(AUSTIN, Texas) — More than 50 advocacy organizations have sent an open letter to President Barack Obama calling for six key reforms to dismantle the vast immigration detention and deportation apparatus before handing it over to the Donald J. Trump administration.
The letter warns, “In your remaining days in office, you have the ability to overcome some of your administration’s checkered immigration record. You have a choice — you can hand over the largest immigration enforcement regime in history to an incoming administration that has promised mass deportations and human rights violations; or you can begin to dismantle some of the detention and deportation machinery and protect the human rights of migrants and their families.”
The letter calls on President Obama to implement six specific reforms in his last month in office including, 1) end the practice of detaining asylum-seeking families, 2) ensure that permanent residents are protected from deportation through the use of pardon authority, 3) liberally use prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases, 4) end mandatory fingerprint sharing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 5) sign no new contracts for immigration detention centers, and 6) ensure that future border security is conducted humanely and in accordance with best police practices to improve the quality of life for border residents.
Signatories to the letter include more than 50 national, state, and local community, faith, and immigrant organizations including American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Center for Constitutional Rights, Church World Service, Grassroots Leadership, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild, Southern Border Communities Coalition, and United We Dream.
The full letter and list of signatories can be found here.