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Clarke, Grijalva Release Letter to Obama on Deportation Crisis, Announce Monday Press Call With National Immigration Activists

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke released a letter to President Obama today, available at http://1.usa.gov/1fcioxE, calling on him to respond to the crisis of deportation in the undocumented community in his upcoming State of the Union address.

They will host a media conference call next Monday, Jan. 27, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others to discuss the letter and what the immigrant advocate community would like to see from the administration.

The two lawmakers led a previous letter to Obama Dec. 5, co-signed by 26 of their colleagues, asking the White House to halt deportations for certain qualified residents, which have been occurring at a record pace since Obama took office. That letter, available at http://1.usa.gov/1fciJ39, has since gathered an additional six signatories – see the last page of signatures at the link for more information.

“This issue is simply not going to solve itself, and the president knows it,” Grijalva said. “Waking up each morning wondering whether you’ll be separated from your family is not any kind of way to live your life in the United States. We need a realistic policy, and we’re hoping we hear more about the way forward next week. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to discussing options with my colleagues and allies on Monday.”

“The continued deportation of Americans who lack legal status has separated millions of families across our nation,” Rep. Clarke said in sending today’s letter. “This policy must end. With Congress currently debating immigration reform, the practice of continued deportation risks the very men and women who will have the ability to apply for permanent legal status and citizenship under a new system of immigration. The current policy of deportation undermines the goals and principles of immigration reform, and I therefore join my colleagues again in asking President Obama and Secretary Johnson to suspend deportation proceedings and expand deferred action. We must protect American families from the threat of separation and allow immigration reform to work.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.

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