Co-written by Rebecca Katz, Program Assistant, Women's Refugee Commission
On March 13, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would conduct a review of enforcement procedures to investigate how deportations can be carried out more humanely.
This announcement followed a particularly unproductive week in Congress during which the House of Representatives not only failed to move forward with productive immigration reform, but rather focused on undoing any existing efforts to address the obvious shortfalls in our immigration system.
The Women's Refugee Commission is highly disappointed in the actions of some members of Congress who are actively trying to dismantle positive executive polices that help keep the children of immigrants in deportation proceedings out of foster care and with their families, measures that help hold Immigration and customs enforcement accountable to the public through their public engagement office, and policies that allow the president to exercise discretion with respect to the prosecution of young people brought to the United States as children.
What we really need is immigration reform that works for our country and includes the needs and concerns of women and children. And though reform is stalled in the House of Representatives, there is much the administration can do while waiting for Congress to act responsibly.
The Women's Refugee Commission is encouraged by President Obama's recent call to review enforcement procedures. We have long advocated for DHS to reform its immigration custody and deportation policies and have made numerous concrete and practical recommendations that would make enforcement more humane:
America desperately needs immigration reform, and that is something the Women's Refugee Commission will continue fighting for. We cannot sit idly by while Congress refuses to enact positive change. A number of administrative actions can be made to improve the lives of migrants in the United States today, and we are working hard to see that those take place.