In response to a President Obama’s announcement that the Department of Homeland Security will conduct a study on making deportation “more humane,” a group of undocumented leaders formed a Blue Ribbon Commission to create their own set of recommendations for action that the President could take today to stop the cruel tearing away of immigrants, including transgender immigrants, from their families and communities. Transgender Law Center provided consultation on the report to ensure that the issues facing transgender immigrants were explicitly included, particularly in regards to police profiling of transgender women leading to deportation and the detention conditions that transgender immigrants face.
Immigrant Rights Leaders in “NOT1MORE Blue Ribbon Commission” Issue Groundbreaking Parallel Report, Request Meeting with President
April 10, 2014 – Washington, DC
Today, a Blue Ribbon Commission of current and formerly undocumented leaders published formal recommendations for the President. The commission was formed as a parallel and independent body to issue recommendations and fill a noticeable lack of representation in recently-convened White House meetings of immigrants who are seeking legal status and citizenship.
From the perspective of those who are directly impacted by potential upcoming policy changes, the commission document offers a sweeping menu of concrete steps the Administration can take through immediate executive action to simultaneously a) reduce the harm of current enforcement approaches and b) expand affirmative relief.
“As the document shows, the President can and should change his policy, and he can start today by releasing my son,” said Jose Valdez, the father of Jaime Valdez who was deported from an Arizona detention center in retaliation for the family’s civil rights organizing.
In a morning presentation of the Commission’s report, members emphasized that Presidential action must be both immediate and broad, rejecting the President’s 90 day request as a delay tactic and refusing a tendency of to divide immigrants into categories of deserving and undeserving. Instead, the commission called upon each individual to be given full due process and equal opportunity to be judged on the content of their character.
“One group of immigrants can not be offered relief at the expense of criminalizing another,” explains Tania Unzueta, a DACA recipient and organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. She continued, “As undocumented people, we start from an assumption that each person is a high-priority for inclusion. Instead of allowing the stigma of criminalization to be all-defining in immigration cases, we believe that the entire human person, their contributions and community ties, should be primary considerations.”
The 7 page report outlines the impact of and remedies for current deportation policy as it relates to the immigrant community at-large with specific recommendations for policies related to labor, LGBTQ, and youth among others. Its authors are requesting a meeting directly with the President to discuss their findings and urge immediate implementation of their recommendations.