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Amidst Humanitarian Crisis, Obama Must Protect Children and Keep Families Together

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While requesting funds to expand border militarization, President Obama declares fall plans to use administrative authority to act on Immigration
Miami, FL – President Barack Obama addressed the nation today from the White House on issues pertaining to our broken immigration system. With the start of the Independence Day Congressional Recess, Congress has closed the doors on any opportunity for comprehensive immigration reform this year, and the President himself has confirmed that the partisan gridlock in Congress has guaranteed that legislation this year will not happen.
The following is a statement by Isabel Vinent, Deputy Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition:
“President Obama understands that to leave the immigration system the way it is, puts millions of people and the future of this country in a humanitarian crisis. Record numbers of immigrants continue to be deported every day by the Administration, and the absence of legal pathways for people to enter the country safely and with inspection has resulted in hundreds of thousands of families, especially children, trapped at detention and processing facilities along the border that are dangerously over capacity. Around 60,000 child refugees are facing the worst of these conditions as they seek shelter and protection from the rampant violence and abuse in Central America. This violence is rooted in decades of political instability that has previously been instigated by U.S. corporate interests in the region as well as by the tranport of drugs through these countries to U.S. consumers.
Our families and communities will never forget that the House Republican leadership turned their backs on us and on a vast majority of Americans who agree that immigration reform needs to happen now. But we will no longer continue letting politicians play with our lives and our children, and expect the President to use his executive power to stop this crisis immediately.
Today, the President declared that he will expand administrative authority on immigration issues, with or without Congress, starting this fall. However, he has also requested $2 Billion from Congress to expedite deportations and increase family detention.
Mr. President, our nation depends on you to uphold the values of freedom and opportunity this country was built on. Administrative action should keep our families together and ensure the adequate safety and well-being of the incoming refugee children. Deportation and militarization of the border will never solve the problem. Though Congress has failed our communities by denying us the chance of a permanent, legislative solution, you can and should lead with bold, moral leadership for the sake of families.”