Payne, Jr. Joins Letter to President Denouncing DHS-Led Immigration Raids

January 12, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) joined 145 of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, including every Democratic member of New Jersey’s delegation, in sending a letter to President Obama calling for an end to unnecessary raids of Central American refugees across the nation.

In the letter, the members encouraged the Administration to pursue a comprehensive, regional solution to the refugee crisis that protects refugees, especially mothers and children, from violence and persecution. 

“We strongly condemn the Department of Homeland Security’s recent enforcement operation targeting refugee mothers and children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala,” the members wrote. “The DHS operation has generated widespread fear and panic in immigrant communities and has far-reaching impacts beyond the alleged targets for removal. The operation raises numerous due process concerns including meaningful access to legal counsel for mothers and children after apprehension and DHS officers reportedly using deceptive tactics to gain entrance into private residences. For these reasons and others, we believe that this operation should be immediately suspended until we can ensure no mother or child will be sent back to a country where they would face persecution, torture or death.”

“It is time to start working towards a solution that provides a practical and humane response to the mothers and children from Central America fleeing for their lives and seeking safety and protection.  Failure to provide this comprehensive solution will continue to lead to disorder at our border and will further a sense of unease across the United States. We urge you to immediately halt the current enforcement actions towards Central American mothers and children and take steps to engage in a comprehensive effort with our hemispheric partners to address this regional refugee crisis in an appropriate humanitarian manner,” the members concluded.

A PDF version of the letter can be found here.