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WRC Responds to Administration's Planned Raids and Deportations of Central American Women and Children

Statement by Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program


The Women's Refugee Commission is deeply disappointed at the Obama Administration’s plan to conduct raids on and deport women and children who have fled persecution and extreme violence in Central America. Some of those targeted are reported to be children who arrived in the U.S. without a parent and have now turned 18. The administration is prioritizing them for deportation to three of the most dangerous countries in the world.

Although the Administration claims that it is only targeting families and children with final deportation orders, many were denied a fair hearing or had no hearing at all.

Instead of focusing on rounding up and deporting families and children, the Administration should finally recognize what this influx is about: refugees seeking protection at our border.

The Administration’s strategy of using detention and deportation as a means to deter refugees has not proven successful in the past. As long as conditions continue to deteriorate in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, women and children will continue to seek safety in the U.S.

It is not illegal to cross international borders seeking safety. This is true of both international law and U.S. law. Rather than treating Central American refugees as a problem, our policies should reflect the traditional leadership we, as a country, have traditionally displayed when those who fear for their lives look to the U.S. for protection.