The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Princeton University Center for Migration and Development will co-host a forum on immigration next week.
Participants will discuss immigration issues and policies both on the national and local level, and Princeton University professors will speak and answer questions. Representatives from the Latin American Legal Defense Fund will also describe the group’s work in Princeton and Trenton. The group will provide information about legal issues, the community identification card program, and a program called FUTURO that supports immigrant students as they make the transition from high school to college.
“I extend this invitation with a deep sense of urgency. Immigrants and refugees were at the center of last year’s presidential campaign and Donald J. Trump’s administration is now delivering on promises made by targeting undocumented Americans for harsh treatment,” Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund Patricia Chair Fernández-Kelly said in an email about the event. “Immigrants and refugees are being tagged as rapists, murderers, and drug dealers. In truth, most of them are workers seeking better lives for their families. They contribute to our economy and aim to embrace mainstream values. They are mothers and fathers of children, many of them born in the United States; and youngsters brought to this country at an early age whose precarious legal status threatens their educational and work-related aspirations.”
Fernández-Kelly said over the last few months her group has witnessed growing anxiety among undocumented immigrants and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund has been overwhelmed with requests for help.
“These are women who worry about the fate of their children in case they are detained and deported, sons and daughters reluctant to attend school for fear that their parents won’t be there when they return home, and small business owners who have contributed to our nation’s economy but who might have to forego ambitions and go deeper into the shadows…This new climate of terror and distrust is dividing families; creating unnecessary suffering, and dishonoring American traditions of justice, compassion and fair play.”