Mixed reactions from Fil-Ams on policies that limit deportations

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 23, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – Despite reports that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is considering limiting deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally but without serious criminal records, immigration advocacy groups want President Barack Obama to totally halt the deportations of all immigrants.

Under his term, there have been a record number of deportations – over two million.

Obama argues that his ability to change immigration policies is limited, without the cooperation of Congress.

Anoop Prasad, a staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, represents low-income immigrants in deportation proceedings.

Prasad sees the news as a hint of some immigration reform but it’s still not enough.

“I think we haven’t hit a breakthrough yet but I think they’re hinting at a change. This is really in response to months or really the past year of escalating frustration of immigrant communities at the President’s high level of enforcement,” Prasad said.

Prasad said that the President increased immigration reinforcement as a political ploy to get Republicans to come on board with immigration reform.

So far, he said, it hasn’t worked.

But Prasad said President Obama can do more for immigration reform.

“The President has a really wide range of discretion on how he enforces immigration laws. No one is saying that he can go pass immigration reform and give citizenship to undocumented immigrants or anything like that on his own but what he can do is choose how many people he wants to deport and who to deport,” Prasad said.

Prasad says so many immigrant families are counting on President Obama to pass immigration reform this year.

“It’s really difficult to capture. We hear the numbers — 1,100 people deported a day. A quarter of a million Pacific Islander immigrants have been deported under this administration. It’s really difficult to capture the human suffering that comes from every deportation,” Prasad said.

But these Filipino-American college students in San Francisco say being undocumented is a crime in America and undocumented immigrants need to be deported.

“Personally, I disagree because they’ll be taking the jobs away from people who are actually citizens,” Xenon of San Francisco said.

“Simply put, I disagree with that because whether or not you have a criminal record you’re still an illegal immigrant,” Ron of San Francisco said.

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  • JRB
    24 April 2014 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Jeh Johnson, is considering limiting deportation of immigrants living in the U.S. Iiegally but without serious criminal records. What a clown you mean when you come to America Illegally your not a criminal ? ComOn who are you a clown that don’t have a brain ?