An immigrant-rights group on Tuesday formally asked the Obama administration to halt deportations of undocumented immigrants while Congress debates proposals to overhaul border control laws.

Immigration activists demonstrate outside the White House in September 2013. (David Nakamura/The Washington Post)

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network submitted a 41-page rule-making petition to the Department of Homeland Security that argues President Obama has the legal authority and moral imperative to stop deporting otherwise law-abiding immigrants who entered the country illegally. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that NDLON is among a group of advocacy groups renewing pressure on the White House over deportations, which are set to top 2 million during Obama's tenure this spring.

The Homeland Security agency must formally respond to the petition after having time to review it, officials said. The full document can be read here.