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Immigration hearing to focus on family unity
April 03, 2013

Immigration hearing to focus on family unity
The KBI's Aid Center for Deported Migrants provides two meals a day to migrant men, women and children deported to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. In 2011, more than 45,000 meals were served. (Cindy Rice — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)
"Many of our immigration and deportation practices needlessly separate families, making recently-deported migrants even more vulnerable to violence and exploitation." ~ Mary Small, Assistant Director for Policy at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.

(Washington, D.C.) April 3, 2013 — Father Sean Carroll S.J., Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative, will testify with others on April 10 at an Ad-hoc Congressional Hearing. The Jesuit priest will address the human cost of the current immigration system as witnessed daily by staff and volunteers who serve at KBI's Aid Center for Deported Migrants on the Arizona—Mexico border. The hearing, Lines That Divide US: Failure to Preserve Family Unity in the Context of Immigration Enforcement at the Border, coincides with an immigration reform rally on Capitol Hill the same day.

"Many of our immigration and deportation practices needlessly separate families, making recently-deported migrants even more vulnerable to violence and exploitation," said Mary Small, Assistant Director for Policy at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.

Fr. Carroll will also discuss findings from the recent publication Documented Failures: The Consequences of Immigration Policy on the U.S./Mexico Border.

The Kino Border Initiative was established to work with one foot on each side of the Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Now an independent organization, KBI officially launched in January 2009 as the result of a collaborative effort among Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the California Province of the Society of Jesus, the Mexico Province of the Society of Jesus, the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, the Archdiocese of Hermosillo and the Diocese of Tucson.

As a faith-based organization, the KBI strives to respond to the most critical needs of deported migrants by respecting their dignity and by fostering bi-national solidarity through humanitarian assistance, education, research and advocacy.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA believes the U.S. should live up to its tradition of fairness and generosity toward refugees and migrants, and uphold international standards for the treatment of those seeking refuge in this country.  

The hearing is open to the public. A letter from Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Az) follows.

Lines That Divide US: Failure to Preserve Family Unity in the Context of Immigration Enforcement at the Border

Wednesday, April 10
2:00 p.m.
Room 215 HVC (House Visitor's Center) at the U.S. Capitol

Dear Colleague:

While it is the official U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy to preserve “the unity of families during repatriation… taking into consideration administrative parameters,” quantitative data from multiple recent studies reveal that DHS, and the U.S. Border Patrol in particular, has failed to meet this goal. 

Research indicates that immigration enforcement programs intended to discourage migrants from entering the U.S. without authorization have a negligible, if any, deterrent effect.  Instead, findings show that these programs have contributed to needless and widespread family separation, often driving further irregular migration and exacerbating the vulnerability of recently deported women, men and children.

Please join me at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10th for an Ad-hoc Hearing to discuss recent research and evidence that suggest that current deportation practices coupled with inadequate accountability and oversight undermine DHS’s commitment to preserve the unity of families and consider recommendations to address practices that divide and harm families in the immigration enforcement and repatriation process at the border and beyond.

Witnesses

Fr. Sean Carroll S.J.
Executive Director
Kino Border Initiative

Daniel Martinez, Phd.
Professor of Sociology
Catholic University of America

Donald Kerwin, Esq.
Executive Director
Center for Migration Studies

Chair
Rep. Raul Grijalva

Sincerely,
Raúl M. Grijalva
Member of Congress 


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