Friday, February 27, 2009

Families Bring Stories of Detention and Deportation to Congress

Immigrant Rights Groups and Families Advocate for Child Citizen Protection Act

On Tuesday, March 3, 2009, over 40 family members directly affected by immigration detention and deportation and a coalition of immigrant rights organizations from New York and New Jersey will convene in Washington D.C. to press Congress for passage of the Child Citizen Protection Act (CCPA).

The bill, reintroduced in 2009 by Congressman Jose E. Serrano (D-NY), would immigration judges’ discretion to consider the best interest of a U.S. citizen child before deciding whether to deport his or her parent.

"If the Child Citizen Protection Act becomes a law, my children who are citizens of this country will not grow up without a mother, drop out of school or be forced to go to a country that they hardly know," said Pauline N., one of the delegation members from New Jersey.

The families and organizations including the American Friends Service Committee, Families for Freedom, and the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, will meet with Congressional offices such as Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to tell their stories of family separation and hardship to lawmakers,

"Given the drastic shift in immigration law in 1996, there has been an unprecedented expansion of the grounds for deportation leading to an exponential increase in the number of cases where individuals are not eligible for any viable form of relief from deportation. The CCPA would ensure family unity and the right of a child to be with his or her parents," said Betsy DeWitt of Families for Freedom.

Homies Unidos, a California-based group, will bring affected community members to visit their members of Congress locally in solidarity with groups traveling to Washington DC.

Press Contacts:
  • Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights: Sandy Pl├ícido (NY & DC), 347-601-0089
  • AFSC Newark: Chia-Chia Wang (NJ & DC)), 646-509-3860
  • Homies Unidos: Luis Guzman (CA), 323-273-5564