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American Friends Service Committee Issues Press Release

Press Statement

Press contact: Erica Johnson, AFSC Iowa Director

(515)209-2733, ejohnson@afsc.org

This week, President Donald Trump announced sweeping executive actions that would expand the border wall, cut federal funding to sanctuary cities and increase the number of people Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will target for deportation. In response AFSC Iowa issues the following statement that can be attributed to Erica Johnson:

“We denounce President Trump’s dangerous and divisive moves which will increase costly, ineffective and inhumane policies that will intensify what is already one of the world’s most militarized borders, separate families, hurt local economies and increase racial profiling. Iowans have seen first-hand the destructive results of stepped-up immigration enforcement and don’t want to relive the destruction that the raids in Marshalltown and Postville left in their wake.

Iowans want commonsense, values driven solutions. In 2014, at least 26 Sheriffs across the state decided to limit cooperation with federal immigration agents, choosing instead to respect the constitutional rights of all Iowans, regardless of immigration status and to build trust with immigrant communities.

President Trump’s executive order on refugees does nothing to increase hope for safety and security of our nation, does not reflect our values as a nation and is not the way we should respond to human suffering or extremist violence. Refugee resettlement in the United States is a complex, demanding process that often takes years.  Refugees are subjected to in-person interviews and multiple layers of security screenings prior to approval for resettlement.  The rigorous vetting process already in place ensures the safety of those who reside in the U.S. as well as those refugees seeking to come here for protection.
Congress should have done its job earlier and passed badly needed and humane updates to our immigration system. Their failure to act has led to these unconscionable actions by President Trump. This is an attempt to deepen division on this issue and create fear in vulnerable communities. As Iowans and as people of faith, we condemn these moves by President Trump. We call on Congress to stop wall construction, protect human rights of migrants and those in border communities and limit collusion between ICE and local law enforcement. We also call on Iowans and people of faith to stand with our immigrant neighbors to offer protection and solidarity to bring about humane policies that protect immigrants’ rights and make family reunification a top priority.”

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.

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