CHICAGO (CBS) — Joined by several families facing deportation, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) on Tuesday demanded President Barack Obama take “immediate” action that would prevent those families and others from being torn apart.

WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports families stepped to the microphone with tears in their eyes as they

Agustin Corona, who is facing deportation, said he has children who were born in the U.S., and he’s had a job since the mid-90s.

“I would like to stay here. This is Chicago. I’m part of Chicago,” he said.

Gutierrez said Obama can use his executive powers to halt deportations, and he wants the president to step up.

“There are broad, wide, expansive measures that the President of the United States can take to stop the deportations,” he said. “Issue the executive orders immediately. There are too many families that have no time to wait.”

The congressman said the president knows what it’s like to have his citizenship questioned, and he knows it’s time to act.

“Mr. President, there are over 4.5 million American citizen children who everyday wake up to the possible nightmare of losing their mom and their dad. That has to come to an end,” he said.

Gutierrez said, since the Republican-controlled House for more than a year has been blocking a bipartisan immigration reform plan approved by the Senate, the president should act to ease the pain of millions facing deportation.

“Be as broad and wide and as expensive and generous as the Republicans are mean-spirited,” Gutierrez said.