Thursday, June 21, 2018

Trump Executive Order Does Not Deter Families Belong Together Woodstock Event

Actions like this Families Belong Together Demonstration have put pressure on Trump and Congress.

Despite President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Wednesday, the Families Belong Together Rally and March scheduled for Woodstock Square this Sunday, June 24, at 1 pm will go on as scheduled.
“The President’s action amounts to a bait and switch con, not a real solution to the humanitarian crisis on the border that his administration created,” said event coordinator Patrick Murfin in a blunt statement to the press.  “In fact, it is unclear how many families will be effected for how long and leaves the more than 2000 children already torn from their parents in the virtual internment camps where they are being held with little prospect of ever being reunited with their parents.  More ominously, it threatens to make indefinite family detention a reality in direct contradiction to current law.  What it does show is that massive public outrage over family separations has frightened Republicans in Congress and set the President scrambling for cover.  We need people power across the United States to keep up the pressure to finally end the injustices being perpetrated in our names.”

Lackeys  Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen  and Vice President Mike Pence look on as Trump announces his sham Executive Order.

Murfin pointed to news analysis of the Executive Order which shows it does not “grandfather in” the children currently in custody.  It codifies Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “zero tolerance” directive requiring every border crosser be charged with a crime, prosecuted, jailed until new immigration legislation is passed by Congress that the President will sign.  It limits the definition of family to parent-child pairs excluding aunts, uncles, grandparents, or other responsible adults who may have accompanied the child. It puts families under Homeland Security custody during criminal immigration cases. Previously, children and had to be held in facilities contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services, authorizes the military to build new prisons for migrant families, allows all Federal departments to offer their buildings as prisons and directs the Department of Justice to seek relief from the Flores ruling, a standing court order requiring that children must be released from custody after 20 days. 

If that were to succeed in that indefinite family detention in camps reminiscent of the Japanese internment camps of World War II would become a reality.  Under the Flores rule, children were generally released to the custody of a parent who was also released pending trial on criminal immigration charges.  But the President has also said he would not allow so called “catch and release” brining into question what in fact will be administration policy in the long run.

About to be torn from their families, these children were be taken into ICE custody and placed in virtual concentration camps.

The prosecution of parents would be prioritized over cases of single adults to supposedly expedite family reunification.  But the Justice Department seeks jail time for all convictions before deportation.  At that point children would be separated from their parents in any event and their fate is questionable—long term detention, temporary foster care, or unaccompanied deportation.

The Families Belong Together rally is being sponsored by the Illinois League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), McHenry County Progressives; Democratic Party of McHenry County; Peter Janko, Democratic State Central Committeeman 14th Congressional District; and the Tree of Life Social Unitarian Universalist Congregation Justice Team with other endorsements pending. 

The rally, which will begin around the Gazebo on Woodstock Square at 1 pm will feature an invocation by the Rev. Lou Ness, an Episcopal Deacon; Maggie Rivera, Illinois Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Interim Director of the Illinois Migrant Council;  Missy Funk, McHenry County Progressives; community leader and candidate for McHenry County Board from District 5, Carlos Acosta; lawyer Beth Vonau a partner in KVR Legal which has represented clients held in ICE detention at McHenry County Jail; community volunteer Sue Reckenthaler; Peter Atterberg, President MCC College Democrats; Janko, and a benediction by the Rev. Eric C. Fistler, Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake.  Others to be announced.  Music and sound system services will be coordinated by Keith Johnson of Off Square Music.  Murfin will host the program.

Following the Rally at around 2 pm there will be a symbolic march around the Square using the sidewalks.  There will also be petitions circulating to help people make their voices heard on this issue.

For more information about the Woodstock event, contact Patrick Murfin at 815 814-5645 or email .

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