MILWAUKEE, WI –
In reaction to President Obama’s June 30th immigration comments, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, issued the following statement:
“Today for the first time, the President promised to act independently of a failed Congress to modernize our immigration policies through executive action. He has no reason to wait, and every day that he does means increased suffering for immigrant communities. By the end of the summer, when the President has implied that he will consider action, another 66,000 families will have been separated.
Months ago, Voces de la Frontera and other advocates submitted a broad set of specific policy change proposals to the Department of Homeland Security, as formal recommendations to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
One of those recommendations, which could be implemented in under 30 days, is for the federal immigration agents to stop arresting people at courthouses, and for the administration to deem courthouses a “sensitive location”, along with churches and schools. These raids are occurring when individuals are simply trying to do their civic duty, jeopardizing the hopes of people to legalize, and undermining public safety by creating fear and distrust of law enforcement.
In Wisconsin, a coalition of elected officials, organizations, and families have supported this call. In May, US Congresswoman Gwen Moore spearheaded a letter requesting that courthouses be off limits to ICE, which 59 Members of Congress signed. During Congressional hearings, Sec. Johnson agreed with this recommendation.
Given the President’s comments today, there is no reason that this recommendation shouldn’t be at the top of the administration’s to-do list.”