President Obama: AAPIs Demand You #StopTheRaids

President Barack Obama

Stoptheraids

For immigrant communities across the country, 2016 began not with celebration amongst friends and family, but with the terrifying threat of deportation. The Obama Administration kicked off the year by forcibly removing 121 Central American women and children from their homes to be detained in federal facilities while they await deportation.

The recent round of raids targets Central American mothers and children who entered the U.S. after January 1, 2014, fleeing endemic violence in their countries of origin. These are not immigrants, but refugees—and the Obama Administration’s deportation campaign flies in the face of international conventions that protect refugees from being sent back to countries where they will face discrimination. But in a statement on the recent ICE raids, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson stated coldly: “If you come here illegally, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values.”

Some may argue that the ICE raids run counter to U.S. values as a haven for immigrants fleeing violence, poverty, and discrimination in their countries of origin. But, as Asian American and Pacific Islanders, we know that this “nation of immigrants” has always met non-white immigrants with discrimination, exploitation, violence, and exclusion. From the Chinese Exclusion Act—the very foundation of the immigration state—to Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s comments on Asian “anchor babies,” we are intimately aware that Jeh Johnson is correct: the ICE raids are consistent with American “laws and values” of exclusion and xenophobia.

We cannot stand by and watch the same twisted immigration system that marginalizes our communities send Central American refugees to face the threat of violence and death in their home countries. Nearly two thirds of our own community are immigrants, and over 1 million undocumented immigrants are AAPI. We too have felt the terrible impacts of deportation: in 2015, the Obama Administration deported over 1,400 Asian immigrants. Like Central American refugees, many of our own families arrived to this country fleeing violence and poverty exacerbated by U.S. foreign and economic policy.

But we believe there is another path forward. We can shift our values—and our immigration laws—in a more humane direction. We stand with the demands put forth by the Central American Resource Center (CARACEN) calling on President Obama to halt this cruel deportation campaign and extend deportation relief to refugees fleeing violence in Central America. In his State of the Union address, President Obama committed himself to working to fix our broken immigration system in his final year in office. This is one way to start.

Sign the petition to call on President Obama to stop the ICE raids and extend deportation relief to all Central American refugees.
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To: President Barack Obama
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For immigrant communities across the country, 2016 began not with celebration amongst friends and family, but with the terrifying threat of deportation. The Obama Administration kicked off the year by forcibly removing 121 Central American women and children from their homes to be detained in federal facilities while they await deportation.

The recent round of raids targets Central American mothers and children who entered the U.S. after January 1, 2014, fleeing endemic violence in their countries of origin. These are not immigrants, but refugees—and the Obama Administration’s deportation campaign flies in the face of international conventions that protect refugees from being sent back to countries where they will face discrimination. But in a statement on the recent ICE raids, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson stated coldly: “If you come here illegally, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values.”

Some may argue that the ICE raids run counter to U.S. values as a haven for immigrants fleeing violence, poverty, and discrimination in their countries of origin. But, as Asian American and Pacific Islanders, we know that this “nation of immigrants” has always met non-white immigrants with discrimination, exploitation, violence, and exclusion. From the Chinese Exclusion Act—the very foundation of the immigration state—to Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s comments on Asian “anchor babies,” we are intimately aware that Jeh Johnson is correct: the ICE raids are consistent with American “laws and values” of exclusion and xenophobia.

We cannot stand by and watch the same twisted immigration system that marginalizes our communities send Central American refugees to face the threat of violence and death in their home countries. Nearly two thirds of our own community are immigrants, and over 1 million undocumented immigrants are AAPI. We too have felt the terrible impacts of deportation: in 2015, the Obama Administration deported over 1,400 Asian immigrants. Like Central American refugees, many of our own families arrived to this country fleeing violence and poverty exacerbated by U.S. foreign and economic policy.

But we believe there is another path forward. We can shift our values—and our immigration laws—in a more humane direction. We stand with the demands put forth by the Central American Refugee Center (CARACEN) calling on President Obama to halt this cruel deportation campaign and extend deportation relief to refugees fleeing violence in Central America. In his State of the Union address, President Obama committed himself to working to fix our broken immigration system in his final year in office. This is one way to start.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders call on President Obama to stop the ICE raids and extend deportation relief to all Central American refugees.