Good Morning. Our names are Mia-lia and Nancy, and we work with 1Love Movement, a Cambodian and Southeast Asian organization that addresses incarceration and deportation issues in our community. We stand with our Philadelphia Family Unity Network partners, and all of our allies and networks around the City and across the country as we say that we stand against the Mayor’s plans to undo the groundbreaking Executive Order he signed in 2014 to end the use of ICE detainers and any City communication with ICE through our jails. The national hate rhetoric and scapegoating has infiltrated our City, and has our City leadership back on a message that labels our community members “criminal aliens” deserving of double jeopardy, double punishment, and the life sentence of permanent deportation. This is deeply disturbing because the Philadelphia community holds a community-based vision of safety, healing, and justice. We are called by a shared belief that our community’s healing comes from addressing the root causes of violence, that we need to end the criminalization of our communities and that all people, regardless of immigration status or criminal conviction should remain with their chosen communities. While we hold people accountable to their actions and crimes, we recognize that violence stems from trauma, from poverty caused by devastating economic policies, war, forced migration, systematically segregated and underfunded communities, racist immigration policies, and a criminal justice system that separates and destroys families and communities.
As we find ourselves back here again today, demanding our human dignity, values of family togetherness, second chances, transformative justice, community accountability, and healing – we are reminded that we won this before against all odds and we will win this again. Philadelphia sparked a fire in communities across the country, and we won’t let that fire die out now in the 11th hour. In a City that established a Mayor’s Office on Re-Entry, a City that Banned the Box, a City that is committing to decreasing the number of community members in the prison system by at least 40%, we know that the incentive for rolling back this just policy isn’t coming from us – it’s coming from outside our City. We need to stand strong for our policies that reflect our values as a society, that honor our community’s dignity, that respects the diversity of our lives, and are grounded in the belief of redemption.
Who: The Philadelphia Family Unity Network, The Shut Down Berks Coalition, Immigrant leaders, Advocates, Community Organizations, Lawyers and Religious Leaders
What: Press Conference
When: Monday, November 16th, 11am
Where: North side of City Hall, Philadelphia