Pressure around the issue of deportation of undocumented immigrants appears to be coming to a boil, the Associated Press reports. The anger comes from a statement by President Obama at a Univision town hall that he couldn't use executive orders as president. Obama had said that using executive orders "would not conform with my appropriate role as president."
In 2008, the AP points out that Obama raised the issue of deportation as a matter of rights and dignity and a system that was broken. His comments at that time were in reference to violent immigration raids conducted by the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at meatpacking plants in Iowa, where children were literally separated from their parents.
However, in what appears to be a form of concession with immigration activists, both the departments of Labor and Homeland Security "will refrain from conducting raids or doing other immigration enforcement activities if there's an ongoing Labor Department investigation at the workplace." That leaves in question, though, the report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this week that ICE is doing immigration raids on workforces by scrutinizing I-9 forms.
The bottom line? The president had promised immigration reform in his 2008 campaign and hasn't been able to deliver. The reasons for that are myriad, including an intense political climate that has espoused xenophobia as a political platform. There's a political backlash for the administration on either side of this issue, by anti-immigration activists who say the president is not doing enough to prevent illegal immigration and from immigration-activists who say the president is not doing enough to aid undocumented immigrants. Bottom line -- no one's happy. And you thought these two groups couldn't agree on anything!