Monday, July 4, 2016

Five Immigration Actions Obama Should Take Before Leaving Office

By Carl Lipscombe, Truthout
June 23, 2016

Comprehensive immigration reform has failed. Millions of immigrants have been deported. President Obama's executive action programs are in limbo.

As President Obama enters his final six months in office, his legacy on immigration has yet to be determined. Will he go down as the savior who stretched the limits of his power to provide relief for millions of Dreamers? Or as the Trojan Horse who rode in promising hope and change while opening the door to raids on immigrant families, communities and record deportations?

If President Obama wants to rescue his immigration legacy while shedding the lame duck president stereotype, he should take bold, decisive action on immigration. Here are some ideas:

1. Take a stand against the 1996 laws that criminalized millions of immigrants.

Over the last year the Obama administration has taken stands against the war on drugs and the war on crime, acknowledging both as failed policies that overwhelmingly impacted communities of color. In fact, just last fall the administration announced the release of 6,000 prisoners who were convicted of drug offenses. Unfortunately, the administration has yet to speak out against the impact of these same failed policies on immigrants. As a result of two laws enacted in 1996, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), immigrants convicted of certain criminal offenses were deemed mandatorily deportable.[...]

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