For Immediate Release
January 29, 2016

Contact: Keenan Austin
(202) 724-8105

Grosso Calls on Obama Administration to Cease Raids Targeting Central American Immigrant Communities

Washington, D.C.—Today, D.C. Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) released the following statement on the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and deportations targeting Central American immigrant communities:

“Today I am calling on President Barack Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to cease the policy of targeting Central American immigrant communities for detention and deportation. As a young man I traveled to Honduras and El Salvador to accompany refugees seeking to return to their homes and I saw firsthand the violence affecting these communities. I know that that the legacy of that war and instability continues today.

As the Chairman on the Committee of Education, I am particularly concerned about the impact of these raids and deportations on our students and their families, filling them with fear and causing emotional distress. Trauma, whether stemming from families being raided by ICE, gun violence plaguing our streets, or economic inequality that keeps children in poverty, stand as a significant barrier to the success of the students in our schools; I have made addressing such adversity a top priority for the Committee. Families, unaccompanied minors, and workers fleeing violence and persecution in Central America need our support and care, not fear of detention and removal.

Just last summer I stood with immigrant communities and Congresswoman Norton to oppose fear-mongering and draconian legislation proposed in Congress to overturn local policies in D.C. and other jurisdictions which seek to protect human rights of immigrants. Migration is a fundamental human right recognized by the United Nations. Our federal government should focus its efforts on fixing our broken immigration system, not on breaking up families and sowing panic. President Obama should cease these ill-conceived actions immediately. In D.C. we stand for the human rights of everyone, including of our immigrant neighbors regardless of legal status.”