Denver, CO – Faith leaders, community members, and immigrant allies from Colorado held a press conference today to announce the official kick-off of the "Keep Families Together: A People's Resolution" campaign. The campaign calls upon President Obama and Congress to immediately cease all deportations of parents of minor children and is educating the people of Colorado on this human rights issue.
“The only concrete actions President Obama mentioned yesterday is his speech was on increasing border enforcement. We have had massive increases in border enforcement and it has served only to decrease real security in the US, disrupting the quality of life and economies of border communities and eroding human rights in the region,” stated Gabriela Flora with the American Friends Service Committee. “We need Obama to listen to our communities and take real action to create security in our communities. The first step is to end all deportations,” continued Ms. Flora.
Co-led by Coloradans for Immigrant Rights (CFIR), a project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Rights for All People (RAP) the “Keep Families Together” campaign has set a goal of 30,000 signatures from across Colorado over the next year on the resolution that will be delivered to President Obama, the Speaker of the U.S. House, the President of the U.S. Senate, the Colorado Congressional delegation, and the Governor of Colorado.
Drawing upon the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, signed by the United States, that states, "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State" the People's Resolution declares that deportations of parents of minor children resulting in the separation of families is a violation of human rights constituting crimes against humanity.
“Last year alone, Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out more than 72,000 deportations of parents who said they had U.S.-born children. We have seen how separating children from their parents can result in extreme and permanent emotional trauma, confusion, exploitation, instability, and interruption of their education," states Rev. Wayne Laws, member of AFSC’s ally group Coloradans For Immigrant Rights (CFIR). “The People's Resolution affirms ‘the human dignity of all Colorado residents, regardless of immigration status’ and recognizes ‘the importance of immigrants' many contributions to the social and economic fabric of the State of Colorado.’”, continued Rev. Laws.
“We are starting this campaign because we believe that deportations of parents of minor children resulting in the separation of families is a violation of human rights constituting crimes against humanity,” said Jordan Garcia of the American Friends Service Committee.
The resolution further urges "Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to fully implement the Parental Interests Directive (3) across all localities so that family obligation and ties to the community are given full and fair consideration in immigration enforcement decisions so that parents are no longer separated from their families."
Guillermina Vargas, an immigrant member of Rights for All People, who says that daily she lives with the fear that her son will be deported and wonders "what would my kids do if I were to be deported one day," along with other immigrant members of the community, shared their personal stories at the press conference.
TAKE ACTION: If you live in Colorado, please sign petition here:bit.ly/1sjs0ga