Leading Latino Nonprofits Gather in DC to Address National Crisis of Immigrant Children and Family Separations

Washington, DC, October 3, 2018 – Today, Hispanic Federation, Alianza Americas, the Labor Council on Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and CARECEN DC hosted a critical forum at George Washington University in Washington DC to help educate and inform key community, philanthropic and public stakeholders about the state of crisis immigrant children and families are facing due to the family separation policies being carried out by the Trump Administration and anti-immigrant forces across the country.

A record number of children – totaling more than 13,000 youth – remain locked up in centers today unable to be with their families and loved ones. As the fight continues to reunite these families, there is an even larger family separation crisis looming around the corner. More than 276,000 U.S.-born children have a parent who is a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holder, and these families will face separation when these programs end for Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Haitians, and others next year.

In the first of what will be a series of national conversations across the country, the forum panelists and presenters delved into the deeply historic and transnational dimensions of the challenge at hand, and what institutions and people can do to protect immigrant children and families, and fight back against the forces that seek to harm our communities and nation.

Forum speakers included Oscar Chacon, Executive Director of Alianza Americas; Jose Calderon, President of Hispanic Federation; Hector Sanchez, Executive Director of LCLAA; Abel Nuñez, Executive Director of CARECEN DC; Laura Esquivel, National Director of Advocacy for the Hispanic Federation; Elizabeth Vaquera, Director of Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute at George Washington University; and Nancy Santiago-Negron, Vice President of Hispanics in Philanthropy.

“Our march for immigrant justice must be grounded in a solid analysis of how we got where we are, stated Oscar Chacon, Executive Director of Alianza Americas. “And it must involve the voices of affected communities and families. The people of the Americas share a deep value of family and we believe that together we will affirm our belief that families belong together. That’s why we gathered here today.”

“If we don’t educate ourselves, organize and unite, we will continue to lose our children and families - and the very soul of our nation - to the forces of hate and xenophobia, said Laura Esquivel, National Director of Advocacy for the Hispanic Federation. That’s why today’s forum is so important because it underscores the challenges we face now and in the future, and what we must do about it.”

“Today, we bring together voices from across our nation saying enough to this administration’s horrific actions, said Hector Sanchez, Executive Director of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. Ripping babies from their parents’ arms and separating families do not represent our shared values as a people or as a nation, and we must never stop fighting until we end once and for all the practice of family separations and child incarcerations.”

​"We are so proud of our hardworking and courageous immigrant community," said Abel Nuñez, Executive Director of CARECEN DC. "Their love, resiliency and struggle inspire us every day to fight for their livelihoods, their families, their human rights and social justice. Today, we come together to ask all Americans of good conscience to stand with them as they call for just and sane immigration policies that protect their families and our nation.”

The event was also livestreamed, available here.