A top Democrat and ally of the president tried to shift pressure for immigration reform back to Republicans in Congress Thursday, as the president prepared to meet with advocates who have been hearing from families dealing with deportations.
California Rep. Xavier Becerra, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said the community shouldn't abandon the energy it has put behind immigration reform but said the pressure belongs on the House of Representatives who has not passed immigration reform.
Obama announced Thursday evening he had directed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to review the nation's immigration enforcement tactics and practices and see if there is room for more humanity in how they are carried out. The National Day Labor Organizing Network, a group that has been staging regular protests against deportations and criticized the president panned Obama's gesture immediately.
Asked about critics saying Obama's gesture was nothing, Becerra responded "Is DACA nothing? I would talk to the hundreds of thousands of families who today are not in fear, not having their young man or woman, son or daughter deported as a result of DACA. That's not nothing."
DACA, he said is temporary and can be undone by another president, which is why congressional action is needed, he said. He added that had Mitt Romney been elected in 2012, DACA would not have been grated.
DACA is the acronym for Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, the temporary deportation deferrals given young immigrants here illegally. More than 500,000 youth have received the deferrals since summer 2012. "That is something," Becerra said.
Janet Murguía, National Council of La Raza president was to be among the advocates meeting with Obama Friday. She called Obama Deporter In Chief last week.