Statement from Cheryl Little on President Obama's Announcement

Statement from Cheryl Little, Esq., Executive Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice

Miami, November 21, 2014
 - Last evening President Obama took executive action and unveiled a plan to address our broken immigration system.  Among other things, the plan expands deferred action for those who came to the U.S. as children (“Dreamers”) and provides relief for parents of US citizen children or green card holders.

We applaud this critical step forward which will enable millions of immigrants who have been living in the shadows for years to finally have some semblance of a normal life.  However, many families will be forced to continue living underground and countless immigrants who’ve  lived here for years, worked hard, paid taxes and have no criminal history will continue to be deported.  The Congressional ICE detention bed quota mandates roughly 34,000 immigrant detention beds be filled on a daily basis.  A 2,400 bed mega jail for immigrant families is scheduled to open in Texas later this year.

The relief provided yesterday is not legal status and is temporary. Until a comprehensive reform bill passes, our immigration system will remain badly broken.  We will double our efforts in the fight for fair and sensible immigration reform and work to thwart the efforts of unscrupulous notarios who are already scheming to take advantage of vulnerable immigrants.

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AI Justice is an award-winning non-profit law and advocacy firm that protects and promotes the basic human rights of immigrants. In Florida and on a national level, we champion the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocate for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serve as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speak for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.