The following is a press release from a joint press conference:
Both the tone and content of the immigrant debate reached a new low last week as House Republicans voted to strip due process protections away from Central American children fleeing murder and violence and then passed a bill that would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and subject DREAMers to deportation.
Today, prominent civil rights and faith leaders joined together to disavow both the rhetoric and policies that demonize immigrants and put children at risk of danger.
Republicans have had nearly two years to produce a solution to our broken immigration system, but instead of solving the problem, first they blocked a bipartisan bill, and then last week they doubled down with some of the angriest rhetoric towards children we’ve seen and legislation that is moving our country backward instead of forward.
Following are statements from the speakers on today’s call:
Janet Murguia, President & CEO, National Council of La Raza:
Scapegoating and demonizing immigrants is fostering an atmosphere of intolerance and bigotry that hurts all Americans and harms the country. It is driving a wedge and sowing division between communities making it all the more important and urgent, for us to stand together to denounce this rhetoric and these kinds of tactics and above all, to prevent these extremists from wounding the fabric of our nation.
Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President, National Action Network:
The civil rights community must stand up boldly and aggressively to fight back this hate that has filled the immigration debate and press forward for a solution.
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby:
From our nation’s beginning we have welcomed those fleeing persecution and violence in their home countries. We as a nation must be faithful to that tradition and welcome the children who are victims of violence in three Central American countries. These children have seen their friends and siblings murdered and sexually assaulted. We cannot turn our backs on them. Welcome those who are ‘tired and poor’ on our southern border. Stop the hateful rhetoric and be the best of who we are!
Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League:
Children fleeing oppression, violence and political strife should not be used as political pawns. We have an obligation to live up to our country’s legacy of compassion and our sense of humanity and focus on protecting these children and finding a humane solution to this urgent need.
Recording of today’s call here