(CNSNews.com) – The group United We Dream marched from the U.S. Capitol to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters to deliver 200 letters to DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Tuesday, demanding that the executive branch give amnesty to the illegal alien parents of U.S. citizens and “Dreamers.”
Such offspring are brought here illegally as children but are now protected from deportation through an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in August 2012.
Some 200 people, many of them wearing T-shirts that read “Obama Deports Parents,” held a press conference ahead of the march criticizing Democrats for not pressing Obama to take actions the group said the president could do through executive orders.
In a press release distributed by e-mail, the group said “immigrant-youth leaders from across the country” were in the capital to tell Democrats to press the president to “provide broad affirmative relief that protects parents of Dreamers and citizens.”
The “broad affirmative relief” is spelled out in the letter as “5 things Obama can do right now! ” The No. 1 item is to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to raise “the age of entry” requirement from 16 to 18 years; eliminate the education requirements; remove the age cap requiring “Dreamers” to be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; eliminate the “significant misdemeanor” disqualification standard; and expand deferred action deportation protection from two to five years.
The other four demands, in part, state:
• The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should not deport illegal aliens with “family or community ties.”
• “Redress the extraordinary pain caused by forced family separations” to allow those who were deported to return, if they are spouses, long-time partners, parents, or children of people who are in the country legally, and grant them “employment authorization documents.”
• DHS should revise its prosecutorial discretion “to ensure individuals with minor convictions and family or community ties are not swept up by immigration enforcement authorities.”
• “DHS should release all immigrants who are not subject to mandatory detention on their own recognizance immediately,” and “inhumane” detention centers should be shut down.
In a May 9 Wall Street Journal blog, Lorella Praeli, director of advocacy for United We Dream, said executive orders -- not congressional legislation -- should be used to address what could be done about the estimated 11 million people who are in the country illegally.
“It’s not enough to vote on immigration reform,” Praeli said. “Democrats are not off the hook.”