crisis that he has overseen. When our leaders met with Secretary Johnson, we urged him to make immediate urgent, short-term changes to stop separating families; the steps to relief are clear as day. Every day that the Administration delays taking action, 1100 families are broken apart. So while we continue our campaign to pressure the GOP to act on comprehensive immigration reform, any delay in executive action to stop deportations is unacceptable.
For Democrats and Republicans alike who are discussing the merits of policy, intricacies of politics and the Congressional calendar, it might make sense to hold off just one more month in hopes that the anti-immigrant tendencies of the Republican Party will finally get right with history and our communities. But for our families, anymore strain or fear is as unbearable in June as it would be in August. Family separation is always wrong, and we expect our leaders to act accordingly.”