For Immediate Release
President Barack Obama addressed the nation last night to announce plans to provide temporary relief from deportation for millions of immigrant families. Under the new policies, undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident children will be eligible to apply for temporary status and work permits.
“President Obama’s announcement represents an important victory in the struggle to protect immigrants with long-standing ties to this country,” said Jillian Tuck, manager of the Asylum Program at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). “But there is still much work to be done. The administration must ensure that we have an immigration system that is humane and functional, and – most importantly – one that does not punish those seeking refuge from persecution nor perpetuate human rights violations.”
The new program, called the Immigration Accountability Executive Action, will include ramped up law enforcement to secure the U.S./Mexico border and an improved visa system for highly skilled immigrants. However, the announcement did not address the ongoing detention and rapid deportation of children and families fleeing brutal violence in Central America. PHR will continue to advocate for an immigration policy that guarantees compassionate treatment for asylum seekers and ensures that immigrant victims of human rights abuses are not needlessly detained or deported to face persecution.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.