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DREAMers Respond to Obama’s Statements on Deportation During Education, Immigration Townhall

by Mahwish Khan on 04/06/2011 at 4:05pm

United We DreamPresident Obama spoke at Bell Multicultural High School last week at a Town Hall meeting hosted by the television network Univision. He addressed growing concerns about immigration, education, and current affairs in Libya. During the town hall, President Obama stated that it was inappropriate to use his executive powers to grant “temporary protected status” to undocumented workers. He also said that it’s “just not the case” that he can suspend deportations by executive order.

Needless to say, some in the pro-migrant community were disappointed by those responses. Following, in its entirety, is a statement from the United We Dream Network in response to the President’s remarks at the Town Hall:

On Monday night, on Univision network’s Latino youth town hall, President Obama said that it wasn’t his responsibility to stop the deportation of DREAM Act youth. Just the week before,  on the same television network, he said his administration was not deporting those youth at all.

Last Wednesday, Jorge Ramos, of Univision asked the President about his record of deporting more immigrants than President Bush.  The President said,“we have refocused our efforts on those who have engaged in criminal activity.” Furthermore, he said, “We aren’t going around rounding up students,” the President told Ramos last Wednesday, “that is completely false.”

Then on Monday, Karen Maldonado, a United We Dream (UWD), Education Not Deportation Campaign eligible DREAMer, told the President her story about being rounded up by federal immigration agents, put into prison and then given an order to leave of the country she calls home. Holding up her deportation order, she asked, “My question for the President is, why (is he) saying that deportations have stopped, or the detention of many students like me? If so, why is it that we are still receiving deportation letters like this one?” Karen is not alone, countless young people who have grown up in America and set to succeed with a college degree or military career are being forced out to the country by the Department of Homeland Security.

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