Yesterday, for the first time, Janet Napolitano revealed her perspective on how the decision to do DACA was made in 2012. Today, Buzzfeed is reporting that the President is set to receive final recommendations from his current Secretary of Homeland Security about expected changes in deportation policies. In reaction, Pablo Alvarado the Executive Director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:
“While there is clearly a battle under way to manage expectations for the scope of the forthcoming administrative action, we will continue to push for the maximum exercise of legal discretion under the law. That includes a bare minimum, an extension of work authorization to everyone who would qualify under the Senate bill and end to the Se Communities program and policies that criminalize immigrants. The President has the legal authority, the moral obligation, and the political capital required to take these important steps.
“If the President provides relief for less people than would have qualified for a path to citizenship under the Senate bill, he will divide the immigrant rights community and undermine the rarest of things in Washington DC nowadays: a bipartisan consensus. Janet Napolitano’s speech yesterday revealed that the extension of relief to ‘Dreamers’ in 2012 was a wholly artificial division between so called ‘deserving and undeserving’ immigrants. According to her speech, the political cover for the action came from the DREAM Act (which failed to pass out of the Senate) and the scope of coverage was limited by bureaucratic constraints. Napolitano’s speech confirmed what we have known for some time. The President can and should do more. Much more.
“Despite what might be the latest rumor of the day within the Washington Beltway, a reasonable expectation for the President is that he uses a similar calculation as he did in 2012. Only this time, instead of using the DREAM Act as a template, he should use the Senate Bill, which received 68 votes in the US Senate. Anything less will be unacceptable and met with further protest.”