A project of the Center for Community Change

Groups Delivered Petition to the White House Calling on President Obama to End All Deportation Raids and Give Relief to Refugee Families from Central America

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 2, 2015

Contact: Carlos Vogel, cvogel@communitychange.org (202) 239-2133

The Administration’s Unwillingness to End Raids is Unacceptable

(WASHINGTON) — Today, Immigrant rights, social justice, and faith groups, along with directly impacted families marched and held a press conference in front of the White House to deliver a petition with more than 130,000 signatures calling on President Obama to end all deportation raids against refugee families from Central America and provide them with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

“The Obama administration’s ongoing raids against immigrant communities are inhumane and unacceptable,” said CREDO’s Acting Political Director Murshed Zaheed. “President Obama must end these inhumane raids immediately. There will be no going back, and no way to undo the pain and separation of countless families.”

“The Obama administration has sunk to a new low with these raids. We already know that the Republican presidential candidates, led by Donald Trump, are committed to harsh anti-immigrant policies. But with President Obama initiating these raids, it’s less clear what the Democratic Party’s position is on immigration. This isn’t who we are as a country, and President Obama still has time to do the right thing and stop these raids and subsequent deportations now,” stated Matt Nelson, Managing Director of Presente.org

Along with the petition signatures, a letter addressed to President Obama with over 75 organizational signers from across the country was delivered. The solidarity letter was organized by the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC), Korean Resource Center (KRC), National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).

SEARAC Executive Director Quyen Dinh said, “ICE’s decision to target asylum-seeking children and families is a terrible mistake that only instills fear in ALL our communities. SEARAC, NAKASEC, NQAPIA, SAALT, and many in the AAPI community stand in solidarity with the Central American families. Like these refugees, many of our own families arrived to this country fleeing violence and poverty, including my parents, who were among the 1.3 million Southeast Asian Americans resettled into the U.S. following the Vietnam War. We urge the Administration to halt inhumane enforcement policies targeting immigrant and refugee families seeking protection within our borders.”

“Dozens of faith leaders and organizations have sent a letter to President Obama, asking that he act with compassion by immediately ending these raids and allow families fleeing violence and persecution the safety they seek in the United States,” said the Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “People of faith from all religious traditions are speaking with one voice to tell President Obama that these unjust raids must end. Our faiths call us to welcome the stranger and stand with the vulnerable.  When we know well that the death toll due to violence in the Northern Triangle continues to escalate greatly, we must not send children and mothers back to instability and potential trafficking. Our faiths call us to protect the weak, not to instill fear through raids which separate families and go against our beliefs as both people of faith and as Americans.”

The groups participating in the petition delivery include: the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Reform Immigration FOR America (RI4A), CREDO Action, Southeast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN), Church World Service (CWS), Presente.org, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Just Foreign Policy, America’s Voice, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), CASA in Action, and impacted families.

“FIRM will do everything in its power to stop this plan from continue to be implemented. We cannot and we will not remain silent when our families are living in fear of being separated and sent back to face possible harm, including death. The government must work to ensure that anyone in the country seeking protection is afforded safety, not deportation. Until then, our nationwide movement and its supporters will fight hard to stop these deportations from taking place. President Obama, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and ICE Director Sarah Saldana betrayal of the Latino and immigrant communities is one that will mark his legacy and that of this administration,” concluded FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.“

###

This entry was posted in Press Releases. Bookmark the permalink.