NCLR Denounces Legislative Proposal to Curtail President Obama’s Authority

July 26 2011


Julian Teixeira
(202) 745-2128
(202) 776-1812


Washington, D.C.—NCLR (National Council of La Raza) condemns the “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act (HALT Act)” (H.R. 2497) introduced by Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas. The Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement of the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today on legislation that would eliminate President Obama’s authority to set priorities for immigration enforcement and to suspend the deportation of individuals who do not fall within the enforcement priorities.

“It is obvious that this legislation is a cheap political stunt that will do nothing to address the serious problems of our broken immigration system. It is designed to only affect this president and goes against Representative Smith’s own stance when he signed a bipartisan letter to President Clinton urging him to use his authority to suspend a deportation when it would cause extreme hardship to American citizens,” said Clarissa Martínez De Castro, NCLR Director of Immigration and National Campaigns. “It is fine for presidents to have this authority apparently—just not this president.”

Instead of focusing immigration enforcement efforts on serious criminals, the sponsors of this bill seek to deport young students like Ivan, who has lived in Ohio since he was an infant, and separate him from his four siblings who are U.S. citizens. Ivan’s hardworking father has never committed a crime but was among the record-level numbers of deportations occurring over the past two years.

“The Obama administration should use its authority to suspend deportations of people who pose no risk to public safety and continue to urge Congress to focus on real solutions that will fix our immigration system,” Martínez De Castro concluded.



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