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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    National Council of La Raza leader calls Barack Obama ‘deporter-in-chief’

    National Council of La Raza leader calls Barack Obama ‘deporter-in-chief’
    President Barack Obama 'can stop tearing families apart,' Janet Murguía says. | Getty

    By REID J. EPSTEIN | 3/4/14 6:00 AM EST

    President Barack Obama has lost the nation’s largest Latino advocacy organization.

    The National Council of La Raza is set to declare Obama “the deporter-in-chief” and demand that he take unilateral action to stop deportations.

    NCLR, the nation’s largest Latino advocacy organization, had been the last significant progressive grass-roots immigration-reform organization publicly defending the White House immigration stance. NCLR President Janet Murguía will on Tuesday night demand Obama put a halt to his administration’s deportations.

    “For the president, I think his legacy is at stake here,” Murguía said in an interview in advance of NCLR’s annual Capital Awards dinner, where she will deliver a speech lambasting Obama’s deportation policy. “We consider him the deportation president, or the deporter-in-chief.”

    (POLITICO's ful coverage of immigration)

    By April, Obama will have overseen more than 2 million deportations, activists say, far more than any previous president.

    Obama has insisted — including when he was interrupted by a protester — that Congress has tied his hands and he cannot reduce the number of people being deported unilaterally.

    Latino groups are planning a series of mass demonstrations April 5 to protest the deportations and force lawmakers to choose between criticizing Obama or facing a populist wrath.

    Murguía said NCLR has been privately urging the White House for months to do something about deportations — which will soon number 2 million since Obama took office. The group was also using its megaphone to blame Congress and not Obama for the deportations. Just three weeks ago, NCLR called for an end “to unnecessary deportations” and asked supporters to “ask Republican leadership to take a stand for family values and pass immigration reform.”

    Now that focus is being directed at the White House.

    “We respectfully disagree with the president on his ability to stop unnecessary deportations,” Murguía will say during a Tuesday night speech to NCLR’s annual Capital Awards dinner, according to prepared remarks. “He can stop tearing families apart. He can stop throwing communities and businesses into chaos. He can stop turning a blind eye to the harm being done. He does have the power to stop this. Failure to act will be a shameful legacy for his presidency.”

    The White House has deep ties with NCLR. Cecilia Muñoz, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, was NCLR’s director of research and advocacy before joining the administration. But NCLR faced pressure from its members and from other grass-roots immigration organizations that have been agitating for Obama to halt deportations.

    POLITICO reported last month
    that NCLR and the Center for American Progress were virtually alone among progressive immigration groups in defending the White House — criticism that stung Murguía.

    (Also on POLITICO: Some Republicans reject Democratic immigration tactic)

    “There have been different times when we’ve hit the president pretty hard,” she said. “But I know not everybody agrees with that.”

    Tuesday’s push, Murguía said, will be part of what she described as a “three-pronged” strategy. NCLR will continue to press Congress and aims to register 250,000 new Latino voters ahead of the November midterm elections.

    Murguía said people no longer believe Obama cannot act alone.

    “Their credibility is growing thinner and thinner by the day and people know that they did it before and I think we believe that they can do it again,” she said.

    It’s not the first time NCLR has crossed Obama on deportations — though Murguía’s remarks do mark the first time NCLR’s leadership has done so in such a direct and public manner. Obama was heckled by a large portion of the crowd during a June 2011 speech to NCLR — protesters chanted “yes you can” at him to send a message that he should halt deportations.

    A year later, during the midst of his reelection campaign, Obama announced deferred action for so-called Dreamers, allowing young people brought illegally to the United States as children a path to citizenship.

    The White House has said it does not have authority to take a similar step again. Press secretary Jay Carney last week reiterated Obama’s position that only Congress can halt the deportations.

    “The job of the executive branch is to carry out the laws that are passed by Congress,” Carney told reporters last week . “The administration has taken a series of steps to focus our resources and make immigration enforcement more strategic, including focusing on criminals and the use of deferred action for young immigrants known as Dreamers. The only permanent solution is a legislative one that would provide a broad-based path to earned citizenship, and that can only be achieved by Congress. It can’t be achieved by the president.”

    Obama has gone mostly silent on immigration in recent months in an attempt to give House Republicans political space to push their own immigration reform bills. He hasn’t made a major immigration speech since November and devoted just 120 words to it during his State of the Union address in January. And the president has limited his Spanish-language media appearances to radio interviews focused on the Affordable Care Act, limiting his exposure to uncomfortable questions about deportations or the congressional immigration stalemate.

    Murguía said the White House deportation policy began as an effort to win credibility among Republicans but has careened out of control. She said Obama sought to deport more people than had President George W. Bush to get Republicans to cooperate on a larger immigration reform bill — a strategy that has not worked in the House.

