At a Hispanic town hall today, President Obama called himself the “champion-in-chief” on immigration reform. However, he stopped short of committing to take any action to halt or slow deportations while immigration reform remains stalled in the House stating his hands are tied. The president of a prominant Latino advocacy group challenged the President and called him the "deporter-in-chief" for deporting nearly 2 million people during his presidency.
So where does the President stand? Perhaps he's straddling both sides to appease immigration reform advocates and conservatives who have voiced concern over the President's ability to enforce the law. President Obama is responsible for the Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, which defers deportation of those that would have qualified for benefits under the DREAM Act.
But he is also responsible for this--the 2015 federal budget proposal which he sent to Congress this past Tuesday includes the following appropriations: $2.6 billion for Enforecment and Removal Operation with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), $124 million to expand theh E-Verify employment-authorization system, $24 million towards the 287(g) Program, which deputizes local and state law enforcment officers to enforce federal immigration laws, and only a reduction, not elimination, of the controversial immigrant detention bed mandate (from 34,000 to 30,500 beds).
"Deporter-in-chief" or "champion-in-chief"? If we look at this past Tuesday as an example of "actions speak louder than words", then we know which side he comes out on.