WASHINGTON—Councilmember Navarro will join educators, community partners and legal aid providers at a congressional briefing today to urge members of Congress to act immediately to address the myriad of issues impacting unaccompanied children seeking refuge in the United States and to call for an immediate end to “rocket dockets” and deportations targeting unaccompanied children and other vulnerable individuals.
Speakers will urge members of Congress to act now to address this international humanitarian and refugee crisis in a way that puts the safety and well-being of children first, while seeking resolution to the root causes of the forced migration. Councilmember Navarro said that “the influx of children who have fled the violence in parts of Central America is creating a humanitarian crisis in local jurisdictions throughout the nation. Many children require medical attention, are victims of sexual abuse, and have experienced severe trauma. It is important for local governments to understand the scope of this issue in order to be prepared and respond to the needs of this vulnerable population of children.”
The briefing will focus on the impact the crisis is having in our communities and our public schools; the challenges experienced by unaccompanied children in the legal system; local government responses to recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security enforcement raids targeting immigrants from Central America; and the root causes of the migration from countries overrun by organized crime, violence, human trafficking, gangs, poverty and persecution.
In addition, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) will provide an update on the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act—a bill introduced by Lofgren and Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) late last month that would ensure access to counsel, legal orientation programs and post-release services to children and other groups in immigration proceedings.
WHAT: Congressional briefing on immigration raids targeting unaccompanied children
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday, March 23
WHERE: Cannon House Office Building, Room 234, Washington, D.C.
- Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
- Bruce Lesley, president, First Focus
- Louis Malfaro, president, Texas AFT
- Marielena Hincapie, executive director, National Immigration Law Center
- Wendy Young, president, Kids in Need of Defense
- Kelsey Rivas, classmate of student impacted by DHS enforcement actions
- Hon. Nancy Navarro, councilwoman, Montgomery County, Md.
- Hon. Dana Leigh Marks, president, National Association of Immigration Judges, IFPTE
(Other members of Congress also have been invited)