PRESS STATEMENT

NCLR Decries Immigration Raids Targeting Refugee Women and Children

May 13, 2016

Contact:
Julian Teixeira
jteixeira@nclr.org
(202) 776-1812

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, in response to recent news reports that the Obama administration will continue targeted raids as a strategy to deport Central American mothers and children who entered the United States after January 2014, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) condemned such practices as inhumane.

“While these may be intended as targeted actions seeking specific individuals, community raids have long been discredited as an ineffective and inhumane strategy. That the administration may have plans to continue them is inexplicable,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Such raids spread fear across communities; they make parents afraid to send their children to school and undercut trust between law enforcement and the public. This makes us all less safe by deterring people from reporting crimes and other threats to public safety.”

“We are deeply concerned about the possibility that we could be placing people’s safety and lives at risk by deporting them. Many of these individuals have not had an adequate opportunity to apply for asylum or assert another claim that could protect them from removal. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: our government should not deport anyone who has a well-founded fear of persecution in their home countries. This is a right guaranteed by U.S. law, international agreements and, frankly, basic humanity,” continued Murguía.

“NCLR has endorsed steps taken in 2014 by the administration to strengthen support for legal service providers, and applauds the heroic efforts of legal organizations and individual lawyers who continue to volunteer their time and resources to provide legal counsel to those fleeing widespread violence in their home countries. There are other means and methods to address this issue and, certainly, employing tactics like raids that have long-term detrimental effects on our communities and the broader society should not be on the table,” Murguía concluded.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.