(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/21/2014) - The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called President Obama's announced executive action on immigration a "praiseworthy" first step to address the nation's crumbling immigration system.
In a statement, CAIR said:
"Along with temporary deportation relief for almost half of the undocumented immigrants in the United States, CAIR calls on the president and Congress to adopt comprehensive immigration reform that provides a framework for all 11 million U.S. residents seeking legal status and eventual citizenship.
"In his national address last night from the White House, President Obama said: 'If you've been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes -- you'll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That's what this deal is.'
"The president's decision to provide deportation relief comes at a time when the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package that was not broken down into piecemeal measures that would result in the increase of racial profiling, unconstitutional detention and militarization of the U.S. border.
"The president's actions are praiseworthy in the face of strong Republican opposition to adopt meaningful immigration reform. Disappointingly, these actions should have come years sooner. Deportations in President Obama's administration are at an all-time high, and half of those deported have no criminal record or only minor offenses, separating millions of hard working families seeking a path towards citizenship. We hope that this executive action will put a stop to such harmful and needless deportations.
"CAIR calls on Republicans in the House to move away from an enforcement-only approach that would criminalize all undocumented persons in the U.S., effectively barring the millions of individuals and families eligible to apply for legalization under the Senate's already-adopted immigration bill. The House should adopt comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the serious problem of racial and religious profiling by federal law enforcement agencies -- a problem which affects immigrant and minority communities alike.
"CAIR will continue advocate for a national immigration system that treats all immigrants equally, regardless of national origin or religion."
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw, 202-999-8292, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com