8639408554_f662f7b53a_zThe immigrant organization members of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities  (NALACC) call on President Obama to re-think his decision to delay administrative review of deportations in hopes of action in Congress.

The sad truth is that immigrant families are irrevocably harmed with every day of inaction. Rather than delay, President Obama should set the tone for common-sense immigration reform by acting immediately to curb the harsh deportation practices that tear apart hundreds of families each day.

This action is long overdue, and it is unconscionable that it should be delayed yet again.  In fact, ICE has already been instructed to de-prioritize detentions and deportations of immigrants with minor or no criminal record outside of the immigration violation.  However, recent reports suggest this is not happening in practice.

The President has the authority to go much farther than simply asking ICE to do something it should have been doing all along.  He could use the power of his pen, as he promised to do in the State of the Union address.  He could and should end programs like Secure Communities that enlist local police as immigration enforcers.  He could protect immigrants who stand up to abusive employers. He could end the abusive practice of holding immigrants in isolation and other deplorable conditions in detention centers.   He could extend protections from deportations to hardworking immigrants, so that no more  parents experience the anguish of being torn apart from their children.

These are the common-sense steps that could break through the climate of fear currently poisoning the debate on immigration reform. Yes, Congress must take action to fix our broken immigration policies.  Congressional action remains an urgent priority for NALACC members and we will continue to press Congress to address the many and profound problems with our immigration policies and treat immigrants fairly.  Administrative action is no excuse for Congressional inaction.  But President Obama has an opportunity to show leadership and moral courage right now, and he should not let another day pass without doing so.