New York, NY — According to a recent news report from Reuters, federal immigration authorities have instructed field officers to launch May and June raids targeting mothers and their children who have come from Central America to the US seeking asylum.
The women and children targeted in this enforcement action are asylum seekers who have fled violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — some of the most dangerous countries in the world. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2013, Honduras had the highest per capita homicide rate; El Salvador ranked fourth; and Guatemala was fifth. In addition, these countries are among the top four countries with the highest rate of femicide — the killing of women and girls. These deportation raids will threaten the dignity of women and children, and will have devastating effects on the health of immigrant families.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“At Planned Parenthood, we believe that health has no borders. We believe that all people, regardless of where they come from, deserve access to high quality, affordable health care and that the ability to seek a safe environment for your family is integral to leading a happy and complete life.
“These deportation raids reinforce the culture of fear that keeps many immigrants from seeking the often lifesaving care they need and specifically target women and children — sending them back to some of the most dangerous countries in the world, where they will face even more barriers to care.
“Deportation raids threaten the health and dignity of immigrant families and we urge the Department of Homeland Security to immediately put a stop this incredibly dangerous and disrespectful practice.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
May 13, 2016