Press contact: Berenice Nava, AFSC Iowa
Immigrant rights advocates push Des Moines on Welcoming City Resolution
Quaker organization files open records request
DES MOINES, IOWA (October 2, 2017) Immigrant rights advocates filed an open records request today with the City of Des Moines seeking information regarding the “Welcoming City” resolution that was presented to the City Council on May 8, 2017. Nearly five months have passed since the request for a resolution was presented as a first draft. Little communication from City leaders has caused confusion among community members and other city leaders.
“We want to know what, if anything has been done,” said Berenice Nava of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). “The public has the right to know what the City is doing with our request, to see a draft of the resolution and to give feedback before a vote is taken.”
AFSC filed the request today amid uncertainty and fear of persecution of immigrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Advocates say the City needs to do all that it can to be explicit that local police will honor the Constitution, limit their involvement in enforcement of immigration law and build trust with immigrant communities.
“Everyone in our community should feel safe in calling the police for help,” Nava said. “We need the City to adopt a strong policy to ensure public safety for all.”
AFSC and other advocates see the Trump Administration’s crackdown on immigrants as another form of racist fear-mongering and White supremacy. Along with the human costs of breaking up families through detention and deportation, rights advocates say there’s a tremendous economic toll in removing hardworking people from our community.