Latino leader calls Obama "deporter in chief"

Washington, Mar 5 (EFE).- One of the most important Hispanic leaders in the United States had harsh words for President Barack Obama over the record number of deportations during his mandate.

"For us, this president has been the deporter in chief," Janet Murguia, head of the National Council of La Raza, said during an awards dinner in Washington.

"Any day now, this administration will reach the 2 million mark for deportations. It is a staggering number that far outstrips any of his predecessors and leaves behind it a wake of devastation for families across America," Murguia said.

La Raza, one of the country's most influential Hispanic associations, acknowledged in the 27th edition of its Capital Awards the work of eight Republican and Democratic senators in the progress made on immigration reform, while criticizing the House of Representatives for failing to act on the bill passed by the Senate last June.

"We respectfully disagree with the president on his ability to stop unnecessary deportations," Murguia said.

"He can stop tearing families apart. He can stop throwing communities and businesses into chaos. He can stop turning a blind eye to the harm being done. He does have the power to stop this. Failure to act will be a shameful legacy for his presidency," she said.

One of every four deportees is the parent of a U.S.-born child, according to figures from La Raza.

Latino groups and activists have scheduled large protests for April 5 with the aim of launching a new call for the government's and legislators' attention to the issue of deportations.