Children fleeing violence deserve protection, not deportation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—- DECEMBER 28, 2015

Contact: Cristina Garcia//cgarcia@alianzaamericas.org

Children fleeing violence deserve protection, not deportation.

President Obama– Stop this misguided plan.

Chicago, IL – Alianza Americas and its members across the country call on President Obama to turn away from proposed raids intended to capture and deport children and families seeking refuge from violence and insecurity in Central America.  Reports surfaced last week about a purported plan at the Department of Homeland Security to carry out immigration raids early in 2016. The targets of these raids are said to be Honduran, Guatemalan and Salvadoran children and adults who missed their deportation hearing and therefore were given deportation orders in absentia. These children and adults arrived to the U.S. in the context of a still unfolding humanitarian crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of people in these countries as a result of unprecedented levels of violence, insecurity and a systemic lack of opportunity for people to live dignified lives.

Only a small fraction of the children and families who sought refuge in the United States over the past two years have been able to secure legal representation to argue their cases.  Those who did receive legal support did so largely due to an extraordinary effort on the part of community advocates, faith groups, pro bono lawyers, and a few farsighted local officials.  Evidence shows that immigrants who are held in detention, and those who lack legal representation are four times as likely to receive a removal order.

Alianza Americas calls on President Obama to immediately instruct the Department of Homeland Security to cease to plan or carry out raids against Central American children and their families.  “The proposed plan to round up and deport children and families fleeing a profound condition of insecurity is inhumane, and inconsistent with basic American values,” said Oscar Chacón, Alianza Americas’ Executive Director. “We expect assurances from the President that this plan will not move forward,” he added.

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