Obama Administration’s New Deportation Policy Step in Right Direction But Immigration Rights Groups, Rep. Gutierrez, Say More Must be Done

National Conference Call Held to Discuss Policy’s Impact

Immigration rights groups and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said the Obama Administration’s decision to suspend deportation proceedings for law-abiding immigrants is a step in the right direction but more must be done to achieve true immigration reform.

A national conference call was held Tuesday night in English and Spanish to spell out exactly what the administration’s new deportation policy means for immigrants. Rep. Gutierrez, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Reform Immigration FOR America, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, United We Dream and others participated in the call.

“I will not stop with this announcement. Let's keep working to get immigration reform and help more people and benefit our nation,” Rep. Gutierrez said on the call.

David Leopold, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, emphasized that the policy does not grant amnesty or allow for work authorization. He and Rep. Gutierrez warned immigrants to be wary of unscrupulous lawyers who try to take advantage of immigrants.

Gutierrez will be launching a nationwide information campaign to explain what the policy means. He hopes the campaign will help educate immigrants on the U.S. legal system and how to navigate it without being duped.

Angelica Salas, executive director at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, reminded listeners to continue to tell Obama that change takes courage and to call the White House at (866) 998-2910 to thank him for this policy decision.

“We must thank the President and ask him to do more, but we must also defend this victory and keep ICE accountable,” Salas said. “We must ask for proof that these new guidelines are implemented and that fair, just and humane immigration policies continue to be approved.”