Just how deportation is handled by the US government will get a fresh look: President Obama yesterday ordered a review of deportations to see if they can be carried out "more humanely within the confines of the law," Politico reports. Though no specifics were given, the review, to be conducted by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, comes as Obama has been facing intense pressure from immigration rights activists, who've dubbed him "deporter in chief" due to the record number of deportations under his watch, the Los Angeles Times notes. Obama broke the news in a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus yesterday.
For months the White House had insisted that nothing could be done on the issue unless the comprehensive immigration reform Obama has been pushing was passed by Congress. But as that looks unlikely, Obama has "emphasized his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "It is clear that the pleas from the community got through to the president," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who met with Obama yesterday. "The CHC will work with him to keep families together." Activists tell the New York Times, however, the review isn't likely to go far enough.