Sunday, January 22, 2017


 Quad-Caucus Leadership Condemns Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the leadership of the Congressional Quad-Caucus – which is composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) – issued statements condemning President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders, which were directly targeted at the immigrant community. President Trump signed executive orders that enable the construction of a border wall, increase funding for detention centers on the border, cut federal funding to sanctuary cities and various other anti-immigrant actions. Quad-Caucus leaders issued the following statements:

CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu (CA-27):

“Immigrants are the bedrock of our nation, and building a wall on our southern border, threatening to withhold funds from sanctuary cities and states, and refusing refuge to those fleeing violence and persecution are actions that run contrary to our values as a nation. Unfortunately, rather than focus on securing and unifying our country, President Trump has continued to promote intolerance and divisiveness that will make our communities less safe.

“Welcoming immigrants and refugees into our country has strengthened communities, brought vibrancy to our economy, and cemented the U.S. as a moral leader in the world. American taxpayers should not be forced to foot a massive bill to build an outrageous and ineffective border wall, nor should local law enforcement agents be forced to employ policies that sow mistrust and hamper their ability to fight crime.

“Instead of promoting these senseless policies, President Trump should bring forth comprehensive immigration reform, and focus on bringing our country together rather than isolating entire communities.”

CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01):   

“The CHC stands united against President Trump’s executive orders to build a multi-billion dollar wall and indiscriminately target cities that do not round up people without legal status. These executive orders fail to address our broken immigration system. Instead, they build up hostility toward immigrants and squander taxpayer dollars. 

“Mr. Trump grew support for his multi-billion dollar wall on the false assertions that it would curb unprecedented levels of unauthorized immigration and would be paid for by Mexico. In fact, unauthorized immigration levels have been stagnant for the past eight years and it will be hard-earned U.S. taxpayer dollars, not a foreign government that will finance his monument to division and prejudice. 

“President Trump’s order to halt federal funding to municipalities that do not to turn over all unauthorized immigrants, regardless of the level of the offense will turn neighbor against neighbor, inhibit police departments' ability to ally with communities, and devastate city budgets and services. We are in agreement with Police Chiefs and Mayors across America who believe that the role of local police departments is to fight real crime and keep communities safe, not to act as federal immigration officers.

“Ultimately, Mr. Trump’s measures fall extremely short of a first step toward negotiating an immigration system that provides a tough but fair earned pathway to citizenship or legal status, enhances border security, grows the economy, and is in line with our core American values.

“I urge the President to consider the vast wishes of the American people as he begins to address matters on immigration. The lives of immigrant families, refugees, and American citizens hang in the balance. So too does America’s standing as a beacon of freedom, justice, and hope.”

CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (LA-02):

“President Trump’s actions today make it clear that he is willing to sacrifice long-term progress for short-term displays of intolerance. Instead of ensuring the safety and security of the American people, the President is prioritizing intolerance and fear-mongering. Instead of focusing on strengthening and supporting our communities through smarter strategies, he is attacking American cities. The President will attempt to spend $20 billion in taxpayer money and seize land owned by American citizens to build a wall when he should be focused on American jobs and protecting the rights of all Americans. Unfortunately, this is only the latest example that President Trump is more concerned with show than substance and is willing to take actions that hurt the very people he claims to represent.”

CPC Co-Chair Raul Grijalva (AZ-03):
CPC Co-Chair Ellison (MN-05):
CPC First Vice-Chair Mark Pocan (WI-02):

“As Americans we are best when we hold our values close. We value the freedom to practice one’s religion without persecution, the freedom of self-determination, the freedom to build a good life for oneself and one’s family – these values are non-negotiable. But President Trump, and the Republicans who support him, are acting as if our shared beliefs, set forth in the Constitution, can be tossed aside.
“We are stronger when our decisions reflect our shared values of inclusion and equality. We are safer when we unite against actual threats. Demonizing people in search of a better life only increases ill-will towards us around the world. Forcing local jurisdictions by presidential mandate to assist with civil immigration enforcement will break faith with immigrant communities only to sow fear and mistrust. Militarizing the southern border and making immigration detention mandatory will only waste exorbitant amounts of taxpayer money and ensure vulnerable people continue to live in fear.

“Refugees, by definition, are those fleeing persecution – not persecutors themselves. Closing our borders to refugees fleeing devastation and war is morally indefensible. It’s cruel and it’s un-American.

"Later this year, Congress will have an opportunity to block these discriminatory policies.  The CPC hopes that colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us using the power of the purse to stop these attacks on our fundamental values.

“This isn’t just campaign rhetoric anymore. It’s policy. And it may endanger people’s lives.”

The MIRA Coalition Condemns President Trump's Executive Orders on Immigration
Boston – Continuing the divisive and xenophobic anti-immigrant rhetoric with which he campaigned for the White House, President Trump today issued two executive orders regarding immigration. The first includes unfunded and impractical plans to build a physical barrier along our entire southern border, increase civil detention bed space, and increase the number of Customs and Border Protection officers, while adding new hurdles for those seeking refuge from persecution.  The second executive order increases the number of ICE officers and threatens federal funding for jurisdictions that decline to divert resources to enforce federal immigration law.

