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AFSC calls on the Obama administration to stop conducting raids

News & Commentary  |  By AFSC, May 13, 2016
Photo: AFSC / Kathryn Johnson

We are deeply troubled by news that the Obama administration is planning to conduct a second round of raids to deport women and children from Central America. The raids are said to target young people who crossed the border as unaccompanied minors, alone, and have recently turned 18. Targeting young people who have had to make a treacherous journey and sending them back to a country where they may face persecution shortly after their 18th birthday is particularly callous. Targeting women who have made the journey with their young children, equally so.

This is the second round of raids the Obama administration has undertaken since the new year; raids will not stop the surge of migrants who are fleeing from violence in Central America. These border surges will continue periodically until the root causes of violence and insecurity in the region are overcome. The administration and Congress must work with the regional governments in Central America to promote security in the region and ensure that U.S. policies aren't fueling violence.

All too often, we hear stories of young people who are deported to countries in the region and murdered shortly thereafter. From January 2014 to October 2015, at least 83 people the U.S. forced back to Central America were killed. These deportations put women and children at grave risk. We call upon the administration to stop deporting Central American youth and families and to stop the raids.

For information on what to do during an immigration raid, see our "Know Your Rights" resource page