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Legal and Policy Experts Analyze New DHS Memos On Immigration

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A recording of today’s call is available here.

Washington, DC – This morning, the Department of Homeland Security released their latest implementation guidance on Trump’s executive orders on immigration. Today, policy and legal experts gathered to analyze the far-reaching changes on border security, detention, asylum, and deportation policies of these policies. A recording of today’s call is available here.

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of National Immigration Law Center, said, “I have never seen a mass deportation blueprint like this one. Today’s memos are breathtaking in their scope – they offer a guide for Trump to enact his deportation agenda, that would wreak havoc on our economy, our communities, and our families.  The rule of law requires that we have consistency and uniformity, and yet these memos, coupled with Trump’s Executive Orders, throw rule of law out the window. Trump is governing by fear and not by what is best for the American people. Everyone is now a priority, and we have seen this in action already in the last few weeks.  We’ve seen long-time community members and family members detained and deported. We will do everything necessary to ensure that these policies don’t get implemented.  I am confident our country is better than this and we will prevail, but this is a dangerous time that requires us all to fight back against these policies.”

Tom Jawetz, Vice President of Immigration of Center for American Progress, said, “The Department of Homeland Security memos released today, in conjunction with President Trump’s Executive Orders, create a mass deportation machine that eliminates prioritization in immigration enforcement and drastically expands expedited removal. DHS itself, very explicitly, has not established priorities for deportation, and it is fair to say that now everyone is fair game.”

Tara Raghuveer, Deputy Director of National Partnership for New Americans, speaking on behalf of the We Are All America Coalition, said, “We stand with millions of immigrants, refugees, faith leaders, and allies who will continue to fight for the America we love— and against the executive orders, including today’s orders and implementation memos, that threaten our families. Together, and especially this week when legislators are home on Congressional recess, we will demand that our representatives support our nation’s compassionate resettlement of refugees fleeing persecution, end to the cruel and unnecessary deportations destroying immigrant families, and end any future order that discriminates against Muslims or any others on the basis of their faith. We have 45 in-district Congressional visits planned for February 22nd to make these demands.”

Jen Smyers, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, said, “Over the past week, we were shocked to see individuals who have come forward in good faith for their ICE check-ins detained, as well as six men coming from a hypothermia recovery center targeted. These Executive Orders and their implementation memos are contrary to the values that we hold as Americans. ICE is seeking to punish our undocumented neighbors and anyone who seeks to help them. As a faith based organization and member of the broader faith community, we now have more than 800 congregations that have joined the sanctuary movement. We are committed to resisting these massive deportation efforts.”

Greisa Martinez Rosas, Advocacy Director of United We Dream, said, “We, as Dreamers, do not take solace in Trump’s words thus far.  The guidelines are clear that there are no more priorities and that no one is safe under Trump.  While Trump claims to have compassion for Dreamers, he is simultaneously deploying his Deportation Force to hold Daniel Ramirez Medina behind bars and detain and deport our family members. Even Speaker Ryan promised immigrant youth that they would be safe, and yet there is no safety to be found. We need the Trump administration to release Daniel and assure immigrant youth that they will leave DACA alone.”

Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director, America’s Voice Education Fund, said, “These policies are absolutely a blueprint for mass deportation. Increasing the number of federal agents and deputizing local law enforcement, making detention mandatory for more people, expanding a fast-track deportation process so that more people can be deported, quicker, eviscerating all common sense priorities for deportation – there’s no phrase more accurate than ‘mass deportation.’”

Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice Education Fund on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice

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