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Raul Grijalva and 27 Other Democrats Call on Obama to Suspend Deportations

Congressman Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from southern Arizona, got 27 other congressional Democrats to sign on to a letter urging President Obama suspend deportations.

Grijalva and the other Dems want the Obama Administration's deferred-action program expanded, from just some young people brought to the country when they were younger, to all of the people who could potentially become citizens under immigration reform.

Although an immigration-reform bill has been passed by the Senate, it hasn't even been brought to the floor in the House, and reports from Washington seem to go back-and-forth on whether the House will ever vote on this bill, or similar bills.

What Grijalva and the other Dems are asking for would expand the deferred-action program from less than 2 million people to an estimated 11 million people who, under the Senate's immigration bill, could apply to become permanent residents, and eventually start their way on a path to citizenship.

"We appreciate your commitment to reforming our nation's broken immigration policies for the benefit of all," the letter states, in part. "In the context of the intransigence of a small number of legislators that are willing to hold the legislation hostage unless we pass a series of incredibly extreme proposals, a cessation of the deportation of the 1,100 potential citizens expelled daily would do a great deal to set the parameters of the conversation.

Looking at the signatures on the letter, every other congressman from Arizona -- Republican and Democrat -- is noticeably absent.

This despite the fact that both of Arizona's Republican senators were instrumental in the passage of the Senate bill, and the other four House Democrats from Arizona have generally voiced support for the Senate bill.

And although President Obama has supported immigration reform, his administration is deporting people in record numbers.

The Dems' letter continues, in part:

Let us not take these policies lightly. Every deportation of a father, a sister, or a neighbor tears at our social consciousness; every unnecessary raid and detention seriously threatens the fabric of civil liberties we swore to uphold. We are talking about American families and American communities. Criminalizing American families or giving local law enforcement the responsibility to choose who stays and who goes, is not the right option. Our efforts in Congress will only be helped by the sensible and moral step of stopping deportations.

See the letter in its entirety on the next page.

Grijalva Letter Urging Pause in Deportations

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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