Reps. Santana, Hammoud, Chang Express Concern over Homeland Security Memos

Lawmakers condemn anti-immigrant memos from Trump administration
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

LANSING — State Reps. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit), Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) and Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) expressed their concern regarding today’s Department of Homeland Security memos announcing that President Donald Trump is taking steps to mobilize Customs and Border Protection personnel as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to conduct immigration raids and roundups and expanded detentions of undocumented immigrants.

"I was disturbed to read the Trump administration’s memos regarding expanding the 287(g) program,” said Santana. “Increasing the number of immigrant detentions is not only upsetting, but is an immoral act of hostility and aggression to the families of my district. Policies such as these set a dangerous precedent regarding the federal government’s use of force against those merely seeking a better life. In addition, jailing and detaining will strain local and county finances in an unprecedented way. We as the taxpayers of Michigan must ask ourselves: How much will this harmful policy cost?”

The memos states how DHS will work to activate local law enforcement “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.”

“It is tyrannical to enter a city with the intent of destroying families in search of financial opportunity and social freedom,” said Hammoud. “These discriminatory orders are legalizing racism. Profiling, similar to stop-and-frisk, for those of us who ‘look’ like undocumented immigrants, is un-American. Residents in Dearborn are fearful of the far-reaching impact these policies will have. This new White House administration is sending a message to residents seeking the American promise that their dreams, hopes and aspirations are no longer welcome here.”

News of the memos comes on the heels of 678 people being detained and arrested in the previous week in 12 states across the country.

“Families in Southwest Detroit are literally afraid to go to church on Sundays because they fear that ICE will conduct a raid,” said Chang. “Immigrant serving organizations are already getting multiple calls each day about ICE arrests in our community. I am extremely concerned that this implementation memo will stoke even greater fear in young children who are afraid they will lose their immigrant parents to deportation. Rounding up undocumented immigrants who aren’t violent criminals on the street, and separating families, is simply inhumane. The families in my district deserve better than this chaotic mess, which is going to have a high cost to taxpayers. I am heartbroken for the residents who will feel the impact of this un-American policy, especially our youngest residents who will undoubtedly end up losing their parents."