WASHINGTON — With immigration legislation stalled in Congress, advocates are intensifying pressure on the Obama administration to act unilaterally to stop deportations or grant legal status to some of the 11 million people now living in the United States illegally.
Activists are stepping up acts of civil disobedience like one last month in Phoenix, where they blocked a bus full of immigrant detainees. And labor leaders plan to press the issue with a top White House official in an upcoming meeting.
Many advocates continue to hold out hope for a legislative solution even as some shift their focus to the White House.
"If Congress doesn't move, the president has a duty to act," said Ana Avendano, director of immigration and community action at the AFL-CIO. "Just because the Republicans have buried their heads in the sand doesn't mean that immigrant communities aren't feeling the sting of constant deportations."