Press Releases

Rep. Roybal-Allard Leads Letter to President Obama Demanding End to Immigration Raids

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Washington, January 12, 2016 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
Today, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), and Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04) led the release of a letter to President Obama demanding an end to immigration home raids that have targeted Central American families with children.  The letter, which can be read here, has been signed by 146 Members of Congress.  Reps. Roybal-Allard, Lofgren, and Gutiérrez spoke about the letter at a press conference this afternoon, where they were joined by House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-05) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).

Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s prepared remarks from today’s press conference are below.

“Representative Gutiérrez, thank you for your unwavering commitment and passionate leadership against the treatment of Central American refugees in our country.  I especially want to acknowledge Representative Zoe Lofgren for her leadership and thoughtful and humane alternative proposals to DHS’s removal operations which have inflicted so much fear and anxiety in communities across our nation.  I also want to join my colleagues in thanking our Whip, Steny Hoyer, for his support in denouncing DHS actions.  His support has been invaluable to our efforts.

“Today, I join my colleagues in condemning the unacceptable treatment of refugee Central American women and children who have come to the United States seeking protection from the horrors and violence in their home countries.  Our letter to President Obama, with over 100 signatures from Members of Congress, simply asks the President to suspend removal operations of Central American refugee women and children and to grant them Temporary Protected Status until the Administration has a comprehensive refugee strategy in place that provides adequate screening, meaningful legal counsel and due process, and a comprehensive regional approach that will ensure these refugee women and children have a fair chance to live in safety.

“DHS is carrying out these removal operations for the purpose of deterring more Central Americans from coming to the United States.  This has proven to be a failed policy – a policy that does not live up to our American values or our time-honored tradition of offering refuge to those fleeing violence and brutality in their home country. 

“Mr. President, continue to enforce our immigration laws by deporting felons and those who will do harm to our country, but we implore you to temporarily suspend the deportation of Central American women and children who may have valid claims, and to work with us, our immigrant advocates, religious organizations, NGOs, and our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere to address this crisis with a comprehensive, practical, and humane solution which reflects our American values and provides these already traumatized Central American women and children with meaningful due process and a safe place to live, free of the endless violence and brutality they have sacrificed so much to escape.”

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