It seems that President Obama has been recently given a new title: “Deporter-in-Chief.” The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Latino advocacy organization has given this label to the President after making the determination that Obama refuses to do all that he can to help stop needless deportations. The NCLR is taking a stance and hopes that this will encourage Obama to take action against deporting those who are not considered to be criminals or a threat to the United States.
According to its website, the NCLR works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. It has almost 300 affiliated community-based organizations in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. The NCLR conducts research, analysis, and advocacy in order to achieve its broad mission. It strives to provide a Latino perspective in five areas: assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health.
Immigration has been, and will no doubt continue to be, a huge issue for Obama and his Administration. Deportation, deferred action, and immigration reform have all been discussed at length in the past few years and it seems as though that trend will continue. While other presidents throughout history have dealt with their share of immigration issues during their time as president, it seems that Obama's legacy will include thoughts about how he handled immigration and whether he made a positive or negative impact.
The news that the current Administration has allowed for approximately 2 million deportations has not gone unnoticed. This number is higher than any other president. However, Obama has repeatedly stated that he alone cannot stop deportations. This argument has weakened as more and more immigrants are being deported. The loss of credibility is partly due to the fact that the NCLR claims that Obama had made the same argument about not being able to act alone when it came to Dreamers and deferred action. However, he did subsequently make a change. The NCLR argues that he can do the same for deportations.
Starting April 5, there was to be mass demonstrations held in order to convince lawmakers to take a stand against Obama and deportations. The NCLR president, Janet Murguía is not mincing words when she says that Obama can “stop tearing families apart. He can stop throwing communities and businesses into chaos. He can stop turning a blind eye to the harm being done. He does have the power to stop this. Failure to act will be a shameful legacy for his presidency.”
Murguía contends that the most recent acts taken by the NCLR are part of a three-pronged strategy. The organization will continue to push Congress and hope to have an additional 250,000 new Latino voters in time for the November midterm elections.
So, what now? Whether this recent news of Obama losing support from the NCLR has any impact on the slowing down of deportations is yet to be determined, but it will definitely have more people talking. Further, Obama's administration will probably feel some pressure, although the criticism is nothing new.