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Obama Says He Wants To Help Immigrants. Immediately Proceeds To Deport Them.

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Deportation Raids Planned One Week After Obama Said He Regrets Not Passing Reform

Last week, at the White House Cinco De Mayo celebration, President Barack Obama told attendees that one of his biggest regrets was not passing comprehensive immigration reform. Exactly one week later, Reuters reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is planning a monthlong series of raids over the next two months that will target Central American mothers and children.

According to Reuters:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now told field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day “surge” of arrests focused on mothers and children who have already been told to leave the United States, the document seen by Reuters said. The operation would also cover minors who have entered the country without a guardian and since turned 18 years of age, the document said. Two sources confirmed the details of the plan.

Obama: Deporter in chief?

Credit: Fusion/YouTube

Deportations have skyrocketed under Obama, which has resulted in immigration advocates, and journalist Jorge Ramos, to refer to the President as “Deporter in Chief,” a label that has clearly gotten under his skin. To Obama’s credit, he did issue the executive orders that created Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), two programs that have provided deportation relief to millions of undocumented individuals. As we’ve reported previously, however, an extension of DACA and DAPA could be struck down by the Supreme Court.

What are the candidates saying?

Credit: @JaneOSanders/Twitter

Despite not being the most important issue to Latinos, immigration has been at the forefront of this year’s presidential race, thanks in large part to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and his claim that Mexico is sending rapists and drug dealers to the United States. So far, Trump has yet to mention the raids, choosing to tweet instead about his meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

On the democrats’ side, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have previously gone on record  to say that they would not deport children if elected president.  Clinton even made a point to hold a rally in East Los Angeles—one of the most Latino parts of Los Angeles County– on Cinco De Mayo to further stress her support for immigration reform. We reached out to both the Clinton and Sanders campaign for comment, but have yet to hear back. On social media, Clinton has not said a word about the raids. For his part, Sen. Sanders retweeted his wife (seen above), who is very much opposed to ICE’s plans.

UPDATE 5/16/2016:

 Hillary Clinton’s camp sent us the following statement:

“I’m against large scale raids that tear families apart and sow fear in communities. I am concerned about recent news reports, and believe we should not be taking kids and families from their homes in the middle of the night. Families fleeing violence in Central America must be given a full opportunity to seek relief. And we need to take special care of children—which is why I’ve laid out a plan to guarantee all unaccompanied minors are provided access to counsel. We must also fix our asylum and refugee systems, and work with regional partners to strengthen conditions in Central America.  We need a comprehensive plan to stop the root causes of the violence in Central America and expand orderly resettlement programs.  Large scale raids are not productive and do not reflect who we are as a country.”

Likewise, Sanders criticized ICE’s actions:

Sending women and children back into harm’s way after they already fled horrendous violence in Central America is painful and inhumane, and must be stopped.

Senator Sanders also launched a petition, which you can view here.

Read: Thousands Of Immigration Advocates Take To The SCOTUS Steps To #FightForFamilies

Register to vote today by downloading the Latinos Vote app for iOS and Android. Our voice matters. #WeAreAmerica

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

During the 2020 election, Latinos were a massive electoral voting bloc. In fact, for the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbered the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are now 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. 

And, Latinos helped deliver the presidency to Joe Biden. So it can be expected that the community has high expectations for Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.

During a recent speech about his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden outlined his priorities once he’s sworn in on January 20th, and said he would “immediately” send an immigration bill to congress.

Joe Biden promises swift action on immigration reform as soon as he takes office.

Over the weekend, President-Elect Joe Biden promised he would take swift action when it comes to immigration reform and rolling back many of the cruel and dangerous policies put into place by the Trump administration.

“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately,” he said in a news conference on Friday.

Although he didn’t go into detail regarding the proposed legislation, he’s previously committed to ending Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations, and that he wants a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and an increase in guest worker permits to help bring undocumented agricultural workers – many of whom are now considered “essential workers” – out of the shadows.

Biden had already promised an immigration overhaul within the first 100 days of his presidency but this commitment definitely increases the pressure on him and congress to get things done.

Biden also said his justice department will investigate the policy of child separation.

During the same press conference, Biden said that his Justice Department will determine responsibility for the family separation program, which led to more than 2,600 children being taken from caregivers after crossing the U.S. southern border, and whether it was criminal.

“There will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal,” Biden said. That determination will be made by his attorney general-designate, Merrick Garland, he added.

During the campaign, Biden finally took responsibility for many of his administration’s immigration failures.

Nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief,” Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office. 

But as part of that administration, Joe Biden is also complicit. That’s why during the campaign he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the pain the duo caused.

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s immigration plan reads. 

While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.

Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.

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