For Immediate Release // Please excuse cross-posting
March 20, 2015
Contact: SG Sarmiento, 202-746-2099
NDLON STATEMENT IN REACTION TO ICE DIRECTOR SALDAÑA’s “AMEN” COMMENTS ABOUT UNCONSTITUTIONAL DEPORTATION POLICY
(Los Angeles, CA)—Today, ICE Director Sarah Saldaña issued a press release attempting to clarify her position on ICE’s unconstitutional practice that compelled police to detain immigrants. During yesterday’s House Oversight hearing, Rep. Mulvaney asked Saldaña if she would support legislation to mandate that “local communities cooperate” with ICE. Saldaña reponded, “Thank you. Yes. Amen.” The bizarre series of statements leaves uncertainty about the agency head’s position on DHS Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 memo ending ICE’s controversial and discredited Se Communities deportation policy.
In response to Director Saldaña’s recent statements and to news of recent deportations in Iowa and Philadelphia, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), issued the following statement:
“Is ICE heading backward? There is an astonishing dissonance between the White House’s initiative to build community trust in law enforcement and it’s highly disingenuous deportation policy which felonizes immigrants and insists on transforming local police into frontline enforcers of unjust and outdated immigration laws. Director Saldaña’s recent remarks are exactly the kind of doublespeak that plagued the Se Communities legacy for years. Indeed, we have yet to hear anyone clarify why SCOMM’s failed dragnet is still intact or operational, which is why we have demanded answers compelled by the Freedom of Information Act.
“The fact that the President has ostensibly offered relief to some immigrants does not excuse his policies which criminalize other immigrants. The president’s pledge to target ‘felons not families’ is offensive to all those seeking to reform a criminal justice system that is plagued by a legacy of white supremacy. And Secretary Johnson’s recent invocation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory in defense of these new deportation policies is quite simply reprehensible. If the President wants to undo his legacy as “Deporter-in-Chief”, he must take steps immediately to advance equality for all immigrants, particularly as his limited DAPA initiative languishes in the courts.”