Hoboken to become the 1st City in New Jersey to Call on Elected Officials at Every Level to Reunify Migrant Families, End Migrant Detention, and to Afford Families Due Process In Immigration Proceedings
HOBOKEN, New Jersey (1/15/2020) – Following the townships of Montgomery and Bound Brook and Princeton in New Jersey, Hoboken is the 4th in the state and the 1st city in New Jersey to consider a resolution calling on its County Freeholders, State Assemblymen and Senators, Governor Murphy, New Jersey Congressmen and Senators and the White House to reunify migrant families presently separated in detention centers, to end migrant detention as a practice, and to afford these families meaningful due process in immigration proceedings. The resolution is on the agenda for Hoboken’s Council meeting today, Wednesday, January 15th at 7 pm in the Hoboken Council Chambers at 94 Washington Street. The resolution is also on the council agenda for Jersey City later this month and several other New Jersey townships are considering it as well.
The United States has had a long and proud history of welcoming migrants, and providing asylum to those fleeing violence or persecution in their countries of origin. The United States has historically served as an international leader in protecting refugees and advocating for human rights. The treatment of migrants and the separation of children from their parents at the border and in the interior of the country is inhumane, illegal, and goes against the United States’ long-standing ideal of upholding and advocating for human rights.
There are more than 2,000 immigrants detained in the state who cannot afford a lawyer, and as immigration arrests rise across the state, guaranteeing due process and access to legal representation has become all the more urgent. Migrant families and their children are detained in unacceptable conditions, in many cases without adequate food, water, or access to necessary hygiene and sanitary products. The unsanitary conditions and lack of access to adequate health care is causing migrant men, women, and children in these detention centers to get sick and seven children have died after being in Border Patrol custody. The US has held nearly 70,000 migrant children in detention in 2019, and minors detained without their parents in these detention centers often receive inadequate education, mental health services, and other care.
“I am proud to sponsor this resolution. In our nation of immigrants, where our diversity is our strength, the inhumane, unlawful treatment of migrants and their families is a national shame,” stated Hoboken Councilman Phil Cohen. “Now is the time to reunite migrant families, and afford them dignity, meaningful legal representation and due process in immigration proceedings.”
“This is an issue for every person of conscience and we all need to speak up against the horrors that are taking place at our borders and in detention centers,” said Afsheen Shamsi who started this initiative. “I look forward to Hoboken raising their voice on this issue by calling for an end to the inhumane treatment of migrants in our country.”
Under the leadership of Mayor Sadaf Jaffer, Montgomery was the first New Jersey township to pass a similar resolution, followed by Bound Brook and Princeton. Several other New Jersey cities and townships are presently considering a form of the resolution as well. The original resolution was crafted by Afsheen Shamsi with help from ACLU-NJ’s Farrin Anello and Make the Road NJ’s Adil Ahmed.