WASHINGTON– The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), have sent the following letter to President Obama urging him to stop the aggressive raids and deportations being conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. A signed copy of the letter can be found here

Dear President Obama:

We write today to express opposition to the raids that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has carried out across the country over the weekend, resulting in the arrest and detention of 121 Central American children and mothers. Countless reports have documented how many of these women and children are fleeing extreme violence and poverty in their home countries. It is inhumane for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to disregard these threats and cause fear and anguish for immigrant families.

As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) we understand our nation’s need to enforce immigration laws, but we must not sacrifice the values that compel us to help those in need. According to recent reports, the Board of Immigration Appeals has delayed the deportations of some of the families who were granted emergency stays of removal because of ineffective assistance of counsel. We are deeply concerned that families are not getting the legal assistance they deserve.

We ask that your Administration end these immigration raids immediately. This practice is immoral and does not reflect who we are as a country. We should ensure these women and children have an opportunity to present their asylum claims in court, with full access to counsel and due process protections prior to deportation.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your assurance that immigrants fleeing extreme violence and poverty are receiving the humane treatment in our country they deserve.