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Green Party LogoGreen Party to Obama: Stop vilifying immigrants, grant protected legal status

Green Party of the United States
http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org


Green Party Speakers Bureau: Green leaders available to speak on immigration: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-labor.php

Green candidates running in 2014: http://gp.org/elections/candidates/index.php



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party candidates and activists expressed alarm at President Obama's dismissal of immigrants' rights and apparent capitulation to the rhetoric of xenophobic Republican extremists.

Greens called for humane policies that recognize the basic rights of documented and undocumented immigrants and support an executive order to grant the latter protected legal status, amnesty, and an offer of citizenship.

The Obama Administration has deported more immigrants than any previous administration, with a record 438,421 deportations in 2013, 44% of which took place under "expedited removal orders" that denied court hearings. 96% of deportees are from Latino countries.

President Obama is now seeking $3.7 billion to fund "a sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement," $40 million for air surveillance, and increased funding for drones for use against undocumented immigrants.

Isa Infante, Green candidate for Governor of Tennessee (http://www.isainfante.org): "We have a responsibility to protect the rights and well-being of people who are seeking relief in the U.S. The 11 million undocumented immigrants caught in legal limbo deserve protected status. There is no excuse for brutal raids, destruction of families, and the imposition of fear and helplessness, all of which have escalated under President Obama. The U.S.'s shameful record-high incarceration rate has climbed even higher because of federal prison sentences for people whose only crime is stepping across the border. The lack of protections has enabled employers to hire undocumented immigrants to work for sub-minimum wages. The suffering caused by President Obama's policies has meant a financial windfall for the private-prison industry and domestic border security contractors."

Anita Rios, Green candidate for Governor of Ohio (http://www.riosforgovernor.com): "The unspoken part of the debate on immigration is that so many Latino immigrants have fled conditions caused by U.S. policies. Trade agreements like NAFTA inflicted poverty on villages throughout Mexico and our other neighbors just as it has stagnated wages or displaced millions of North American workers for the benefit of powerful corporations. More recently, tens of thousands of children from central America fled to our southern border to escape violence and extreme poverty caused by the U.S. war on drugs, support for repressive regimes like the Honduran coup government, and exploitative economic policies. The children were held in appalling conditions in border detention centers. The Green Party condemns this kind of treatment and supports asylum and citizenship for refugees from violence and poverty. We call for amnesty for undocumented immigrants and the renegotiation of NAFTA."

Ian Schlakman, Green candidate for the U.S. House in Maryland, District 2 (http://www.ian42.com): "Republican politicians and some of the major media have whipped up public paranoia about undocumented immigrants, with warnings about Islamic terrorists, violent criminals, carriers of diseases like ebola, and job snatchers crossing the border. Contrary to these racist lies, most Latinos crossing the southern border are seeking jobs and a better life for themselves and their families. The wide gap between President Obama's rhetoric about helping immigrants and his administration's actions proves that Republicans have taken the lead in the public discussion on immigration. We invite Latinos and others angered by the Democratic Party's retreat to help build a permanent pro-human-rights alternative to the two ruling parties."


Green Party Platform, section on immigration (excerpted):

"The undocumented immigrants who are already residing and working in the United States, and their families, should be granted a legal status which includes the chance to become U.S. citizens. Persons should be excluded from this process only if they present a clear and present danger to other members of our society. The level of fees required for this process should not be a burden on low-income workers... All persons fleeing political, racial, religious, or other types of persecution must be welcomed and given permanent resident status. The history of arbitrary denial of political asylum claims must be ended. Particular attention should be given to those minorities who are political exiles and refugees and those whose lives would be at risk if asylum is not granted.

Family reunification must be a priority in accepting applications for permanent residency. The years of waiting that families are currently put through must be ended... There are many countries in the world where the economic policies and military actions of the U.S. government or U.S. based corporations have caused extreme hardships. The peoples of these countries deserve special consideration if they wish to come to the U.S. to escape intolerable conditions created by our government or U.S. corporations." (http://www.gp.org/green-party-platform-table-of-contents/17-platform/39-ii-social-justice#ImmigrationEmigration)

See also:

Green Party: Stop the deportations, enact legal protections for undocumented immigrants
Green Party press release, April 18, 2014
http://www.gp.org/newsroom/press-releases/details/4/692

Green Party Latino Caucus
http://www.gp.org/caucuses/latino/index.php


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