PHILADELPHIA – January 8, 2016 – This morning, Councilwoman Helen Gym spoke against the deportations of Central Americans fleeing violence and terror that plague their home countries. The Councilwoman gave the following remarks at a rally organized by the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition where she was joined by leaders of Juntos and the New Sanctuary Movement:
“Many immigrants from Central America have come to our nation fleeing pervasive and systemic violence that is tearing apart their communities and forcing families to seek refuge in the United States. The widespread criminal violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala has been recognized as one of the hemisphere’s worst humanitarian crises in recent times. This crisis demands compassion and sensible policy, not midnight raids and mass deportations that incite terror and fear in immigrant communities.”
Responding to reports that unaccompanied children are being deported, Councilwoman Gym stated that, “no child should be forced to return to a terrifying situation unaccompanied and simply dumped in their home nation. We must recognize those who have escaped violence in Central America are refugees in need of support and protection. As a Councilwoman I am committed to doing everything in my power to make Philadelphia a refuge for all immigrants—especially for those fleeing violence who are seeking a safe home where they can live in peace.”
Helen Gym was sworn in for her first term as a Philadelphia Councilmember-At -Large in January 2016. Her primary concerns include addressing widespread poverty in Philadelphia, particularly through an emphasis on building a quality public education system that anchors schools within communities. For more information, visit phlcouncil.com/HelenGym.