Senator Cory Booker urges protection of immigrant families

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Senator Cory Booker urges protection of immigrant families

Cory Booker at a Barack Obama campaign rally i...

Cory Booker at a Barack Obama campaign rally in Newark, NJ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) added his voice to the growing chorus of Democratic leaders calling on the President to use executive action on immigration.

Said Booker when approached by New Jersey Dream Act Coalition member, Giancarlo Tello, during the Democratic State Party Convention of New Jersey last Friday evening, “We’re hoping the Obama administration continues to expand its programs for deferred action, especially for people who would qualify under the initiatives that we’re doing under immigration reform. We can take executive action, and legislative action and really make this a more just country that actually benefits in creation of jobs, more public safety and more opportunity for all.”

Sen. Booker’s comments join similar calls from a series of Democratic leaders who seem to recognize that the window is rapidly closing on legislative action this Congress – and are signaling their intention to fight for broad executive action and affirmative relief once the legislative prospects are officially dead.  For example, the office of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) told the Wall Street Journal recently, “If the House continues to drag its feet we encourage the administration to pursue its efforts to prevent these innocent families from being ripped apart.”  And last week, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor that President Obama should take executive action if the House refuses to act on legislation this summer: “The president would be more than justified in acting anytime after recess begins to take whatever changes he feels are necessary to make our immigration system work better for those unfairly burdened by our broken laws.”

Democratic Senators are also highlighting the costs and consequences of Republicans’ failure to move even the smallest bore of immigration measures in the House.  Last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) decided to block attempts to include ENLIST Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  The ENLIST Act would allow DREAMers who join the military the opportunity to apply for citizenship and is arguably one of the least controversial immigration measures being debated in the House.  Today in Chicago, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is holding a field hearing to highlight the contributions of DREAMers in the military and remind Republicans what’s at stake as they continue to block the hopes and dreams of millions of DREAMers.

Said Lorella Praeli, Director of Policy and Advocacy at United We Dream, “We are heartened to see Sen. Booker stand on the side of the immigrant community and recognize that our families can’t wait on House Republicans who refuse to lead.  Democratic leadership is responding to the increased pressure from the community, and while they have fought hard for legislation, now is the time for them to fight for administrative relief and an expanded DACA-like program for our parents.”

  • Watch the video of Senator Booker calling for Administrative relief here.
  • Read UWD’s five reform demands here and stories of immigrant families affected by deportation here.


United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful nonpartisan network made up of 52 affiliate organizations in 25 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. We seek to address the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth and believe that by empowering immigrant youth, we can advance the cause of the entire community—justice for all immigrants.

You can find more about UWD online at

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Managing Editor at Illinois News Network
Managing Editor posting profile, Illinois News Network. [email protected]