Spirit of Hope and Lidia Reyes Flores, executive director of Latino Family Services, were among those who demanded action from the Obama administration to treat child refugees humanely. Reyes made the cause of the crisis clear.
"This child refugee crisis is being caused by unprecedented drug and gang violence in Central America, and we should respond with humanitarian support. Those who seek to politicize this ongoing tragedy are scoring cheap points on the backs of suffering children and families," said Lidia Reyes Flores, CEO director of Latino Family Services.
The event took place on the same day that joint hearings were held in Washington DC. Advocates condemned efforts by politicians, like Representative Darrell Issa, who are using the refugee crisis as an excuse to undermine efforts to reform the broken immigration system. Issa even is calling for the deportation of DREAM students who currently benefit from the Deferred Action program.
Advocates called on the Obama Administration to implement key reforms to ensure humane treatment for the refugees:
_Ensure all children and families have access to attorneys to help them navigate the complicated asylum process.
_Improve detention standards for children and families. Children should not be kept in over-crowded cells, cages, or warehouses.
_Reverse recent changes to the refugee policies that make it harder to claim asylum.
_End detention of families, and use alternatives, such as ankle bracelets.
Contact Info: According to Michigan United, it is a broad statewide coalition working to “reform our broken immigration system, advance housing justice, protect the rights of low-wage workers and develop leadership.” More information can be found at the Michigan United website: www.miunited.org