A Latino activist called President Barack Obama the “deporter in chief,” denouncing the administration’s deportation of nearly 2 million immigrants, the Associated Press reports.
Janet Murguia, who heads the National Council of La Raza, didn’t just direct her anger over the deportations at the president. She also voiced her displeasure with House Republicans for stalling on immigration legislation, as a comprehensive bill has languished more than eight months after the Senate passed it.
“For us, this president has been the deporter in chief,” Murguia said at an awards dinner Tuesday night. “Any day now, this administration will reach the 2 million mark for deportations. It is a staggering number that far outstrips any of his predecessors and leaves behind it a wake of devastation for families across America.”
According to AP, since Obama took office the Immigration and Customs Enforcement has removed nearly 2 million immigrants in an aggressive enforcement of current law.
Advocacy groups have blasted the president for deporting too many people under his presidency. Yet, Republicans argue that Obama has been too lenient in handling the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally. Murguia believes that the president has the authority to stop tearing families apart, AP reports.
“[W]e continue waiting for the House of Representatives to wake up and move on immigration reform legislation,” Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez said. Menendez, who spoke at the awards dinner where he was honored for his work, wants Obama to halt deportations for relatives of U.S. citizens, young people who were brought to the country illegally by family members and legal residents, AP reports.
“I urge the president to take action today and halt needless deportations that are splitting apart our families and communities,” the New Jersey senator said. “The current deportation apparatus is an outrage and it’s a tragedy.”
Murguia echoed the senator’s statements while urging House GOP to act on immigration.
“You have had more than enough time to come up with legislation to move reform forward. It is time to stop the political gamesmanship,” she said.