Obama Announcement: More Cosmetic Changes to DHS Deportation Policy

Posted August 19, 2011

In a bid to win the Latino vote, President Obama announces plan to stall the deportation of some.

Today, the Obama Administration will once again attempt to hide that they are deporting DREAM Act-eligible youth and our families. The Obama Administration has attempted time after time to win our support with token appeasement. Coming just weeks after the June 17 Morton Memo, which still has not been implemented, it remains to be seen whether this change will provide actual relief for youth and our families.

Protesting the deportation of the Mathe family

Every few weeks, President Obama suddenly discovers that he has more authority to change immigration policy. These stop-gap measures come at the expense of a permanent solution. Recently, Andy Mathe, an asylum-seeker with no criminal record from South Africa, was deported even after Obama was personally handed a plea for help. He was returned to people trying to kill him—his family is still pleading its case to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“This is an important moment not because today’s changes will necessarily mean anything, but because it shows that our organizing is effective,” Jose Torres-Don, coordinator of The NIYA Education Not Deportation campaign, a project focused on preventing the deportation of youth and their families. “It shows that the president does actually have the power he previously claimed to not have. We are tired of empty promises and, thanks to this president; we know them when we see them.”

The underlying problem is that the Obama Administration is hard-wired for deportations through dragnet programs like Secure Communities. For years, advocates have been providing solutions, yet this administration has turned a blind eye. We warn President Obama that if he expects our support in 2012 we want more than temporary fixes to his broken programs.

This press release comes from The National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an undocumented-led network of grassroots organizations and individuals committed to achieving equality for all immigrant youth, regardless of their legal status