President Barack Obama sent his Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute to assure participants that he will stop mass deportations in an attempt to regain support among Hispanics ahead of the November midterm elections.
Obama’s approval ratings have dropped among Hispanics, from 74 percent in early 2013, to 52 percent currently, according to a Gallup poll. In addition, there is wide skepticism about his unfulfilled promises, particularly regarding immigration issues.
For instance, Obama promised to enact an immigration bill during his first term, but shifted his focus to other issues like health care, climate change, and his economic stimulus package when Republicans took over the House. He has also focused his attention on the his government's war against the Islamic State extremists.
He renewed his promise to end deportations of undocumented immigrants during his re-election campaign in 2012, saying he would use his executive powers to override Congress in order to push forward a reform in favor of the estimated 11 million immigrants that live in the U.S. without legal authorization.
In 2013, the Obama Administration carried out a record 438,421 deportations, bringing the total to over two million. according to an annual report by the Office of Immigration Statistics of the Department of Homeland Security. Thus, 20,000 more deportations were carried out last year then in 2012, 51,000 more deported than in 2011.
Onvce again, Mexicans were the largest group deported in 2013, making up 72 percent of the total. But, there were significant increases in deportations of people immigrating from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
While these figures show that more focus has been placed on expelling immigrants trying to cross the border illegally rather than deporting those already living inside the U.S., the crackdown on undocumented immigrants is increasingly affecting family members that are already settled in the United States by keeping them apart.
“During Hispanic Heritage Month, we urge the president to remember all the Latino families across the country that are separated because of his inaction,” Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, told The Washington Times. CASA is one of the groups planning to picket the convention center when Obama speaks at an event on Thursday.