Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Warns that Mass Deportations will separate families and separate parents from children; Establishes relief agency for immigrants frightened by mass deportation order

Jul 15, 2019
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              Contact: Robin K. Chand

July 13, 2019                                                                              202-225-3816

Press Statement

 

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Warns that Mass Deportations will separate families and separate parents from children; Establishes relief agency for immigrants frightened by mass deportation order

 

Jackson Lee: “Moreover, the tactics employed by ICE are simply outrageous.  It is foreseeable that these allegedly appropriate and duly executed immigration raids will undoubtedly cause collateral damage, like increased incidences of family separations, and other errors, in the form of mistakenly authorized deportation orders, as was the case for two Houstonians on whose behalf I advocated: Jose Escobar, who was deported two years ago and was only reunited prior to Independence Day 2019, and Laura Maradiaga, an 11-year old who was ordered deported due to a clerical error, only to have the matter halted by a judge.  Preying upon the most vulnerable, and those living in the shadows is a reprehensible way to conduct immigration policy.  I recognize this.  Living Water Ministries recognizes this, and werecognize Scripture’s age-old teaching: that which you do for the least of these, you do for Him.”

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Budget, released this statement on plans that the administration plans to initiate predawn raids of migrant families and on the decision of Living Water Ministries

 

“This week, this president renewed his announcement that in ten cities across the United States—including our hometown of Houston and the one that I am honored to represent in the United States Congress—the Department of Homeland Security, by and through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, plans to execute predawn raids of migrant families who have received deportation orders.   Such a tactic is likely to increase the incidences of this administration’s horrific practice of family separations.  Moreover, directing extensive resources to conduct these raids hollows the administration’s claim that resources are urgently needed to devote to the southern border.  And these are not just my concerns alone.  The current acting secretary of the DHS Kevin McAleenan shares these concerns. Though, perhaps most outrageous about these plans is that the tactic is evocative of an unkind country, which we are not.  It is inconsistent with our obligation to be the last best hope of the world; a shining city on a hill. 

 

“These raids are outrageous, but to be expected from this president.  Since well before the beginning of his presidential administration, the current occupant of the White House has denigrated immigrants.  When he began his presidential campaign, he labeled large swaths of immigrants from Mexico as murderers and rapists.  Upon taking office, he implemented a ban on an entire religion coming from certain countries.  He ended the DACA program, which served to give a reprieve to young people who are American in every way, except for a piece of paper.  He shut down the federal government, because the Congress would not fund his monument of xenophobia—a border wall—despite the fact that he campaigned for over a year promising that Mexico would pay for the wall.  He instituted a cruel and heartless child separation policy, which continues to this day, despite his denials.  Now he pursues these raids.  Announcement and execution of these raids terrorizes families. 

 

“Since the first mention of these draconian tactics, the Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has worked to make sure it has been a resource—a service to the Houston community.  First, The Heights Office of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was repurposed to serve as a one-stop shop for those individuals seeking further information on the administration’s order of mass deportations, which may include predawn raids, for those who believe they have a right to stay in the country.  This service will resume tomorrow.  Now, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson establishes relief agencies for immigrants frightened by the President’s mass deportation order.   This important work is done through the help of agencies and institutions throughout our neighborhood who recognize the importance of keeping families united, and maintaining the faith that immigrants have in the promise of this country as the last best hope of the world.  In that respect, institutions like Living Water International Ministry.  Living Water International Ministry serves thousands monthly and will have a food bank—including groceries and needs for babies—and a clothes pantry, for those seeking assistance during these immigrant raids and mass deportation orders.  I have established this relationship because I would rather see people take refuge in a church rather than children being torn apart from mothers and fathers and families being destroyed wrongly.

 

“Moreover, the tactics employed by ICE are simplyoutrageous.  It is foreseeable that these allegedly appropriate and duly executed immigration raids will undoubtedly cause collateral damage, in the form of mistakenly authorized deportation orders, as was the case for two Houstonians on whose behalf I advocated: Jose Escobar, who was deported two years ago and was only reunited prior to Independence Day 2019, and Laura Maradiaga, an 11-year old who was ordered deported due to a clerical error, only to have the matter halted by a judge.  Preying upon the most vulnerable, and those living in the shadows is a reprehensible way to conduct immigration policy.  I recognize this.  Living Water Ministries recognizes this, and both recognize Scripture’s age-old teaching: that which you do for the least of these, you do for Him.

 

“As I have previously stated, this administration and the current occupant of the White House know that announcing predawn raids before their execution cannot be an effective way to perform immigration enforcement.  Persons with orders for deportation will appear in court and account.  If this is an effort to secure determined criminals, then it is a poor police tactic.  It is a political stunt.  And moreover, the President is using the levers of the federal government—namely, ICE—to effectuate his political ends.  This is wrong.  Beyond that reason, it has the effect to endanger and imperil lives and especially jeopardize the lives of children. I urge the President to step back from these inhumane policies and pass immigration laws that will address the situation and process these migrants.  This should be done in a spirit of bipartisanship—republicans and democrats, alike should come together to do our duty.   As an initial matter, the United States Senate should pass and the President should sign the Dream Act, which would provide protections and certainty to those who came here as children and are American in every way, besides a piece of paper.  And, it is long past time to pass comprehensive immigration reform so that we may address our situation and our southern border and live up to the ideals for which this country stands.”

 

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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is a Democrat from Texas’s 18th Congressional District. She is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security.

 

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