Texas immigrant rights groups said today they have waited long enough for Congressional Republicans and Democrats to come together on an immigration reform bill, and they are urging President Obama to halt all deportations, essentially imposing amnesty by executive order.
"The President can sign an executive order to stop the deportations," Jaime Martinez of the Cesar Chavez Center in San Antonio told 1200 WOAI news. "Until the Republicans and Democrats can agree on a just and fair bill."
Martinez and other activists say it is not fair for 'hard working people' whose only crime is illegal entry into the United States, should be punished for the dysfunction of the government in Washington.
"We are going to make sure that they listen to us, and stop the deportations immediately," he said.
The halt in deportations would not cover undocumented immigrants who have been charged with other crimes while in the United States.
"This letter is to urge you to immediately stop the systemic deportation of undocumented people, to reflect on your role as a husband and father and feel the anguish endured by each affected family," the letter to the President begins. "We urge you to exercise the executive and administrative power bestowed upon you to issue a protective order to end the tragic drain of the true Americans spirit. It is a matter of social justice."
Business groups are joining with Democrats in urging the Republican controlled House to approve an immigration reform bill already okayed in the Senate. Opposition is coming from Tea Party and powerful conservative organizations, which say the bill would essentially create '11 million new Democratic voters.'
But Martinez says the key is what this ongoing debate is doing to families. He points out that 1400 people per day are being deported, and it isn't fair to deport those individuals while an immigration reform bill is being considered.