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Groups Deliver 260,000 Petitions to Pres. Obama Today Urging Him to Go Big on Immigration

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Progressive advocacy groups representing millions of Americans are delivering more than 260,000 petitions to the White House today urging the president to take bold executive action to offer relief to aspiring Americans. The groups are urging the president to keep his promise and use his legal authority to take bold executive action on immigration by expanding deferred action to immigrants who would have qualified for legalization under a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The groups are meeting with White House officials today to deliver the petitions and encourage the president to take action to address our broken immigration system while Republicans in Congress refuse to do so. The groups at today’s petition delivery include AFL-CIO, America’s Voice, CREDO, Daily Kos, NCLR, NDLON, Presente, RI4America, SEIU and United We Dream.

Statement by Kelly Fay Rodríguez, Assistant to the Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO

“Workers need relief. The President can improve the lives of all working people by granting work authorization to all those who should be on a pathway to citizenship now and ensuring that no worker faces the threat of deportation for exercising her rights on the job.”

Statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Republicans had their chance to pass immigration reform, and they squandered it.  Now, it’s time for the President to follow through on his promise and deliver bold executive action that lets millions of immigrants who have established deep ties to America live freely, work legally and make a bigger contribution to our tax base and economy.  It’s not only smart from a policy perspective, but it’s the right thing to do from a moral perspective.  And the President would be wise to take it up quickly.”  

Statement by Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s Deputy political director:

“Republican extremists in Congress have left the president with no other choice than to use his executive authority to suspend the deportations that are tearing apart families. There can be no half measures — we need the strongest possible executive order in place until Congress comes to its senses and passes a comprehensive reform bill to fix our broken immigration system.”

Statement by Markos Moulitsas, publisher, Daily Kos:

“Polling has consistently shown strong support for comprehensive immigration reform, and even the exit polls from this year’s Republican-heavy electorate supported reform by a huge 57-39 margin. Yet DC has been unable to act, paralyzed by xenophobic and political opportunists blocking the will of the people. If Congress can’t act on behalf of the American people, it’s long past time that the president take matters into his own hands, just like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did before him.”

Statement by Laura Vazquez, Senior Legislative Analyst of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR):

“President Obama must seize this moment to fulfill his promise to bring some sanity to our immigration system. He has the power, precedent, and priority for action. Republican inaction on immigration reform reaffirms the need for the president to step in and address the ongoing crisis that our community faces.”

Statement by Carlos Castillo, President of Washington, DC’s Trabajadores Unidos & member of National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON):

“We have given this country the sweat of our brow and the strength of our labor the least it can do is remove the fear that we’ll be taken from the communities we’ve built. The distance the president must address is not between republican and democratic it’s between the courage undocumented immigrants have shown to put this issue in the national agenda and the cowardice of politicians who continue to squander it. We expect the president to do what is in his power as we’ve already done everything in ours.”

Statement by Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente:

“The President needs to be bold and courageous and offer a solution that can stop the separation of our families in a real way. Unfortunately rumors of an order for 5 million would not even deal with half of the problem. Republicans will not show any mercy if it’s a full or half-a-loaf solution. The President has a historic opportunity to issue a broad and inclusive executive order that begins to protect the 11 million undocumented immigrants and heal the relationship with Latinos.

Statement by Emilia Gutierrez, Director of Reform Immigration For America:  

“We are calling on the President to keep the promise he made to provide relief to millions of immigrants. The fate of millions of children and families is in President Obama’s hands. He can choose to continue to separate families through deportation, or he can fulfill his commitment to provide relief to the most people possible through big and broad administrative relief. This is his moment to act.”

Statement by SEIU Executive Vice President Rocio Saenz:

“Republicans in Congress have consistently failed to act in the interest of our families and communities. Now, President Obama has the power to move our country forward, taking us steps closer to realizing a lasting immigration solution for millions of families. Our nation and families shouldn’t wait any longer. The president can act and Congress must follow suit.”

Statement by Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, Managing Deputy Director of United We Dream:

“Dreamers have been fighting for this and we won’t stop until the President is making his announcement, this is not our first time in the rodeo and details matter! President Obama has the legal authority to go big and broad to change the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants, we won’t stop until LGBTQ people and parents of Dreamers can be included in the executive action President Obama will announce in the next few days or week.”