At the end of a week of uproar generated when she called the president deporter in chief, the head of the National Council of La Raza avoided repeating the phrase Friday.
NCLR president Janet Murguía continued to ask for President Barack Obama to do more to reduce deportations, but seemed to have enough of the hoopla she caused when she called him deporter in chief at a gala speech Tuesday. “I think I made my point,” Murguía said in a call with reporters.
Murguía said she agrees the president is also the champion in chief for comprehensive immigration reform, as Obama called himself at a town hall Thursday. But she also said “we also need him to have the community’s back” on advancing reforms administratively.
“We do believe they ought to do more and can do more to limit the deportations,” she said in a call with reporters.
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill, who has long called for a reduction in deportations, didn't hesitate to use the term. "When I call him deporter in chief that is not contradictory" to calling him commander in chief of comprehensive immigration reform, Gutiérrez said.
Murguía said the president does not need to ignore laws but could improve compliance by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's with an administration directive setting priority levels for deportations and directing agents to use prosecutorial discretion in carrying out deportations.
At a town hall Thursday, Obama listed various achievements of his administration on behalf of Latinos. “I think the community understands I got their back and I’m fighting for them,” he said.