For Immediate Release: June 25, 2019

Announced - and Delayed - Immigration Raids Generate Fear in Immigrant Communities

Washington, DC – Earlier today, to commemorate World Refugee Day, members of Congress, refugees, faith leaders and advocacy groups gathered to push for pro-refugee legislation.

Last Monday, Trump threatened to deport “millions” through a tweet, and acting ICE Director Mark Morgan threatened that as many as 2,000 families he claims did not show up for their court dates - despite evidence that released families overwhelmingly attend immigrant court hearings - would be subject to these raids. The administration’s erratic actions stir confusion and intentionally terrorize immigrant families living in the United States - with direct consequences for children, youth, and families.

Aarti Kohli of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - ALC said: “We must stand up to this administration and urge Congress to provide a meaningful humanitarian response that addresses the root causes of displacement and offers U.S. protection to those seeking safety. There is no reason to lock up children and parents when many have family members willing to care for them. Congress must check this administration by cutting funds for immigration detention, deportation, and border militarization immediately.”

According to Meredith Owen of Church World Service, “This administration has heartlessly detained children and families in horrible conditions, which has led to deaths of children and other vulnerable individuals in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s custody. The threat of large scale raids is the next step in a grand scheme to intentionally inflict terror in immigrant communities.”

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For Immediate Release: June 20, 2019

Advocacy Groups Celebrate World Refugee Day With Pro-Refugee Legislation

“Today we both celebrate and fight for the refugees that have made our country stronger.”

Washington, DC – Earlier today, to commemorate World Refugee Day, members of Congress, refugees, faith leaders and advocacy groups gathered to push for pro-refugee legislation.

World Refugee Day commemorates the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The day is meant to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of refugees in global society in addition to drumming up positive sentiment for refugees domestically.

Activists and legislators were encouraged to push for two pieces of legislation relating to the wellbeing of refugees in the United States. The GRACE Act would set a minimum refugee goal at 95,000 individuals, and the NO BAN Act would end the discriminatory asylum ban put in place by the Trump Administration in addition to preventing future administrations from enacting similar policies.

Spokesperson for Value Our Families, Rev. John L. McCullough stated, “Today we both celebrate and fight for the refugees that have made our country stronger. While the Trump administration and its allies fight for policies of exclusion and xenophobia, it is heartwarming to see so many individuals fighting for justice. We have to continue to keep pressure on Congress to pass these two bills in order to send a strong signal that refugees do belong in the US.”

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For Immediate Release: June 3, 2019

Value Our Families Coalition Opposes Cuccinelli Nomination

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Value Our Families, in response to the proposed nomination of Ken Cuccinelli for director of  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

President Trump has proposed to nominate Ken Cuccinelli to lead USCIS. This is the latest of Trump’s attempts to pack the administration with people who have propagated anti-immigrant actions and xenophobic sentiment.

During his time in the Virginia state legislature and as attorney general, Cuccinelli sponsored bills to force employees to speak English in the workplace. He tried to prevent hard-working undocumented students who grew up in Virginia from receiving in-state tuition. He even advocated for repealing birthright citizenship to strip American-born children of immigrants of their constitutional rights. Cuccinelli has previously compared immigrants to rats, and he has indicated that Congressman Steve King (R-IA), who was removed from his committee seat for racist statements, is “one of my very favorite congressmen.”

The mission of USCIS should be to grant immigration and citizenship benefits to Americans and future Americans so that families can be reunited, visit with one another, and so that immigrants can further integrate into our society. Yet, this administration seeks to turn the agency into an anti-immigrant enforcement agency. With Cuccinelli at its head, we would see more policies seeking to deny visas, green cards and citizenship, and caging migrant children in ICE facilities.

It is clear that Cuccinelli’s potential nomination is yet another threat to this country’s immigration system. The American people deserve leaders who find humane and practical solutions, not more of the divisive policies that are causing chaos on our borders, and stripping our nation of its values and ideals.

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For Immediate Release: May 24, 2019

White House Memo Directs Latest Attack on Immigrant Families

Washington, D.C. - The following is a statement from Value Our Families, in response to a White House memo directing certain federal agencies to issue guidance related to immigrants and mixed-status families accessing public benefits. Details of the impacts of the policies on immigrants who came through our family-based system and their sponsors will be available once the agencies issue their guidance.

The President continues to look for every opportunity to other immigrants and people of color. Just last week, the President purported to soften some of his anti-immigrant rhetoric in an effort to push a system favoring high-skilled immigrants and lowering immigration levels. Yet, he issues policy after policy seeking to exclude, deport or denigrate immigrants and refugees. Just like the proposed public charge rule, this memo seeks to instill fear in immigrant communities deterring them from seeking benefits.

This memo is Stephen Miller’s latest attempt at creating a false narrative about the contributions of immigrants to further a restrictionist agenda rooted in white supremacy.

