Calling them "aspiring American workers," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka launched a petition Wednesday calling on President Obama to bypass Congress on the current immigration surge and to instead use his executive authority to aid the people flooding the southwestern U.S. border.
"Families are being separated because Congress has failed to act on a commonsense immigration process. The crisis on our worksites and in our communities can't wait. That's why I'm calling on President Obama to extend administrative relief to Americans in waiting," Trumka said.
Obama has said in the past that he is obliged to follow the law and order the deportation of illegal immigrants, even if he isn't personally fond of the law. The AFL-CIO's petition makes a point of noting that Obama has used often executive power to circumvent congressional rulemaking in the past, most recently to prevent the deportation of immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16.
"Immigrant families cannot wait, the American people cannot wait, basic justice cannot wait. Please take executive action to extend administrative relief to Americans in waiting," the petition states.