December 7, 2011
On December 8th, dozens of children and advocacy groups will share heartbreaking stories of families torn apart by immigrant detentions and deportations with members of Congress. With over 5,000 hand-written letters to deliver, the multi-generational delegation will express their holiday wish for families to stay together and call for an end to the forced separation of families across the US. A press conference to share local, personal stories as well as a broader analysis of impacts on immigrant families will kick-off the day.
WHEN: December 8th, Press Conference at 11:30am,
Letter delivery starting at 12:30pm
WHERE: Press Conference, Cannon Room 234,
Letter delivery to House and Senate buildings will kick off from there
*GREAT PHOTO OPP* Children delivering letters to Congress/elected leaders
The A Wish for the Holidays campaign—a project of We Belong Together, a collaboration of women's organizations and immigrant rights groups—will deliver letters to and address leaders on both sides of the immigration debate. Children and advocates will visit the offices of those who have taken an anti-immigrant stance, as well as supporters, thanking them for what they've done and asking them for continued leadership on the issue.
“All children—whether they be immigrants themselves or not—know that family separation is devastating,” says Ai-Jen Poo, Director of National Domestic Worker Alliance. “The impact of immigration enforcement on children goes largely unnoticed, and this is a rare opportunity for young people to speak out.”
“My uncle has been deported to Mexico City and his family is very unhappy. I see my aunt cry when she does the things he likes and his kids say they miss him so much. The little one is really sick and really sad. Because he doesn’t want to eat, he doesn’t play as much. I know he cries a lot because he misses his dad,” writes a 10-year-old boy in California who submitted his own letter for delivery.
In the six months between January and June 2011, the US deported more than 46,000 parents of US-citizen children. As a disastrous result, there are currently well over 5,000 children currently in foster care around the country, who are unable to reunite with their families as a result of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detentions and deportations. Over 1 million immigrants have been deported during the three years that Obama has been in office—a number far greater than under previous presidencies.
We Belong Together is an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Asian Pacific American Womens Forum, and others, to bring attention to the ways in which unjust immigration laws affect women, children and families. For more: webelongtogether.org