Major CA Caucuses Urge President to Change Deportation Policies, Take Executive Action

March 19, 2014

SACRAMENTO – Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Huntington Park/Long Beach), Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, along with chairs of the state’s major Legislative Caucuses called on President Barack Obama to change his Administration’s deportation policies and take executive action to end unnecessary separation of families. 

“California continues to lead where the federal government is failing to act,” said Senator Lara. “But while we’re making progress in the Golden State, federal immigration policies are causing serious distress in California - countless residents are fearful of accessing programs and services that improve the quality of life for all Californians, including those who are undocumented. We can’t send mixed signals – it’s time that we treat our undocumented communities with dignity and it’s time for the President to exert leadership through executive action.”

Last week, President Obama ordered a review of his Administration’s immigration policies to determine if they can be enforced “more humanely within the confines of the law” – a sentiment echoed by all five major caucuses in their letter to the President. 

“These federal [immigration enforcement] policies cannot continue without compromising public safety, exacerbating distrust of the government, and seriously undermining the social fabric of our immigrant communities,” wrote the Chairs of major Legislative Caucuses. “…Administrative procedures should be bolstered to ensure the police powers of the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are focused exclusively on those who pose a security threat and not those who are contributing to our society.”

The letter asked for an immediate reevaluation of all federal deportation policies and the halting of deportation proceedings for non-violent individuals already in custody, where there will be a severe impact to a spouse or children living in the United States.

The letter urging the President to revisit his Administration’s immigration policies was signed by the following Legislative Caucus Chairs:

  • Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair, California Latino Legislative Caucus,
  • Senator Holly Mitchell , Chair, Legislative Black Caucus
  • Assembly Member Paul Fong, Chair, Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
  • Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair, Legislative Women’s Caucus,
  • Assembly Member Rich Gordon, Chair, Legislative LGBT Caucus

In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, California has taken the responsibility on enacting measures that recognize the important contributions made by undocumented communities. 

Click here to read the letter.


CONTACT: Jesse Melgar (916) 651-4033 /