Our family-based immigration system has served our country well. As a nation, we are better than this. The Value Our Families Campaign will continue to celebrate our strong vibrant and diverse American communities created by immigration and refugee resettlement and promote humanity and justice in our immigration system.

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For Immediate Release: May 16, 2019

Value Our Families Responds to Trump’s Immigration Proposal

The Jared Kushner-led policy is dehumanizing, and against American ideals

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Value Our Families in response to Trump’s speech announcing the new, Jared Kushner-led immigration proposal:

President Trump’s proposal will endanger family-based immigration and sharply curtail immigration overall. The proposed points-based system is just the administration's latest attempt to continue separating thousands of families and targeting the most vulnerable communities. While the President continues to misrepresent family reunification, he threatens to cut back an already difficult and costly system while also attempting to strip diversity visas.

A person’s worth is not measured by their immigration status. No human should have to prove their worth; not only is such a system dehumanizing, it’s against American ideals. America needs policy that highlights our nation’s best values – not a dangerous proposal that aims to downgrade our current system and further harm families. Congress must rebuke this xenophobic policy.

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For Immediate Release: April 12, 2019

GOP Senators Reintroduce RAISE Act, Threatening Immigrant and Refugee Families

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) re-introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, a bill that threatens family-based immigration and severely limits legal immigration.

This bill defies American values, attacks families, and will harm our economy. Immigrants depend on their families for support, whether through providing childcare or working at a family-owned business. Families are fundamental to local and national communities. America’s strength is founded on the diversity of our nation, and we must continue to uphold this core value.

According to Inhe Choi, spokesperson for Value Our Families, “Once again, Republicans are following Trump’s xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda. The RAISE Act is a direct attack on immigrants and their families and will strip our nation of its strength and diversity. We believe that every family deserves to be treated fairly, regardless of where we come from. We urge Congress to reject the RAISE Act, and continue fighting for legislation that will protect family immigration, rather than attack it. Our values, our families, and our communities depend on these necessary protections.”

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For Immediate Release: March 12, 2019

Trump Admin Closes International Immigration Offices, Stripping Resources for Family Immigration

Washington, DC - According to a report by journalists Maria Sacchetti and Nick Miroff of the Washington Post, the Trump Administration is preparing to close all 21 international immigration offices around the world. According to Sacchetti and Miroff, the “move comes as the Trump administration is pressing to tighten the nation’s immigration controls and shift from family reunification to merit-based immigration. Department of Homeland Security officials say it is part of an overall effort to streamline U.S. immigration operations.”

The Trump administration has been targeting our family-based immigration system, threatening to take away crucial policies that allow families to stay together in the U.S. Closing our international USCIS offices will slow the processing of family visa applications, foreign adoptions, and citizenship petitions from members of our military. Despite claiming otherwise, these closures will strip away resources putting more strain on an already lengthy and difficult process, with some cases taking decades to process.

According to John C. Yang, a spokesperson for Value Our Families, “The worldwide closures of our 21 USCIS offices is deeply concerning. Trump and his administration are once again threatening our family-based immigration system, the same system that has helped shape our diverse nation into what it is today. Our immigration system should celebrate diversity, not avoid it, and should allow families to stay together. We cannot allow Trump’s xenophobic strategy to dictate our immigration laws, it’s up to Congress to provide just and humane solutions to our nation’s broken immigration system.”

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For Immediate Release: March 12, 2019

Value Our Families Supports The Dream and Promise Act

Washington, DC - Earlier today, legislators announced The Dream and Promise Act of 2019, a new bill providing permanent protections for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) and DED (Deferred Enforced Departure) holders. Hundreds of thousands of immigrant families have been needlessly living in constant fear of deportation and separation while the fates of DACA and TPS are help up in courts. The Dream and Promise Act comes as a much needed reprieve to the thousands of immigrants, many of whom have lived here for decades, that are stuck in limbo.

The Trump administration has been attacking immigrants and immigrant families, systematically stripping thousands of immigrants of their legal status, ripping children from their parents at the border, and threatening our family based immigration system. Immigrant families are a driving force in our communities, not a burden.

Value Our Families supports The Dream and Promise Act, and urges members of Congress to pass this new bill and provide permanent protections to Dreamers, TPS, and DED holders. This is the first of many needed steps in order to ensure that immigrant families can live free from fear of deportation, and that our family based immigration system continues to reflect the needs of our communities.

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For immediate release: February 15, 2019

Value Our Families Denounces Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

Washington, DC - The following is a statement from Value Our Families following President Trump’s national emergency declaration:

Trump’s remarks and action declaring a national emergency is an astounding display of xenophobia and racism. It is a reckless stunt to rile up his base and endanger our democracy and countless communities along the border.

