Recently, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) offered Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson a list of various ways to suspend certain types of deportations. According to the Huffington Post, this is another method for Democrats to try and pressure the current administration into not only reforming immigration law, but also suspending enforcement policies and procedures.
It seems that the memorandum contains a broad list of ideas that will be discussed at a meeting with Secretary Johnson in the coming weeks. The memo can be read here. Secretary Johnson has been reviewing current policies after requested to do so by President Obama. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a member of the CHC, is hoping that changes will be made in order to “save as many people as we can from the devastating effects of deportation and to put millions upon millions of people in a safe place.”
In December of 1976, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus was founded. At the time, it served as a legislative service organization to the U.S. House of Representatives. Currently, the CHC is considered to be a Congressional Member organization and is governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. It's mission is to address national and international issues and determine how they impact the Hispanic community. The CHC's main function is to operate as a type of forum for the “Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a legislative agenda.”
Specifically, the CHC memo encourages the use of all available legal means, “including deferred action . . . and parole to suspend, delay or dispense with the deportation of immigrants who would qualify for legal status and protection” according to the guidelines set out in the proposed immigration reform bill that was passed by the Senate in 2013.
One major area covered in the memo is that of deferred action on deportations. This would involve expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If this is approved, those who came to the U.S. as young children and were originally permitted to apply to stay in the U.S. and work for two years or more, would now be eligible to qualify for legal status. The CHC has been quoted as saying that this revision would “keep families together.”
Another suggestion included in the CHC memo is to give aid to “undocumented immigrants who are married to U.S. citizens, parents of citizen children and immediate family members of DACA recipients.”
Meanwhile, when it comes to the enforcement of current policies, the CHC memo wants reforms to include “reviewing priorities for removal and ending programs that lead to many deportations.” Based on this memo and others like it, it seems clear that the CHC wants to work with the federal government in order to implement some real change and hopefully make a real difference.
Have you given any thought to the list of suggestions offered by the CHC? What do you think? Are these suggestions any different from what other immigrant advocates have been saying for the past year?