Press Releases

Monday, January 4, 2016

Regrettable and Out of Touch: Jeh Johnson’s Justification of Department of Homeland Security’s Mass Deportation Plan

Press Release
Washington

Washington, D.C. -- Amid growing concerns and criticism by human rights and civil rights advocates across the country, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson today responded regarding a national operation to deport Central American families – primarily mothers with children- who have arrived to the U.S. seeking humanitarian protection. The proposed operation, first reported by the Washington Post on the day before Christmas Eve, raised wide opposition and concerns that such harsh policy would create an unwelcoming-anti-immigrant environment, and ultimately punish those who are so desperately seeking protection from violence and harm.
 
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and nearly 200 civil and human rights organizations joined together on a letter to President Obama and his administration, expressing strong opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) plan to deport families who have fled violence in Central America.
 
Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, issued the following statement:
 
“Secretary Johnson’s comments reiterating the stance of the Department of Homeland Security when it comes to the treatment of Central American families, and his particular justification for the implementation of mass raids in communities across the country, is deplorable. We continue to disagree with the federal government’s proposed enforcement-only approach to address a clear humanitarian crisis at our border.  
 
For too long, immigrant families have heard that our country ‘must enforce the law consistent with our priorities,’ yet the realities of those policies have only resulted in increased fear, family separation, and broken communities. 
 
Rounding up families is not consistent with this country’s ‘values, and basic principles of decency, fairness, and humanity.’ In fact, these comments, at a time when we are witnessing a global refugee crisis – with women and children embarking on frightening and treacherous journeys – are regrettable, and simply out of touch with reality.”
 
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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.