A group of about 50 immigrants and activists gathered Wednesday in front of the White House to demand that President Barack Obama halt deportations of undocumented foreigners.

This act of protest came within the framework of the summit on immigration that the Fair Immigration Reform Movement is holding this week in Washington, a meeting that focuses on demanding a suspension of deportations and the approval of immigration reform.

After intensifying the pressure on Republican speaker of the House John Boehner on their Tuesday visit to his congressional office, the activists on Wednesday took up the battle cry against deportations and made Democrat Obama the target of their criticism.

Calculations are that with the current rate of deportations over the past five years of Obama's mandate the two million mark will be reached next week, this being the same number that were kicked out of the country during George W. Bush's full eight years in the White House.

"Yes, you can stop deportations" shouted the 50 or so people who showed up at Lafayette Park, in front of the executive mansion.

One of the people who was on hand in front of the White House on Wednesday was Florida resident Melissa McGuire-Maniau, whose sister-in-law was deported and who said that she was "disappointed" with Obama's failure to achieve immigration reform, though she acknowledged that "Congress shares part of the blame."

"The lack of reform has destroyed our family, so I'm here asking Obama to keep his promise to give us comprehensive immigration reform. I think that our families deserve it and it's time," she said.

The ongoing deportation program has become a headache for the president, whom National Council of La Raza head Janet Murguia recently dubbed the "deporter in chief."

Obama defended himself against that accusation by proclaiming himself instead to be the "champion in chief" of comprehensive immigration reform and claiming that as long as Congress does not act to change the immigration system he does not have the authority to stop deportations.

Last June, the Senate approved a bipartisan immigration reform bill, but the GOP-controlled House has been unwilling to take up the measure. EFE