Bay Area Groups Act in Solidarity as Immigrant Rights Advocates Continue to Call on President Obama to Halt the Raids and Give Relief to Refugee Families from Central America

The Administration’s Unwillingness to End Raids is Unacceptable

San Francisco, CA — Today, Bay Area organizations delivered 20,000 California petition signatures to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Field Office Director Craig Meyer at the agency’s San Francisco field office, in solidarity with immigrant rights allies who delivered over 120,000 signatures to the White House earlier this month calling on president Obama to end deportation raids against refugee families from Central America and provide them with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice have joined dozens of groups across the country holding solidarity actions and delivering signatures to local immigration offices throughout the month of February.

“We will not stand by and allow this to happen to families who came to the U.S. to escape extreme violence and poverty,” said Maricela Gutierrez, Executive Director of SIREN. “They came seeking refuge and better lives, like countless millions of other immigrants. If these Central American families continue to be deported -- and most of them would be women and children, they would be returned to places they fled to escape being killed, raped or tortured.”

At least 121 people have been detained in raids that began during the holiday season. Following the raids, members of Congress co-led by Representative Zoe Lofgren of San Jose sent a “sign on letter” to President Obama, followed by a similar letter signed by 22 Senators demanding that President Obama halt the deportations, citing the threats of violence and death the mothers and children face when they’re returned.

“Deporting these families to a region marked by extreme violence is inhumane,” said Grisel Ruiz, Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “We demand that President Obama immediately put an end to the raids of refugee families from Central America. During today’s meeting with the San Francisco ICE Field Office, we also underscored the sense of fear felt by local immigrant communities following the raids and urged the agency to be transparent about its protocol when conducting enforcement activities.”

The groups that participated in the press conference and petition delivery in front of the White House earlier this month included: the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Reform Immigration FOR America (RI4A), CREDO Action, Southeast Immigrant Rights Network (SEIRN), Church World Service (CWS),, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Just Foreign Policy, America’s Voice, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), CASA in Action, and impacted families.