Thursday, May 10, 2012

Caravan for Family Unity Against ICE Practices Today at 10 a.m.

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 9:28 AM

There's a rally and press conference today at 10 a.m. by No More Deaths and Keep Tucson Together Campaign for a caravan send-off leaving Tucson for Phoenix to urge Arizona ICE officials and the Obama administration to keep their promises — to repair failed immigration policies that are tearing families apart.

The 10 a.m. send-off takes place at Southside Presbyterian Church, 317 W. 23rd St.

From the press release:

TUCSON, AZ- TUCSON, AZ- On Thursday, May 10, ten Arizonans will ask Pat Vroom once again to issue administrative closure for their immigration cases and to fulfill the promise the Obama administration made to protect families and communities from being torn apart as a result of routine I.C.E. practices.

Esperanza, Elizabeth, Sandra, Sio, Eleazar, Cipriano, Eloy, Luis, Liliana, and Miguel are perfect candidates to have their immigration cases closed under the guidelines issued in June 2011 by the Obama administration. These guidelines were intended to shift immigration enforcement away from “low-priority” cases. Yet despite the fact that each has presented their case for consideration and subsequent closure under these new guidelines, Pat Vroom - I.C.E.’s Chief Counsel for Arizona - has denied their requests.

At a press conference on Thursday, May 10 (Mexican Mother’s Day), family members and supporters will gather in Tucson to present these ten individuals and to send them off to submit their cases to Pat Vroom in Phoenix. These 10 individuals will be joined by their attorney and local clergy to discuss their cases, background, and the impacts of I.C.E.’s non-action on thousands of Tucson families.

Supporters will depart from Tucson and travel to Phoenix where they will be joined by other community allies at the main I.C.E. offices.

Read the background info after the cut:

In June 2011, the Obama administration announced new guidelines shifting immigration enforcement away from “low-priority” cases. The Department of Homeland Security has instructed its agents to conduct case-by-case reviews—considering a number of factors including length of time in the country, family ties, and educational background—and to close cases deemed “low priority.” While this does not automatically grant legal status, it can provide immediate and badly needed relief for those who qualify.

In an August 18, 2011 letter to Congress, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano clarified the administration’s position, writing: “From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities. Doing otherwise hinders our public safety mission - dogging immigration court dockets and diverting DHS enforcement resources away from individuals who pose a threat to public safety.”

Official figures show that less than one percent of cases have been closed from August 2011 through March 2012. Implementation of DHS’ enforcement priorities has been uneven at best. Across the country, many who qualify for administrative closure continue to face the threat of deportation and separation from their families. Advocates in Tucson want the Obama administration to consistently apply its standards and to keep Arizona families together.

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