Leading Latino Nonprofits Gather in New York City to Address National Crisis of Immigrant Children and Family Separations

New York, NY, October 16, 2018 – Today, Hispanic Federation (HF) and Alianza Americas hosted a critical forum at HF’s Las Americas Conference Center in Lower Manhattan to educate and inform key community, philanthropic and public stakeholders about the crisis immigrant children and families are facing as a result of the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane family separation policies. The Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Make the Road New York joined the forum as partner organizations.

A record number of children - totaling more than 13,000 to date - remain locked up in detention centers unable to be with their families and loved ones. While we remain committed to the fight to reunite these families, an even larger family separation crisis looms. 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 if these programs end for Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, Hondurans and Haitians next year.

Today’s event marked the second in a series of national conversations that the Hispanic Federation and Alianza Americas are organizing across the country. The first was held in Washington, DC earlier this month. At the New York City event, panelists took a deep dive into the historic and transnational roots of the separation crisis as well as the ongoing displacement of people from the Caribbean to the mainland. The discussion also focused on 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 José Calderón, President, Hispanic Federation; Oscar Chacon, Executive Director, Alianza Americas; Angela Fernandez, Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights; and Nathalia Alejandra Varela, Legal Fellow, LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

“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 Jose Calderon, President, 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.”

“The crisis of family separation that we witnessed on the border this summer represented a heartbreaking low in the U.S. government’s long and shameful history of violating the human rights of families across the Americas,” said Oscar Chacón, Executive Director of Alianza Americas. “This is not the first time that our government has separated families—but we are determined to ensure that this episode marks the beginning of the end of this abhorrent practice. The anecdotes about these shortsighted and cruel practices by those directly affected represent the keystone for every person of good will to be united in delivering an unequivocal message: ENOUGH.”