“These executive orders are a direct affront to our nation’s long history of welcoming immigrants and refugees who revitalize and strengthen our communities,” said Eva Millona, Executive Director of MIRA. “After less than a week in office, this administration has already signaled to our nation’s immigrants and their children that the promise of the American dream no longer exists.”
Numerous aspects of these executive orders place undue financial burdens on local communities. The Trump Administration’s ambition to deport anywhere from 2 to 11 million people is impossible to achieve without co-opting local police resources to do the federal government's job – something that “sanctuary city” ordinances and policies are designed to prohibit.

These ordinances largely conform to federal law, and President Trump's threats to withhold federal money from the over 350 towns, cities, and states across the country that decline to enforce federal immigration law are on thin ice, constitutionally-speaking. As Justice Scalia pointed out in Printz v United States, the federal government cannot compel states to enforce  federal law. 
“By his words and actions, our new President has made it clear that he intends to rule a nation where communities are divided and pitted against one another,” continued Ms. Millona.“The people of Massachusetts will not sit idly by in the face of such attacks, but will stand united to protect the most vulnerable among us.”


            BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey today issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it will strip federal funding provided to so-called “Sanctuary Cities” in Massachusetts and across the country.

“Strong, independently-governed communities are part of what makes Massachusetts great. The President’s executive order is an irresponsible attempt to coerce our communities into conducting his mass deportations, and would impact all residents by stripping federal funding for roads, schools, police, health care, the elderly, and assistance for those in need. My office will be watching closely and I will be ready to stand with our cities and towns in the coming days.”

Boston, January 25, 2017 – This is a difficult day for PAIR and for the immigrant community. The President, by Executive Order, has committed his administration to erecting barriers on the U.S. border, uses derogatory words to describe noncitizens, and plans to punish cities that protect the rights and dignity of immigrants. His promises to suspend refugee processing and to ban refugees from certain countries from entering the U.S. is creating much fear and panic in our already vulnerable immigrant communities. The U.S. is a great nation that values freedom, safety, diversity and acceptance. PAIR is committed to these values for all and will continue to protect immigrant rights.

Founded in 1989, PAIR is the leading provider of pro bono immigration services to asylum-seekers and immigrants unjustly detained by immigration authorities in Massachusetts. PAIR serves over 1,000 clients a year and has a successful outcome in 95% of its asylum cases. Susan Cohen, President of PAIR's Board of Directors, makes clear that, “Now, more than ever, we must stand up for the bedrock American value of welcoming, not demonizing, immigrants and refugees who seek safe haven in the United States.  When we protect and defend the rights of immigrants, we underscore the importance of the rule of law in a civil society, and everyone benefits.”

PAIR will fulfill its mission to serve asylum-seekers and immigrants unjustly detained by immigration. We will continue to provide legal orientation presentations in and out of detention; will serve as many asylum-seekers as possible; will conduct asylum intake for those who fear returning to their home country; and will gear up to recruit, train, and mentor as many volunteers as our organization can handle.
We will protect clients like "Zaroon," an internet activist who fled Syria after being targeted by secret police for his postings on Facebook protesting the Syrian government and their treatment of civilians caught in the civil war.  With the help of PAIR and his volunteer team from Ropes & Gray LLP, he won asylum in the U.S. and continues to advocate for democracy and freedom.
PAIR is committed to providing legal resources to clients like "Irtaza," a young Iranian man who was targeted by the government because of his religious conversion.  In his home country, he could not even openly pray without the fear of death.  Thanks to PAIR and his volunteer team at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC, was granted asylum and now enjoys the freedom to practice the faith of his choosing here in the United States.

PAIR will stand by clients like "Zara," a young woman who fled Ecuador after being repeatedly harassed, beaten, and raped due to her sexual orientation. Though she tried to build a life in her home country, she and her partner continued to face severe discrimination and violence. With the help of PAIR, she won asylum in the U.S. and continues to advocate for LGBTQ rights.

“It is a time of great uncertainty, but PAIR will do the important work that is needed to achieve justice, transparency and fairness in the immigration laws for our clients and immigrants in the greater community,” said Anita P. Sharma, PAIR’s Executive Director. PAIR has been holding legal orientation, or “Know Your Rights” sessions for immigration detainees and the general community. If you are interested in a legal orientation session or concerned about your immigration status, call and speak with a staff member at PAIR. If you would like to collaborate or support our work, please feel free to contact us or to donate to PAIR. We are grateful to have allies like you on our side.

In solidarity,
Amanda, Amy, Anita, Elena, Jennifer, and Seth

Anita P. Sharma, J.D., LL.M
Executive Director

PAIR Project

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