The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Alejandro Caceres,, 512-499-8111

ICE's Holiday Raids on Families and Children Compound the Shame of Family Detention

Grassroots Leadership condemns the nationwide raids and calls them a new stain on the Obama Administration’s already shameful immigration legacy


The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids targeting families and children that were announced just days before Christmas began this past weekend, according to the news reports and immigration advocates.

Grassroots Leadership joins the large number of civil, human and immigrant rights advocates speaking out against the raids and condemns this development in the strongest possible terms. ICE's cruel raids on the homes of families and children come at a time of year when many are spending time with loved ones, making the raids especially cruel. ICE's raids are an affront to the safety and dignity of these families.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson's tried to excuse the raids in a statement released this morning. Sec. Johnson's rationale comes in the predictable guise of "border security" and "enforcement priorities." But the truth is that these raids target mostly women and children who came to the U.S. seeking refuge from life-threatening violence. Sec. Johnson says that 121 people were rounded up for detention and deportation over the weekend, and there are reports this includes children as young as four years old

"These raids prove that even though it's a new year we have the same deporter-in-chief. Once again, this administration is showing that it cares very little about the immigrant community. Not only did this announcement replace joy with terror by its timing but it also helped remind us that this administration will continue to do everything it can to terrorize the immigrant community. " said Alejandro Caceres, family detention organizer at Grassroots Leadership.

Families and children who are rounded up in the raids will be locked up at one of the nation's three notorious family detention camps in Dilley or Karnes South Texas, or in Berks, Pennsylvania. Just as the policy family detention (which has drawn widespread comparison to Japanese internment) will mar the Obama Administration's legacy on immigration, so will these cruel holiday raids.

At Grassroots Leadership, we believe no one should profit from the imprisonment of human beings. We live in the most incarcerated society in the history of the world. Every day we confront a prison industry that preys on pain because our addiction to locking people up dehumanizes all of us.