There is no national security emergency at the border, and yet Trump is fear-mongering to justify wasting billions of dollars on an immoral border wall. The real crisis is Trump’s self-made humanitarian crisis that separated and jailed thousands of immigrant families.

Trump continues to spew anti-immigrant rhetoric while systematically attacking our nation’s immigration system. Today, he used the term “chain migration,” a deeply offensive and dehumanizing word used to inaccurately describe our family-based immigration system. Family-based immigration, family reunification, and the diversity visa program are crucial parts of our immigration system.

We cannot allow our nation’s immigration policies to be hijacked by false nations of security and nationalism. We urge Congress to protect our border and immigrant communities and to end this so-called “national emergency.”

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For immediate release: February 13, 2019

ICYMI: “‘I feel this is my home’: Hundreds protest in Washington to support immigrants with temporary protected status”

Washington, DC - Hundreds of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, their families, and allies marched to Capitol Hill yesterday to demand a path to residency after the Trump administration worked to strip more than 300,000 immigrants of their legal immigration status over the past two years. In a new piece for the Washington Post, Marissa J. Lang reported on the action. TPS has helped immigrants from around the world live here in the U.S., many contributing to their communities for decades.

Trump and his administration are systematically stripping life-saving protections from our immigrant neighbors, putting thousands at risk of deportation to countries facing political unrest, violence, and natural devastation, and threatening hundreds of thousands of families with separation.

With 98% of TPS holders in limbo, uprooting this program for the sake of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda will have devastating impacts on communities across the country. Value Our Families continues to call on Congress to create permanent legislative solutions that protect immigrants and their families, so they may continue to live without fear of losing their homes and their families.

The following is an excerpt of the piece. To view in full, click here.

Hundreds of immigrants and their families representing more than a dozen countries and several states gathered Tuesday in Washington to demand that permanent residency be made available to thousands of immigrants who came to the United States fleeing war and disaster.

...The protest, which began in front of the White House, was part of events organized this week to draw lawmakers’ attention to the plight of immigrants granted temporary protected status. Organizers said they wanted Republican and Democratic lawmakers to meet families that remain in limbo as courts review the Trump administration’s efforts to curtail the program.

...TPS recipients are a special classification of immigrants who come from countries embroiled in conflict or devastated by natural disasters. The program was created to allow citizens of those countries to live and work legally in the United States until the situation in their home countries stabilizes.

As the Trump administration has sought to tighten immigration and asylum laws, the president ended TPS designation for six of 10 countries in the program: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. Of the more than 300,000 people enrolled in the TPS program, a majority hail from those countries.

...TPS Alliance, an organization that advocates for TPS holders, heralded this week as the “biggest mobilization” of TPS holders in history.

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For immediate release: February 6, 2019

Trump’s SOTU Address Not Reflective of American Values

Washington, DC - In his State of the Union address last night, President Trump continued pushing the same anti-immigrant agenda that led to the barbaric policies that ripped apart thousands of children from their families at the southern border. The majority of Americans continue to see through his desperate attempts to justify a border wall that is unfounded, unsupported, and damaging to border communities, as well as his demonization of the entire immigrant community.

Despite claiming he wants people to “come into our country in the largest numbers ever,” time and time again, Trump’s policies and actions have proven otherwise. The reality is families are still being separated at the border, and the Trump administration and GOP leaders continue to allow xenophobia to dictate policy, while immigrant families pay the consequences.

It’s time the administration stops its attacks on immigrants and immigrant families, and works to create real solutions that are reflective of American values and ideals, that welcome immigrants and diversity in order to strengthen our communities, our economy, and our nation.

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For immediate release: February 1, 2019

Trump’s Wall a Distraction, As He Pursues Further Attacks on Immigrant Families

Washington, DC - The following is a statement from Value Our Families in response to the Trump administration's failure to reunite separated families by the February 1st deadline.

As the Trump administration comes against, and fails to meet, the deadline to reunite the thousands of separated families, reports have come out on the devastating, enduring impacts of the administration’s machiavellian family separation policy.

According to the latest report by the Department of Health and Human Services, the number of children separated from their families may be much higher than originally reported and started as early as the summer of 2017. But, rather than address these real impacts, Trump is too busy bemoaning his unnecessary and unpopular wall.

Trump’s border wall defies our nation’s values, harms countless border communities, and serves as a distraction to the American people from the administration’s ongoing, strategic attacks on immigrant families. Separated families must be reunified immediately, we need policies that will protect our family based immigration system and that will prevent further separation of children from their parents. Trump’s ongoing attacks are hurting immigrant communities and stripping our nation of its diversity and culture. We cannot allow the White Nationalist playbook to hijack our nation’s immigration policies; we must stand up for family immigration and family reunification.

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Value Our Families protects, preserves, and strengthens the family immigration system and promotes an immigration system that is informed by love, empathy, and justice.