STATEMENT: ICIRR Responds to Trump Wall Funding Proposal

Sat Jan 19 2019

CHICAGO (January 19, 2019)--The following is a statement by Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Executive Director Lawrence Benito in response to the Trump administration's immigration proposal:


“The administration's proposal is nothing more than using immigrants and government employees as bargaining chips to meet the widely unpopular demands of the racists in the White House to continue to set aside significant amounts of money for cruel enforcement priorities. Trump is dead set on tearing immigrant families apart and keeping kids and families locked behind bars. This is a down payment on the White House's belief that brown people belong on one side, and white people belong on the other.
“Immigrant serving communities spoke loud and clear against this type of proposal that began being broadcasted by the business community before Trump made this announcement. What follows is an open letter to the members of the Illinois delegation calling them to reject this very type of proposal. Our position has not changed.”

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January 18, 2019

To the Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation:

 

The undersigned organizations represent the immigrant communities whom you represent in Congress. Our communities are strong because of families, who came from across the world to seek opportunity and build a life in Illinois. For the last two years, our communities have faced a barrage of attacks under this current Administration. Like all Americans, our communities are now dealing with the impact of the partial government shutdown, an impasse that the White House created by insisting on funding for a wall on our southern border.

 

Our organizations and our communities overwhelmingly oppose a border wall--as do the majority of Americans. The White House itself seems to recognize how unpopular its insistence on the wall and the resulting shutdown have proven. Our communities also oppose any deal that would include a border wall even if it includes protections for immigrants benefiting from (and losing protections under) the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These immigrants do not want to benefit from any deal that still leaves at risk of deportation their parents, their neighbors, their classmates, and other members of their communities. Such a deal would separate still more families, on top of all the families this Administration has already torn apart at the border and elsewhere.

 

For these reasons, we strongly reject calls by organizations like the American Business Immigration Coalition urging Congress to accept a deal exchanging wall funding for DACA and TPS protections. ABIC and others who would accept such a deal do not represent our communities, do not speak for our communities, and have no accountability to our communities. Furthermore, the November election results show that ABIC is out of step with a majority of American voters and in particular our vulnerable immigrant communities, many of whom were mobilized to vote by the undersigned organizations. ABIC’s position merely caves in to the White House’s political blackmail, providing cover for it to score a political win to placate its white nationalist base while sustaining its attacks on immigrant families. No win for Trump can be a win for immigrants.

 

We urge you, as our elected representatives in Congress, to listen to the people and communities you represent, the immigrants and their families and neighbors who are directly affected by our federal immigration policies, and the organizations that serve them and to which they are accountable. We remind you that you are accountable to us, your residents, and not to those who are willing to do harm to vulnerable community members. Finally, we urge you to reject any deal involving this Administration’s proposal for a wasteful and ineffectual border wall and to instead insist on real solutions for the 11 million people who are undocumented due to our failed immigration system and for our entire nation.

 

Signed, 

Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment

Arab American Action Network

Arab American Family Services

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

Cambodian Association of Illinois

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos

Centro Romero

Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum

Chicago Community and Workers' Rights

Chicago Religious Leadership Network

Citizen Action/Illinois

Communities United

Confederacion de Migrantes Guanajuatenses en Estados Unidos

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

Durango Unido en Chicago

Enlace Chicago

Family Focus

FEDECMI / USA

Federación de Chihuahua

Federación de Clubes y Lideres de Guanajuato

Federación de Hidalguenses en Illinois

Forward Illinois

Grassroots Collaborative

HANA Center

Hanul Family Alliance

Hispanic American Community Education & Services

Illinois Association of Agencies and Community Organizations for Migrant Advocacy

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Illinois Immigrant Action

Immigration Project

Indo-American Center

Instituto del Progreso Latino

Irish Community Services

Jewish Council on Urban Affairs

Latino Organization of the Southwest

Latino Policy Forum

Local 881 UFCW

Logan Square Neighborhood Association

Mano-A-Mano Family Resource Center

Mujeres Latinas en Accion

National Immigrant Justice Center

New American Welcoming Center at the University YMCA

Northern Alliance for Immigrants

Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors

Northside Community Resources

Organized Communities Against Deportation

Pan-African Association

PASO- West Suburban Action Project

Planned Parenthood of Illinois

Project IRENE

Quad Cities Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees

Reintegrate

SEIU Healthcare

SEIU Local 1

Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter

South-East Asia Center

Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project

Spanish Community Center

United African Organization

United Electrical Western Region

United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations (UCCRO)

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ICIRR is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.
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228 S. Wabash, Suite 800
Chicago, Illinois 60604
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