SAALT DENOUNCES ICE RAIDS AND FAMILY SEPARATION

For Immediate Release
Fri­day, June 21, 2019

Media Contacts
Sophia Qureshi, sophia@saalt.org
Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran, lakshmi@saalt.org

Fol­low­ing the Trump administration’s announce­ment this week, Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment (ICE) raids are expect­ed to impact fam­i­lies across the U.S. begin­ning this  Sun­day, June 23rd in the pre-dawn hours. Cities expect­ed to have the high­est lev­el of impact include: Chica­go, Atlanta, Bal­ti­more, Mia­mi, New Orleans, Hous­ton, San Fran­cis­co, Los Ange­les, Den­ver, Newark, New York City, and Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Around 2,000 fam­i­lies are being tar­get­ed, pri­mar­i­ly those with final orders for depor­ta­tion or those who missed a hear­ing, with “col­lat­er­al arrests” of oth­ers who might be in the vicin­i­ty.

Tar­get­ing chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies in an effort to fur­ther crim­i­nal­ize immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties is mis­guid­ed and immoral. This is a bla­tant assault on fam­i­lies that will desta­bi­lize com­mu­ni­ties and harm chil­dren. Research by the Cen­ter for Law and Social Pol­i­cy found evi­dence of behav­ioral changes in chil­dren who had been sep­a­rat­ed from a par­ent or had come in con­tact with immi­gra­tion agents. It showed that chil­dren who have been sep­a­rat­ed from their par­ents fre­quent­ly exhib­it  signs of trau­ma, includ­ing anx­i­ety, depres­sion, fre­quent cry­ing, dis­rupt­ed eat­ing and sleep­ing, and dif­fi­cul­ties in school.

The ICE raids announce­ment comes on the heels of new reports of deaths and over­crowd­ing in deten­tion facil­i­ties, denial of beds and san­i­ta­tion for detained chil­dren, and con­tin­ued unwill­ing­ness by  ICE to reuni­fy fam­i­lies.

Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran, Inter­im Co-Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) said, “The announce­ment of these raids fur­ther under­scores the need for sanc­tu­ary poli­cies across all cities to pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties. SAALT is work­ing with our part­ners to quick­ly dis­sem­i­nate know your rights mate­ri­als in mul­ti­ple South Asian lan­guages to pre­pare com­mu­ni­ties if ICE comes to their door. We are also encour­ag­ing mem­bers of the South Asian legal com­mu­ni­ty to offer their exper­tise and aid for indi­vid­u­als impact­ed by these raids and for those cur­rent­ly detained.”

It is increas­ing­ly clear that Con­gress must cut fund­ing from both Cus­toms and Bor­der Patrol (CBP) and ICE, and imme­di­ate­ly redi­rect fund­ing to reuni­fy­ing fam­i­lies and clos­ing deten­tion facil­i­ties across the U.S.