For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Contact: Marlene Peralta, 646.601.4267
Trenton, NJ. – Members of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrants Justice, a coalition of over 20 organizations statewide, released the following statement condemning the Department of Homeland Security plans for massive raids. According to reports, the nationwide plans are to be carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as early as January.
“Plans to deport hundreds of immigrants fleeing violence in their Central American countries are just outrageous. Anybody fleeing violence should be granted the same humanitarian protections given to other refugees. Incarcerating and using aggressive deportation tactics is not the solution. We demand that Congress stops playing political games and establish real immigration reform that creates policies that protect families not put them at risk,” said Johanna Calle, Program Coordinator at the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ). “DHS’s alleged raids plan will only separate families and deprive migrants’ right to seek for better lives, a move that’s absolutely inhumane and un-American,” she continued.
“It’s a bad news for the community. Central American migrants are afraid of going back to their countries because of war, crimes and in particular gang violence that’s targeting youth. Many of them have already lost their family members back in home country. They are seeking for safety and protection that we ought to provide,” said Blanca Molina, Director of Centro Comunitario CEUS, an Alliance member serving Central Americans in Union City.
The state of New Jersey is home to about 200,000 undocumented immigrants. Many unaccompanied minors and adults who crossed the border to come to New Jersey are seeking a safe place to live and many to be united with their family members living in this great state.
Just in the 2015 fiscal year, roughly Immigration and Customs Enforcement of DHS have deported 5,000 immigrants from New Jersey alone. In 2014, the number was of approximately 10,000. Overall, President Obama and his administration deported over 300,000 immigrants including parents with citizen children every year from 2008 to 2014.