CA Latino Legislative Caucus Chairman Luis Alejo urges Obama Administration to stop deportations of Central American refugees
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, issued the following statement in response to reports that the Obama Administration plans to deport recently arrived Central American families and children, many of whom fled violence and extreme poverty in their home countries but have been denied asylum in the United States:
“While many of us are in good spirits welcoming the New Year, concurrently, the trigger has been pulled on a nationwide wave of immigration raids. The California Latino Legislative Caucus is appalled and deeply concerned about reports that the Department of Homeland Security, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is planning an operation to conduct raids on hundreds, if not thousands, of Central American children and families in efforts to deport these at-risk families back into harm’s way in their home countries.
Unprecedented in its kind, this large-scale effort to deport families who have fled violence in Central America is a refugee crisis, not an immigration crisis. As such, the Latino Caucus is deeply troubled by the mismanagement of what is a distinct human rights issue.
These reports have not been denied by the Administration and we call on the Obama Administration to stand by their pledge to help these refugee families, cancel their plans to raid and deport these children and families and ensure that they are allowed due process in their efforts to seek refuge. As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it, ‘it is critical that everyone have a full and fair hearing and that this country provides refuge to those who need it.
In July 2014, several members of the Latino Caucus lead the first-ever delegation of California legislators to visit Central America, including Guatemala and El Salvador, at the height of the children refugee crisis. They also visited the processing center for refugee children at Port Hueneme, Calif. and led the efforts to approve a landmark $3 million in the state budget to provide legal assistance to the refugee children in California.
Contact: Andrew Bird / (916) 319-2030 / Andrew.Bird@asm.ca.gov