DHS Raids Ignore Blatant Civil Rights Abuse and Fuels Hypercriminalization and Mass Incarceration
Washington – On May 12, the Obama Administration announced a national surge in raids targeting families, children and youth. This surge follows a wave of raids from earlier this year fraught with civil rights abuse and terrorized families, students, and schools. Immigrant youth from these raids still remain incarcerated in jail cells in Georgia. In response, Advancement Project, United We Dream, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild released the following statements:
“The Department of Homeland Security has ruthlessly stalked and arrested youth of color, many of whom come this country seeking refuge from extreme violence,” said Flavia Jiménez, senior attorney and director of immigrant justice at Advancement Project. “The Obama Administration has talked about redemption and second chances for persons who’ve made mistakes. Persecuting and incarcerating children from Central America shows how short that vision really falls. As President Obama prepares to leave office, he is solidifying his tarnished legacy when it comes to incarcerating families in need of safety.”
This announcement exposes the hypocrisy of the Obama administration, which is on one hand seeking credit for dialing down excessive criminalization, but doubling down on the same terror tactics that lead to the mass detention and incarceration of immigrant youth and families.
Zenen Jaimes Perez, Policy & Advocacy Analyst for United We Dream said, “There is a great hypocrisy coming from the administration in their efforts to reform the criminal justice system except when it comes to immigrants. ICE agents have lied, entered homes without warrants, arrested students at bus stops on their way to school, and continue to deport undocumented youth. The legacy of President Obama on immigration is the continued criminalization of people of color instead of fairness and justice for all communities.”
“As the largest police force in the country, DHS continues to act like a local lawless sheriff. Unfortunately, ICE has attacked our communities with raids for far too long. What is troubling about this surge is DHS’ emboldened disregard for accountability, egregious civil rights abuse, and prolonged detention,” Associate Director Paromita Shah.