As many of us were celebrating Christmas with our loved ones, news of immigration raids provoked fear and despair in immigrant communities across our nation. The Obama Administration, specifically Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, indicated that the raids were intended to deport families fleeing violence in Central America that entered the United States in recent years and had been denied asylum. We know that these vulnerable families are provided very little information about their rights and are in many cases denied legal assistance when presenting their case in immigration court. Email President Obama now and let him know that this unjust treatment of our immigrant sisters and brothers MUST end.
Since the latest raids began on January 2, more than 121 Central American adults and children have been taken into custody and placed into deportation proceedings. We are hearing heartbreaking stories of children who were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and families that were torn apart. Reports from around the country indicate that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is using many of the actions to detain and deport a broader group of immigrants than families recently here from Central America. Fear in the immigrant community is extremely high.
It is our moral and legal obligation to provide an opportunity for families to seek asylum. Without the proper legal representation there is little chance for success, given the complexity of the system. In the past ten days, with the help of pro-Bono counsel, 12 individuals have been granted relief from deportation, and are now likely to receive the protection they need. We demand that the Administration stop these ICE raids and instead focus on providing due process to vulnerable families fleeing violence.
As an immigrant myself, it breaks my heart to see already traumatized families be torn apart, parents afraid to leave their house to go to work, and four-year-old being taken from their homes at 4 A.M. My community is scared, yet we are doing all we can to stand up against this injustice. Please join us.
Government Relations Associate
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby