SAN JOSE, CA – Following news reports of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) plans to launch a 30-day series of raids in May and June targeted at Central American children and mothers, Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN) condemned any operation that considers refugee children and families, and asylum applicants as immigration enforcement priorities.
SIREN’s Executive Director Maricela Gutiérrez issued the following statement in response:
“At a critical moment when a US Supreme Court decision to protect millions of families from deportation is pending, a general election is filled with anti-immigrant rhetoric, and thousands of victims of Central American violence seek our refuge, it is disheartening to hear that the Obama administration plans to continue senseless and destructive raids and deportations of vulnerable people.
“We urge President Obama to ensure that due process is upheld and that the rights of vulnerable families who are seeking asylum are protected.
“The use of raids and deportation to deter refugees has not been successful in the past and there is no reason to believe it will be this time. These raids only punish children and families seeking safety from the horrific violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and instill fear in our immigrant communities.
“Central American mothers and children who are seeking asylum must have a chance to access legal counsel before they are deported back to danger. We call on the administration to halt the senseless threat of raids, and ensure that no one is wrongfully denied protection.”
On Friday, President Cortese and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors issued a statement calling on federal immigration officials to stop dividing families and follow the County’s example in regards to immigrant integration. For the past five years, the County has had a policy against local law enforcement assisting ICE in the deportation of community members. .