Local social justice groups rally, hold press conference to demand end to deportations

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For immediate release

April 3, 2014

DES MOINES - Five local social justice groups will take part in the national Not1more Deportation campaign rally and press conference on Friday.

The rally and press conference will take place at 10 a.m. at the Polk County Courthouse, 500 Mulberry St. Groups participating include the Methodist Federation for Social Action, the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, American Friends Service Committee, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

As part of the national effort, immigrant communities of more than 40 cities will participate in marches, rallies, vigils and forums on Friday and Saturday to push the White House and President Barack Obama to expand deferred action and suspend deportations until immigration reform is approved.

“It’s time to stop the practice of tearing apart families and instead uphold the universal value of honoring strong bonds between loved ones,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, state director for LULAC of Iowa. “President Obama can and should act immediately to halt deportations. The only question is: Does he have the will to do so? He is in a position to use his executive authority to help thousands of immigrants.”

In the past year alone, 1,088 Iowa families have been affected by the deportations, said Sandra Sanchez, immigrants voice program director for AFSC.

“This increases the number of children who end up under the care of the state,” she said. “Deportations cost 2 billion dollars to taxpayers every year. Stopping deportations will save taxpayers money and end the suffering of thousands of families in Iowa, many mixed with a U.S. citizen parent or U.S. citizen children. It doesn’t make sense. Congress needs to act on H.R.15 now.”

Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. There are more than 880 local LULAC councils, which hold voter registration drives, provide awareness to residents about language and immigration issues, sponsor programs and advocate for Latinos.

For more information, contact Joe Enriquez Henry at 515.208.7312 or lulac307iowa@aol.com; or Melissa Walker at 515.681.7731 or media@iowalatinos.org, or visit www.lulaciowa.org.

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