Immigrant Advocates and Families Pack Congressional Hearings on Trump’s Deportation Agenda

WASHINGTON Wednesday, March 6, 2019 – This week as the House held various hearings on Trump’s deportation agenda, hundreds of immigration activists and families from across the country convened to expose the deliberate actions by the Trump administration to separate families and deport people covered by the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and DACA programs.

Participating organizations were joined by Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-NY13) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY9) to tell the stories of immigrant families that have suffered at the hands of the Trump administration’s persecution of immigrant communities.

“I have lived in this country with my family for 17 of my 18 years. I’m a dreamer and so are my parents. We can’t keep living in limbo like this- it’s time for Congress to step up and recognize our contributions” said Yatciri Cruz, DACA recipient and CASA member from Adams county, PA.

“I came all the way here to tell the world that we are all are watching the government. As an immigrant, I have seen how they treat our families at the border and how ICE terrorizes us in Pennsylvania and it is time that they answer for their crimes” stated Flor Gonzalez, member of Make the Road PA.

“I’m married, and I have two kids. My whole life is built here, and if they revoke the TPS program, my family is gonna be separated.  It’s gonna be devastating for me and for them, because I don’t’ want to take my kids back to a country that is very dangerous” Belinda Hanzman, member of Unite Here.

“Families are still being separated at the border, children are dying in detention centers, and ICE continues to terrorize our communities.” added Erika Martinez, member of Make the Road NJ. “We must hold Nielsen and the administration accountable for these atrocities and end the fake national emergency.”  

“Today, we stand in front of you because our communities, DACA recipients, TPS and DED holders continue to live in limbo. We need a pathway to citizenship that doesn’t hurt more immigrants by enabling the deportation force agencies of ICE and CBP,” said Claudia Quinonez, DMV organizer and DACA recipient of United We Dream. “Right now, Congress has the power to put a stop to this pain, fear and uncertainty by rejecting Trump’s hateful and deliberate agenda to target, detain and deport immigrants. Congress can commit to pass protections that  our communities desperately need.”

Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy stated, “This administration would like us to believe that people of color are the cause of danger in this country. Families are being ripped apart based on policies promoting a racist, white supremacist agenda. That is the true emergency. Congress needs to defund ICE, investigate every penny spent on dehumanizing policies, and fight for legislation that promotes the wellbeing and safety of our communities.”

Participating organizations include: Families Belong Together; MomsRising; United We Dream; Center For Popular Democracy Action; National Domestic Workers Alliance; FIRM; Faith in Public Life; American Federation of Teachers; The National Immigration Law Center; CASA; Make the Road NY; Make the Road PA; Make the Road NJ; Amnesty International; Church World Service; The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Immigration Hub; and Faith in Public Life.