A project of the Center for Community Change

Republicans and Immigrant Families: Oil and Water

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 14, 2014
Contact:
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org 202.339.9331
Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@communitychange.org 202.339.9377

GOP Would Rather Shutdown Government Than Keep Families Together
GOP Does Not Understand Immigration Reform is About Families Not Politics 

(WASHINGTON)—In a monumental display of who they are as a party and their true colors on immigration reform, Republicans are threatening another government shutdown right before the Christmas holiday if President Obama uses executive action to keep millions of immigrant families together.

“As word has seeped out that the President will provide administrative relief to immigrant families, Republicans driven into a frenzy by their anti-immigrant, xenophobic base have set their eyes on blocking an historic compassionate and humane act that would keep families together in this country while they work toward becoming full-fledged citizens,” said Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), the nation’s largest immigrant rights coalition. “No doubt this will further alienate millions of Americans who believe immigrants are human beings who live in our communities struggling as we all do to make better lives for our families. The sanctity of families should always be the central focus of the immigration debate, yet Republicans continue to turn a blind eye to helping millions of people who already have shown how much they want to stay and thrive in their adopted country.”

“Where are the stories of families like Antonio and Ruth Aleman of Maryland who have been living in the U.S. for 11 years, working hard to provide for their two children?” Matos said. “The couple’s children have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program but they remain in constant fear their parents could be deported any day.”

“And there’s Armando Ibanez, an aspiring film director and restaurant worker in California, who was not eligible for DACA because he was older than 16 when he came to the U.S.,” Matos added. “But his two younger siblings were eligible for DACA, so Ibanez and his mother remain undocumented.”

“Republicans have never once talked about the tragedy of families being torn apart, or living with the perpetual fear of deportation,” Matos said. “They have always preached their belief in family values but they have conveniently left that out in the immigration debate.”

“The Republican Party continues on its steady march toward self-destruction as it chooses to listen only to its most conservative faction while ignoring signs that while they may be in control of Congress in 2014, Latinos and immigrants will remember who stood in the way of immigration reform in 2016,” Matos said.

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