For Immediate Release
January 21, 2016
Contact: SG Sarmiento,

50+ Organizations Call on White House to Come Clean About PEP

Washington, DC—On Thursday, a broad coalition of 55 immigrant, civil, and workers rights groups joined a letter to President Obama calling on his administration to “come clean” about his Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which replaced the controversial Se Communities deportation dragnet known as S-COMM.

The letter reads in part:

Federal agencies under your watch have refused to disclose the requested records. Instead, DHS and ICE leadership have gone on a national crusade to quash the revolt against S-COMM policies, obfuscating the facts with Trump logic and pressuring localities to accept the new jail deportation program.

Leading the letter was the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), one of three groups that earlier this week filed a federal lawsuit against ICE and 9 additional federal agencies to compel them to disclose information about PEP.

As groups spoke favorably of the Supreme Court’s granting of review over Texas v. US, they also cautioned that it was “failed logic” to justify increased deportations because of a partial grant of relief, such as with DAPA.

“PEP is not a valid justification for DAPA, and never has been. This lawsuit seeks to help the Obama administration clear up its misunderstanding by compelling it to be open and transparent about this program,” said Salvador Sarmiento of NDLON. “It’s important that the Obama administration untangle its DAPA rationale from its PEP rationale.”

NDLON staff attorney Emi MacLean, counsel on the lawsuit, added, “Part of the failed logic of the past involved using S-COMM as a justification for DACA 1.0. That brought us the pernicious ‘felons not families’ idea that has been put publicly on trial during recent raids.”

“It’s not the case that some immigrants must suffer so that others can get relief. This logic is immoral and unnecessary for Obama to prevail in Texas v US.” added MacLean.

The letter is available online here.


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