Civil and Human Rights Coalition Says No to DHS Mass Deportation Machine

Media 02.21,17

WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to updated immigration enforcement guidance from the Department of Homeland Security:

“The memos issued by the DHS today create the foundation for a mass deportation machine, unlike anything we have ever seen. These steps fly in the face of who we are as a nation and are already sowing mass confusion and panic in immigrant communities and those who serve them. 

Drastically increasing the use of expedited removal and essentially eliminating the priorities for deportation may play well to some of the President’s supporters, but these actions do not make us safer. Immigrants who have been working peacefully here for years should not be on the same footing as violent criminals, but under this new guidance, they are.  When everyone is a target – when we push the undocumented into hiding — we raise the likelihood for unreported exploitation and abuse. 

We ask that DHS abide by its own mission statement: ‘With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.’ Today’s announcement is neither honorable nor will it safeguard our values.”

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit