NILC Immigrant Justice Fund Statement Following First Democratic Presidential Debate

June 26, 2019

Alexandra Gilliland,

Los Angeles, CA — Following the first Democratic Presidential Debate in Miami, FL, Marielena Hincapié, the Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Fund released the following statement.

“In a week when the nation’s conscience has been shocked by the death of Oscar Martinez and his daughter Valeria at the U.S.-Mexico border, who were in search of safety and a better life, the attention immigration received tonight was encouraging. It’s never been more clear that immigration is the defining issue of our time and to see the priority it was given is further proof that candidates must outline a bold vision for immigrants and a progressive 21st-century immigration system.

“Ensuring that those crossing our border seeking safety and opportunity are not criminalized, ensuring that immigrants have the same opportunities to succeed as everyone else in our country, and ensuring that we address long-ignored root causes of migration — those are the principles and values that candidates must stand for. As the candidates’ presumptive opponent continues to use immigration to distract and divide us and actively harm our communities, it’s critical that candidates go beyond answering questions about immigration and fully embrace the issue. We need candidates who will champion solutions that ensure a more just and equitable system that is based on the belief that all people, regardless of where they were born, have the opportunity to get ahead in our country.”