WASHINGTON - The president of a prominent Latino advocacy group called President Barack Obama the "deporter in chief," denouncing the administration's deportation of nearly 2 million immigrants.
Janet Murguia, who heads the National Council of La Raza, also directed her anger and frustration at House Republicans for stalling on immigration legislation, which is languishing some eight months after the Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive bill. Murguia made the comments at an awards dinner tonight.
"For us, this president has been the deporter in chief," Murguia said. "Any day now, this administration will reach the 2 million mark for deportations. It is a staggering number that far outstrips any of his predecessors and leaves behind it a wake of devastation for families across America."
Since Obama took office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has removed nearly 2 million immigrants in an aggressive enforcement of current law. Advocacy groups fault the president for deporting too many people, but Republicans argue that Obama has been too lax in dealing with the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.
Murguia argued that Obama has the authority to stop tearing families apart.
Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, part of the group of eight Republicans and Democrats who spent months crafting the Senate bill, implored Obama to halt deportations for relatives of U.S. citizens, legal residents and young people who were brought to the country illegally by family members.