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Testimony: Sense of the Council Regarding Federal Immigration Raids Resolution of 2016

Senior Staff Attorney Anne Cunningham testified before the DC Council’s Committee of the Whole regarding the proposed Sense of the Council Regarding Federal Immigration Raids Resolution of 2016. The resolution declares the send of the Council that all residents of the District deserve safety and security, regardless of immigration status, and that the Council opposes federal raids that jeopardize residents’ privacy, safety, and security on suspicion of immigration status issues.

As an attorney who mostly represents immigrant families, Anne expressed gratitude to the Ward 1 Councilmember, Brianne Nadeau, for introducing the resolution to formally recognize the damaging effects federal raids have on these families. In her testimony, she discussed the fear shared to her by her clients and stated:

Immigrants—documented and undocumented—contribute to our society in overwhelmingly positive ways. In Washington D.C., we recognize the economic and social value added by having a diverse society comprised of individuals from all walks of life. We consider ourselves a sanctuary city where all are welcome, all are valued, and where all are full members of our community. We welcome new-comers, and people who have made the District their home should not live in fear while going about the peaceful activities of their daily lives.

Anne also expressed the hope of Children’s Law Center that the Council will continue to support and affirm the District of Columbia as a sanctuary city and take further concrete legislative action to protect the human rights and dignity of immigrants within the community – one way of which would be prioritizing and passing the currently pending Language Access for Education Amendment Act of 2015.

Click below to read her full testimony.