On January 25th, 2017 President Trump signed two executive orders on immigration. Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued two memos signed by Secretary John Kelly that detail enlisting local law enforcement to help arrest undocumented immigrants living quietly in the United States; speeding up deportation hearings and prosecuting parents and family members in the U.S. for rescuing their children from violent gang members and traffickers in Central America.
In 1987, during the civil war in Nicaragua, President Ronald Reagan used Executive Action to delay the deportation of children and shield Nicaraguan refugees who fled the contra war in their country.
The impact of the new orders and memos is clear. The Administration is shutting the door in the faces of children and families who are fleeing persecution and violence. President Trump is increasing the number of border security agents while building a wall along our southern border that less than half of Americans support and will waste billions of dollars that could be used to help U.S. citizens.
President/CEO Lavinia Limon said, “These policies betray our country’s tradition of welcoming people who are oppressed and seeking liberty and safety. It is unfair and un-American to deny people the right to state their case to a judge and the President’s Executive Orders do just that. Over five million children currently living in the U.S. have an undocumented parent. Deporting parents for trying to protect their children from gang violence, threats, intimidation and coercion is shocking. Congress should consider a statute of limitations for the act of crossing a border if the person has otherwise led an exemplary life and supported their family. It’s the fair thing to do and keeps families together.”
For over 100 years, USCRI has protected the rights and addressed the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide and supported their transition to a dignified life.
“We stand ready to defend the rights of immigrants and refugees because we believe every person has equal value and the global family is strengthened when all of humanity is recognized. Our tradition is allowing people a fair chance to tell a judge their story and not punishing new Americans forever.” said Ms. Limon.