With the support of the AFL-CIO, a national day-laborer advocacy group is petitioning President Obama to stop deporting undocumented immigrants while Congress considers an immigration reform bill that would provide them with a path to US citizenship.
Through its Not One More organization, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) is seeking support for a petition calling on President Obama to, "Please suspend deportations as Congress works to pass immigration reform. Make sure those seeking a path to citizenship aren't deported before it even opens."
"People who came to the US looking for a better life, to provide for their families, and who call it home are pursuing political equality but may be taken away before a path to citizenship opens," states NDLON.
According to NDLON, more than 1,100 undocumented aliens who "could be included" in the reform bill's path the citizenship system are still being deported daily.
However, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) statistics show that about 48 non-criminal undocumented aliens per day were deported during 2012. Of the total 392,175 persons deported from the US during the year, 96% had criminal records, were fugitives or were detained at the US border and returned to their native countries.
Under the immigration reform bill now in Congress, convicted criminals, fugitives, repeat immigration violators and persons apprehended in the process of illegally entering the United States would not be eligible for the law's path to citizenship. Only persons without criminal records already living illegally in the US would be eligible for the path to citizenship.
"It makes sense to cease the removals today of the people that Congress could make citizens tomorrow," states NDLON. "The President brought relief to Dreamers and has the ability to extend that same relief to their parents, neighbors, and all who could become citizens under immigration reform."
"Dreamers" refers to those young undocumented aliens exempted from deportation under a policy implemented by President Obama on June 15, 2012. While the president's policy does provide limited, temporary immunity from deportation, it does not offer a "pathway to citizenship," as contained in the often-proposed but never-passed Dream Act.
As of May 20, 2013, NDLON's petition to suspend deportation had garnered 248 online signatures.