05.13.2013 – Washington, DC Following the first round of mark-up in the Senate Judiciary Committee of the “Gang of 8” immigration reform proposal, rights groups held a telebriefing to call on the President to immediately suspend deportations of those who could be included in the reform.
The AFL-CIO, MALDEF, United We Dream, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network announced an organizational sign-on letter of immigrant rights groups, begun today, asking the President to take immediate action to alleviate the suffering caused by on-going record deportations and help build the bi-partisan consensus in the Senate through a suspension of removals of those who would qualify for the bill once it passes.
Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy at United We Dream said, “As DREAMers, who won relief from deportations from the administration, we know firsthand the difference this can make. We’re pushing for an end to deportations for our parents and the rest of the 11 million, who are working, paying taxes, and raising their families in this country. They should not be threatened with deportation every day when they would be on the path to citizenship Congress is debating now. The President has deported more people than any other president and we will not stand by while these out-of-control deportation continue, tearing apart our families and communities.”
Ana Avendaño, Assistant to the President and Director of Immigration and Community Action at the AFL-CIO said, “America’s low wage workplace will not stabilize until every participant in it has equal rights to stand up for themselves when their wages are stolen or their workplace is unsafe. We owe it to all workers to cease the deportation crisis while Congress finishes the process of creating a roadmap to citizenship for the aspiring Americans already living and working in our communities.”
Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF, stated, “It is a simple matter of fairness and justice that we cease removing those immigrants who would be eligible for relief under the proposed bipartisan immigration reform legislation. The American people and bipartisan leaders nationwide support providing legal protections to those who have labored in our industry and raised families in our community; it would be cruel and nonsensical to deny widely supported and contemplated relief to some, simply because of a delayed effective date. So long as relief is being seriously debated in Congress, the federal government should suspend deportations of those who could claim protection under the proposed law.”
Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said, “As the movement to bring justice for immigrant workers and families gains momentum, it is time for the President to show leadership,” said Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. He continued, “The bi-partisan framework moving forward in the Senate provides a perfect opportunity for the President to galvanize a national consensus. By taking the threat of deportation off the table, President Obama can help bring us one step closer to equality.”
Carmen Yvette Martinez, who’s husband, Roger Tabora Martinez, was deported on Thursday reflected, “I still don’t know why they really pulled us over. They said there’s a warrant for the owner of the car but that’s me and that’s not true. The officer just told me they were taking my husband away. We didn’t even know he was deported until he called from Honduras. My son and I have been suffering terribly. It doesn’t make any sense to take away a good person. I don’t want any other family to go through what we have.”