Why we Support Action Urging Congressman Gutierrez to Fight for a Moratorium on Deportations

One week ago, five protestors including Maria Moreno, the 13 year old daughter of Jose Juan Moreno who is currently living in Sanctuary in a Chicago church, and a CRLN staff member, blocked incoming and outgoing traffic outside of Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s office. The action was led by Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) and the West Suburban Action Project (PASO). The protestors were urging Congressman Gutierrez, whom Hillary Clinton recently appointed to the platform writing committee of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), to stop using harmful and divisive rhetoric that perpetuates the criminalization of immigrant communities and to focus his influence and position within the DNC to advocate for a moratorium on deportations instead.

 

Just recently, the DNC released a draft version of its platform. While the platform contains a number of strong points, including the promise to end mass immigration raids and to ensure counsel for unaccompanied children, it remains silent on problematic Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) practices, policies, and programs. The platform language ignores how Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) manipulates its “priorities” for deportation, and the reality of millions of immigrants across the country who like Jose Juan who have been over-criminalized for past mistakes.

 

We need more elected officials willing to listen to undocumented communities, particularly after President Obama’s 8 year long term, which has overseen: the deportation of more than 2.5 million individuals, the hyper criminalization targeting of individuals who have had interactions with police or have previous convictions, the return of mass raids and other terror tactics, as well as increased ICE abuse and impunity. Congressman Gutierrez is often referred to as the “champion of immigrants.” Yet, he has refused to stand with immigrants like Jose Juan before and has previously advocated for the deportation of individuals with convictions "no matter how small or how old their violations." CRLN supports OCAD and PASO’s action outside Congressman Gutierrez’s office because we need champions and leaders willing to take on the deportation machine, who will stand with individuals like Jose Juan and family, and who will fight for ALL of the immigrant community, even when risky or unpopular to do so.

 

Congressman Gutierrez: Be a champion. Fight for a moratorium on deportations!

 

Sign Jose Juan’s petition here.

For more information about how to become an Immigrant Welcoming or Sanctuary-offering congregation, email lcastillo@crln.org.