DMV-Area Advocates Meet to Express Concern, Outrage Over Obama’s Proposed Immigration Raids
Silver Spring, MD – Nearly 100 community leaders, teachers, public officials, legal service providers, health care workers, youth advocates, and members of the diaspora from throughout the region gathered on Monday in an emergency meeting to address President Obama’s plan to raid the residences of mothers and children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras who entered since May of 2014 and have received orders of deportation.
Many expressed grave concern those targeted in these raids may not have received full due process in court, and that deporting them to situations of extreme violence will result in harm or even death for these families seeking asylum. Even more egregious is the environment of fear that this announcement has created: children are afraid to go to school, parents are afraid to leave their homes even to go to health clinics or access other necessary services.
The economy suffers, as patrons of local immigrant-owned businesses are afraid to leave their homes. Regardless of the plan’s intentions or scope, it has generated panic and created a public safety hazard: many people are not aware of their rights in interacting with law enforcement, and they are afraid of any uniformed officer.
We are asking our county executives, our mayors, our school boards, and our federal representatives to act immediately to quell the fear in our communities. We need their leadership and bold statements declaring that they will not share information or collaborate with ICE, that schools are safe places where ICE officers will not be allowed to enter, and that we are appalled with the administration’s decision.