The Latino vote helped re-elect President Obama in 2012. Yet despite Latino support, the Obama administration has been responsible for a record number of deportations, on track to reach the 2 million mark sometime this year.
However, deportations fell slightly in 2013.
So…should advocates renew their faith in Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of immigration reform?
Disappointment across the aisle
Graca Martinez, an organizer with United We Dream, says she’s upset with President Obama’s deportation policy.
“He promised the first year of his presidency to give us immigration reform and here we are in his second term and he’s given us nothing,” says Martinez.”
In fact, the president’s immigration policies displease people across the political spectrum.
Raul Grijalva was one of 29 democratic congressmen who signed a letter asking for the deportations of non-criminals to be halted. He says the administration has fallen into a Catch-22.
“Now they find themselves with no political response on the other side and owning a policy that’s deported more people than in the history of the country,” says Grijalva.
Republican congressman Mario Diaz Balart is critical of the president’s deportation policy.
“He said that he was not going to deport folks that didn’t have serious criminal records, he is deporting record numbers of people, many of which have families in the United States and have not committed serious crimes,” says Balart.
There could be movement on immigration reform this year.
House Speaker John Boehner continues to support tackling immigration reform in a piece meal fashion.
In the meantime, democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez argues the president should stop breaking immigrant families apart through deportations.
“This isn’t amnesty, this isn’t a permanent solution,” says Gutierrez, “this is a temporary solution that allows you to say, ‘I’m going to protect you in the place you’re at right now, you don’t get to travel, you don’t get to vote, you just get to stay with your family in a safe place.”
The immigration reform effort is further complicated by this year’s midterm elections.
Some reform advocates hope Hope Republicans will be more open to compromise after primary season.
Now it’s a waiting game to see whether President Obama is remembered as the president who tackled immigration reform or the one who carried out a record number of deportations.