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Immigration advocates call on Obama to cut back deportations

March 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- Immigration activists have called on President Obama to ease deportations of undocumented immigrants, saying he isn't doing enough on immigration reform.

Although Obama said immigration reform was his top priority during his second-term, he has so far done little to act on that and has presided over the deportation of roughly 2 million undocumented immigrants since taking office, the Los Angeles Times reported.

During remarks on the House floor Wednesday, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, D-Ill., said "President Obama has detained more immigrants in jails, prisons and detention facilities than any other president."

Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, an immigration advocacy group, said it is likely that Obama will eventually act on his promises.

"The administration is deporting people every day who the administration says should be given legal status and a path to citizenship, so the question is: If Republicans continue to stall, does the president have the authority to make things better?" Sharry said. "We think he will act even though he's not talking like it now."

Speaking at a White House-sponsored town hall on Latinos and healthcare Thursday, Obama said he is constrained by current laws.

"I cannot ignore those laws any more than I can ignore any of the other laws that are on the books," he said. "That's why it's important to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year."

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