WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, reacting to a Reuters news story that the Obama Administration will launch a new round of immigration raids targeting Central American women and children, Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) released a joint statement:
“We believe deportation targets should be felons, not families. We have inquired both with the White House and the Department of Homeland Security to get more information on the news reports about a new set of raids targeting mothers and children. If the news is accurate it is a very bad sign that the Obama Administration has not listened to us after months of urging them to adopt a refugee approach with other Western Hemisphere nations. To conduct these types of enforcement actions against women and children who have fled violence and who will face violence if they are returned, it is not just hypocritical—it is plain cruel.
“Our neighbors in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are in a crisis of uncontrolled violence. Women and children from these countries are coming to our Southwest border in search of refuge. Essentially, no one is coming from Nicaragua, Belize and other countries in the region. This shows that it is push factors – the violence in the Northern Triangle – and not the pull factors from the U.S. that are leading to the increased levels of migration.
“The people targeted for raids and deportation are most likely to be the ones who never had access to a lawyer or legitimate due-process for their asylum claims. If the raids conducted earlier this year exposed anything at all, it was that our immigration system is incredibly flawed when it comes to asylum. House Democrats are united in strong opposition to these raids with almost all of us (146) signing a letter calling for the Administration to end ICE raids this past January.”