Caribbean-American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke Lauds Review of Deportation Policies

Caribbean_ice_arrest_111425120Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has commended United States President Barack Obama for ordering a review of deportations to the Caribbean and other countries. In a recent statement, the president said the removal of undocumented immigrants should be done more humanely.

“I believe that President Obama has heard our call to review his administration’s policy on deportation,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) on Saturday. “President Obama had said that we must have a ‘humane’ policy on immigration, and I sincerely hope he will take action to address the existing policy of inhumanity. As the representative of a community that includes people from every part of the world, I know families that have lost a father or mother as a result of deportation. I know men and women who have lived in fear for themselves and their children. [. . .] The continued deportation of Americans who lack legal status has undermined the foundations of communities around this nation.”

She also urged her colleagues in the US Congress to “act on comprehensive immigration reform, which is the only real solution to this issue. [. . .] After meeting last week with members of the US Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) at the Oval Office, Obama “emphasized his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system,” according to the White House statement.

“He told the members that he has asked Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to do an inventory of the Department’s current practices to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law,” the statement said.

Analysts say Obama is under increasing pressure from Hispanic advocates and Congressional Democrats to suspend aggressive efforts in deporting illegal Caribbean and other immigrants. US officials also say that more illegal immigrants have been deported during the Obama administration than under any previous president. Clarke, who has been pushing Obama to curtail deportation to the Caribbean, said that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency last year deported 368,644 people.

The Brooklyn congresswoman and several of her colleagues in the House of Representatives had sent a letter to Obama on December 5, 2013 requesting that he suspend the current policy on deportations and expand the policy of deferred action that currently allows young men and women without legal status to remain in the United States to pursue higher education or job training.

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