Families Affected by Broken Immigration System Request Meeting with President Obama

Community Leaders and Congressional Representatives Cite Family Stories in Emphasizing Call for Administrative Action on Immigration

Watch video of the press conference

Download the FIRM letter to President Obama requesting a meeting with affected families

Washington – At a press conference this morning, leaders of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) stood with Members of Congress in calling on the Obama Administration to take administrative action to deal with the immigration crisis.  Affected families took center stage as they told their stories of separation, deportation and living in constant fear of family members being taken away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Brittney Babo, whose husband Serge was deported last August, told her story: “On May 12, 2010 Serge was picked up by ICE officials while doing dishes at our home. He was put in immigration detention and after three long months, deported to his native Cameroon.”  Babo also laid out their family’s extreme hardship: “You can’t imagine how devastating this was for me and for our family.  Since he was deported I have struggled to care for my two sons.  I work 10-hour night shifts with a lot of overtime just to make enough money to support my family.”

Deepak Bhargava, the Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, represented FIRM at the press conference and spoke about the president’s recent push for immigration reform.  “He has had many important meetings… with many key stakeholders.  But there’s been a notable absence, which is hearing directly from the families that have been separated and destroyed because of the enforcement-only policies that this Administration is pursuing.”

Representatives Luis Gutierrez (IL), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Jim Moran (VA) and Anna Eshoo (CA) also referenced the personal stories of the affected families when they called for the Obama Administration to take action on immigration.

Tony Choi, an undocumented Korean-American student, spoke directly to the President after telling his story: “We ask you, Mr. President, to provide safety and protection to those in our communities – the families and students – who look to simply live their American lives.”

Babo made a call to the President for a special meeting: “Together with the families here today and thousands of other families torn apart by immigration detention and deportation, I call on the President to meet with us, the affected families.  It’s time to include our stories and experiences in the discussions around the policies that affect our lives.”

For more information contact Burke Stansbury: bstansbury@communitychange.org, (202) 339-9304