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Immigration Forum: Keep Families Together

Brooklyn, New York- Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke hosted an immigration forum today to highlight the need for immigration laws that keep families together.  Special guest U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez participated in the forum as New York City families discussed how current immigration policies put them and loved ones in danger of being separated. 

“I want to thank Congressman Luis Gutierrez for joining us at this forum as he continues his Campaign for American Children and Families Tour.  Across this nation we see how our broken immigration system tears families apart.  It affects families of all different backgrounds, ethnicities and races.  While the media continues to use our Latino brothers and sisters as scapegoats, we are taking the opportunity to give a voice to the many faces that our laws negatively affect, particularly those in the Caribbean and African immigrant communities.  We will not allow the naysayers to divide us. Rather, we will unite to fix our broken immigration system,” stated Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.

“We must ensure we do not needlessly deport those who are DREAM-eligible and the parents and spouses of U.S. citizens and others who are here working, raising families and contributing to our nation and economic recovery,” said Congressman Gutierrez (D-IL-4) of Chicago.  “This responsibility is the President’s, as he alone has the authority to set priorities with limited enforcement resources deciding who is pursued for deportation and who isnot.  I am gratified to be here with my colleague and friend, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, to help lift up her diverse constituents and the Caribbean and African immigrant communities to say that a broken enforcement regime splits all American families apart, no matter what their heritage.  Working together, we can change the way all of our families are treated by the broken immigration system.”

Immigration advocates from Churches United to Save and Heal (C.U.S.H) and the New York Immigration Coalition were on hand, calling for our federal government to keep families together and address the harsh deportation enforcement policies that continue to put families are risk. 

Bishop Orlando Findlayter, chairman of CUSH stated, “CUSH is delighted to participate in this much needed conversation regarding the importance of keeping our families together.  The broken immigration policy of the US is creating tremendous stress in our community.  We applaud the Hon. Yvette Clarke for her leadership.  We also salute the Hon. Luis Gutierrez, for his passion and being relentless in his fight for comprehensive immigration reform.”

 “We are fortunate to have leaders like Congress Members Clarke and Gutierrez standing firm in their commitment to keeping families together,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.  “And the President’s stated commitment to immigration reform is important, especially against the backdrop of an increasingly hostile climate.  But we need to up the ante from words to action and see the President begin to undo some of the damage of our broken immigration system.”

“America has always been a nation of immigrants and their children.  Today, we are all immigrants, and we are all the children of immigrants.  Our laws must represent our values, our identities, and our aspirations.  We are a nation that builds families up, not tears them apart.  We are a nation that allows our students to achieve the American dream, not take it away from them.  For this reason we must enact comprehensive immigration reform to fix those policies.  It is up to us to support reforms that provide equality and the ability for all of us to live the American Dream.  Let us never forget the immigrants of all backgrounds, who contribute to our society; who come to our shores embracing the American Dream,” concluded Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.