García, Quigley, Jayapal and Advocates Call for Passage of PROTECT Immigration Act

November 24, 2021
Press Release

García, Quigley, Jayapal and Advocates Call for Passage of

PROTECT Immigration Act

 

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Representatives Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), and five organizations are calling for the immediate passage of the PROTECT Immigration Act after the Washington Post published emails revealing that the Trump administration aggressively recruited sheriffs to detain undocumented immigrants. Quigley’s PROTECT Immigration Act would end the 287(g) program which, under Trump, allowed ICE to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law. Earlier this year, the Representatives and more than 50 members of Congress also sent a letter calling on President Biden to follow through on his campaign promise to review and terminate 287(g) agreements.

“Programs like 287(g) are not only racist and cruel but are also ineffective. My city of Chicago was the first sanctuary city in the country because we are a city that welcomes immigrants, and nobody should live in fear of police harassment simply because of their status,” said Congressman García. “Immigrants kept our country running during the pandemic, but they are still subject to increased racial profiling, arrests, incarceration, and deportation as a result of this program. To undo the damage anti-immigrant policies have caused in our communities President Biden must keep his promise to review and end programs such as 287(g).”

“We already knew that the Trump administration spent their four years in office eroding the relationship between law enforcement and their communities and fomenting fear among immigrant communities. This week’s revelations show just how aggressively Trump officials pursued that agenda.” said Quigley. “Congress has an obligation to take every step we can to end the programs that turn local law enforcement into immigration enforcement departments. It’s the only way we can return to an immigration system that prioritizes justice over fear.”

"We have long known that the Trump administration aggressively targeted, profiled, and tore apart immigrant communities while cruelly criminalizing those who call America home," said Congresswoman Jayapal. "While we put an end to the Trump administration, we must also put an end to the unnecessary deputization of local and state police departments to enforce outdated immigration law, distracting them from their primary duty of upholding public safety. Doing so will not only make our communities more safe but it will also begin to humanely reform our broken immigration system so it’s finally focused on dignity and family unity.”

“For too long, ICE has relied on state and local police to turbo charge a mass deportation agenda. Entanglement with local police tear apart communities, incentivize racial profiling, and replicate the racial disparities of the criminal legal system. President Biden promised to terminate 287(g) agreements and we are still waiting for follow-through on that promise. The PROTECT Act will ensure an end to the use of this harmful program intentionally used by the Trump administration to make our communities less safe for everyone,” said Nayna Gupta, Associate director of policy at the National Immigrant Justice Center.

“The mass incarceration system in the U.S. has fused with the immigration detention and deportation machine and profited off the suffering of Black, brown and immigrant communities. The threat of detention and deportation at the hands of ICE and CBP was real under Trump, and remains real under the Biden administration, with over one million people deported and expelled since President Biden took office. President Biden made a commitment to end 287(g) and to deliver citizenship to millions of people who live under the constant threat of being torn apart from their loved ones. All year long, immigrant youth have taken action to hold the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress accountable to their promises. Democrats in Congress must pass the PROTECT Act and deliver permanent protections from the threat of deportation to millions of people,” said Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, Senior Policy Manager of United We Dream.

Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director of the National Immigration Project, said, “The 287(g) program, which was aggressively pushed under the Trump administration, exists to further extend the harmful reach of ICE, an agency with a long track record of terrorizing and hurting communities. The program increases racial profiling, accelerates the pipeline to deportation from communities of color, and continues to separate families and break apart communities. To advance racial equity within the immigration and criminal systems, supporting the PROTECT Act and terminating the 287(g) program are critical first steps.”

“New details about the aggressive expansion of the police-to-deportation pipeline by the prior Administration underscores how programs like 287(g) harm the health and safety of immigrant communities. It is past time for the Biden Administration to fulfill its commitments and end 287(g) agreements and other similar programs that entangle local and state police with immigration enforcement. The time to pass the PROTECT Act is now,” said Sonia Lin, executive strategy director of the We Are Home campaign.

“287(g) agreements promote racial-profiling and criminalization of immigrants living in and contributing to our communities. These partnerships between state and local law enforcement and ICE instill fear and foment distrust between local police and immigrant communities. Passage of the PROTECT ACT will promote safety, security, and trust as well as move us closer to an immigration system that is fair, just and focused on keeping families and communities together,” said Katherine Greenslade, Managing Attorney at Immigration Legal Services, The Resurrection Project.

García, Quigley, and Jayapal have long championed the PROTECT Immigration Act and re-introduced the bill in April of this year.

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