A project of the Center for Community Change

Press Releases

Fair Immigration Reform Movement Urges President Obama to Put Families First and End Family Detentions

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 21st, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@communitychange.org, 202.339.9377

FIRM Urges All Members of Congress to Join Our Call to End Inhumane Detention of Immigrant Families

WASHINGTON—The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) sent a letter today to President Obama urging him to end the inhumane practice of family detention and calling for the immediate release of the families currently being held in U.S. detention centers. Pressure is mounting against detaining women and children after two federal courts recently called into question the legality of the Administration’s policy on detaining families. A federal judge ruled last month that the Administration was in violation of an earlier court settlement as a result of its use of detention of children crossing the southern border seeking escape from harm in their home countries.

“The widespread reports of inhumane treatment and prolonged detention of families in these facilities make it painfully obvious that prisons are no place for families, said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.

“Locking up innocent mothers and their children is not reflective of our country’s values, and it is downright immoral,” said Matos. “We urge the President to seize this moment and do what is right for the families seeking refuge in the U.S. Families must come first. Now is the time to end our nation’s inhumane history of detaining families once and for all.”

FIRM applauds the members of Congress that during a press conference Thursday morning also called on President Obama to end family detentions and urges all members to stand up for immigrant families.



FIRM Groups Demand an End to Delay of President’s Administrative Relief Programs

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@communitychange.org, 202.339.9377
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org, 202.339.9331

Immigrant Families Will Continue to #Fight4DAPA

WASHINGTON-The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) joined the National Day of Action to #Fight4DAPA, with more than 30 events held to commemorate the day when millions of immigrant families should have been eligible to apply for relief from the programs announced by the President 180 days ago.

FIRM groups held events in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC.

“It is an outrage that hardworking immigrant families are still unable to access President Obama’s administrative relief programs,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos, “All because of a group of extremist, xenophobic Republicans who are continuing to push their anti-immigrant agenda – both in Congress and the courts. These Republican leaders are failing our communities and they are acting against the sentiments of the majority of Americans.”

“Delaying DAPA only serves to block the contributions that immigrants could make towards the economic strength of America, all the while continuing to tear families apart,” said Matos. “It is not only morally wrong, it also makes no economic sense. According to a report by the Center for American Progress, granting deferred action programs to undocumented immigrants will increase the U.S. GDP by $230 million over the near 10 years.”

“Latino and immigrant voters-the fastest growing electorate in the country-support real, commonsense immigration reform — as do most Americans,” said Matos. “As we look to 2016 and beyond, these voters will deliver a strong mandate for lasting immigration solutions. For those who have not yet read the memo, here are the top lines: ‘Those contenders who continue to block or flip-flop on immigration reform will feel the pain of their choices. We are watching and we are taking notes. No candidate can win in 2016 without the voting bloc of the fastest growing electorate in the country.'”


On Day President Obama’s Administrative Relief Actions Would Have Gone Into Effect, FIRM Groups Demand End to Lawsuit Delaying Programs’ Implementation

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Contact: Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@cccaction.org, 202.339.9377
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@cccaction.org, 202.339.9331

WASHINGTON—May 19 marks 180 days since President Obama’s announcement on administrative relief actions. It also marks the day when millions of immigrant families would have been eligible to apply for relief from the President’s programs – but politically motivated litigation has put the program temporarily on hold.

“Instead of submitting their applications for relief, millions of families will instead spend their day in the shadows, in fear of deportation, still fearful of that knock on the door in the middle of the night that could mean they will be indefinitely detained and separated from their families,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos.

“It is an outrage that hardworking immigrant families are still unable to access these programs because of xenophobic Republicans who are pushing their anti-immigrant agenda – both in Congress and the courts,” said Matos. “The current situation is unacceptable, and a lose-lose one for America. Make no mistake: we will not stop speaking out and advocating for our families so long as our nation’s broken immigration system continues to punish our families.”

Next week, FIRM groups are participating in various events to call attention to the delays in administrative relief and will call on court officials and lawmakers to #Fight4DAPA and #RestoreRelief. For more details, see www.StopSeparatingFamilies.org.


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