For Immediate Release
March 9, 2016
Contact: SG Sarmiento, 

NDLON: Accountability for a Failed Immigration Strategy

Los Angeles, CA—As the Democratic presidential candidates prepare for another debate round tonight in Miami, Florida, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network‘s Executive Director, Pablo Alvarado, made the following statement:

“As we head into the next Democratic debate, we must ensure that the leaders of the Democratic Party are held accountable for the 2.5 million deportations that have occurred during President Obama’s Administration and the massive deportation machinery that is growing bolder and more intransigent every day.

“Just yesterday, ICE suggested that deportation is a useful tool for local police to essentially disappear individuals when authorities believe them to be dangerous but may not have sufficient evidence against them. This is not the first time ICE makes such a chilling suggestion. In 2008, ICE told a room full of local police and sheriffs, “If you don’t have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he’s illegal, we can make him disappear.” At the time, that sentiment empowered Arizona’s anti-immigrant forces to enact SB 1070. It’s an idea that criminalizes immigrants, undermines public safety, and plays into the anti-immigrant strategy of self-deportation. It’s shocking that ICE continues to espouse such dangerous policies today, in the face of rising white supremacy.”

“Far gone are the days when vague promises of comprehensive immigration reform were enough to garner votes. The next President must do better than introduce proposed legislation into a dysfunctional Congress. He or she must demonstrate real leadership that responds to the realities of the more than 11 million undocumented individuals who already subsidize the US economy, but are formally excluded from political participation and equal rights.

“Real leadership means ensuring that DHS recognizes the humanity and right to remain of immigrant workers that are already part of the United States, whether they hold legal status or not. It means holding ICE and the US Justice Department accountable for criminalizing workers’ rights activists, like Francisco Aguirre. And, in 2016, it means assuming responsibility for supporting a 2009 coup in Honduras that has had tragic consequences for thousands of refugees and many more who have tried to stay and struggle, like Berta Caceres.”


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