    “I don’t think it’s lost on anyone that there may have been a strategy in place to demonstrate they were tough on deportations,” Murguía said. “Former [Homeland Security] Secretary Janet Napolitano didn’t shy away from the notion that if we can show we’re tough on deportation, we’ll be able to get some of these Republicans to come around.”

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    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 03-04-2014 at 12:42 PM.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.

    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here

  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    National Council of La Raza abandons smart immigration strategy

    March 05, 2014, 01:38 pm
    By Fernando Espuelas
    The Hill

    You could almost hear a crack in the immigration-activist universe as Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), called President Obama the “deporter-in-chief.”

    Murguia has been on the front lines fighting for immigration reform for years. She is the consummate Washington insider who gets results by pulling the right levers of power at the appropriate moments.

    This time, however, Murguia was realigning the NCLR with the increasingly confused and radicalized elements in the immigrant-activist community who are urging Obama to break the law. They claim that the president can undo current immigrant policy and stop all deportations.

    “I voted for President Obama, and I don’t want to see his legacy be that of the president that has deported more people than anybody else in the history of the country. ... It’s not too late for him to turn around and stop the deportations,” National Day Laborer Organizing Network’s executive director Pablo Alvarado told Voxxi.

    Magic realism has replaced political strategy for many of these activists groups, goaded by some irresponsible Democrats in the House hoping that the collective anger of these groups and the shrill pressure on Obama from Spanish-language media will insulate them from the fury being directed at them.

    Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) has said, “There are devastating effects if the Congress of the United States cannot enact comprehensive immigration reform – then the president of the United States has the responsibility to act to defend those immigrants which he says he wants to provide safety and justice for.” Gutierrez's reckless obfuscation between executive action and immigration reform legislation has essentially cast doubt on our constitutional system of governance.

    Confusion drives this notion of an uber-presidency lording over Congress. In 2012, Obama used his prosecutorial discretion to create a kind of mini-Dream Act. He ordered the Homeland Security Department to prioritize resources on capturing and deporting dangerous individuals with criminal records and other antecedents.

    With this action, Obama tweaked the indiscriminate deportation program already in place and mandated by Congress in favor of a smarter strategy that would keep young, successful people brought to the country as minors within our society, with the possibility of joining the military or attending college.

    After the 2012 election in which Obama carried the popular vote by a margin of more than 5 million Americans, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), seeing the disastrous performance of Mitt Romney with Hispanic voters (and all other minority groups), said that immigration reform would be a priority for the next Congress. Boehner stated "[The immigration] issue has been around far too long … A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I'm confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all."

    Since that famous declaration, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives has avoided an immigration reform vote like a truculent child avoiding his homework. There have been no excuses spared: process issues, policy disagreements and sometimes simple deception have been used by Boehner to repeatedly block a vote.

    Just a few weeks ago Boehner announced his “principles” for immigration reform, a skinny document that was supposed to reflect the consensus of the House GOP caucus to move forward. Days later, faced with yet another revolt from Tea Party Republicans, Boehner walked back his immigration wish-list and declared that immigration reform was dead for this year.

    Immigrant-activist groups like the NCLR have been willing to give the GOP as much space as possible to move forward on some kind of immigration vote and revitalize the process. And once Boehner killed immigration reform again, desperation set in.

    What’s happened since is a tragic combination of anguish at the growing numbers of deported people — and to be clear, these are not criminals, but fathers and mothers raising their kids — and, in some cases, a profound ignorance of how the American political system works.

    This is when the infamously naive “Plan B,” which had emerged in the fringes of the activist community, started to make inroads in the mainstream. Plan B refers to the magic realism power that Obama supposedly possesses to undo current immigration law and stop all deportations.

    Instead of focusing on the real problem of Boehner and his party’s serial deception in regard to blocking immigration reform — these activists decided to hike the yellow brick road looking for the wizard.

    While energetic and in many cases inspirational, these young activists have converted the political discourse from what the GOP must do in the House to what Obama is supposedly not doing by “allowing” deportations mandated under law by Congress.

    Most surprising are the actions of the NCLR’s Murguia and other experienced political players who have joined the march toward immigration reform failure by advocating that Obama break the law.

    One is left to ask: When will these activists expend equal energy and resources to transform the political system by driving Latino voting from its pathetic lows (under 50 percent of American Hispanics voted in the 2012 elections) to the levels where no politician in the land can ignore this critical constituency?

    Voting has consequences. Elections define the future. And immigrant activists still don’t get this simple truth.

    Espuelas, a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, is a political analyst on television, radio and in print. He is the host and managing editor of “The Fernando Espuelas Show,” a daily political talk show syndicated nationally by the Univision America Network.
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