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Media Inquiries

Contact NIJC Communications Director Tara Tidwell Cullen at (312) 833-2967 or by email.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently issued two press statements touting the deportations of families to Central America and sharing b-roll footage of ICE putting families on deportation flights. The video footage is a loop of mothers, fathers, and children ranging from babies to teenagers as they are patted down by officers on a tarmac and walked up boarding stairs onto a waiting flight. The camera frames are crowded with security personnel.

We urge you: Please do not use this b-roll. For these families, deportation means the forcible return to a situation so harrowing they made the painful decision to uproot their lives to escape it. Documenting this tragic moment and sharing it with the world is not just in poor taste, it also constitutes a dangerous use of dehumanizing tactics and will contribute to xenophobic rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the public arena.

The use of this footage is shocking and dehumanizing, and ICE should immediately discontinue it. Entirely missing from these frames is the complexity of the human story behind each family, including the love, devotion, and courage that led that family to leave their homes in search of safety and the trauma of being forced back to danger. The blurred faces, militarized surroundings, and police pat downs of parents clinging to their children dehumanizes these families and portrays them as threats. Coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the El Paso shooting, the dissemination of these images should give us pause. History has repeatedly shown us the direct causal lines between the use of this type of imagery and escalating violence against immigrants and communities of color. We urge you to reject these tactics.



Americans for Immigrant Justice

Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS)

Haitian Bridge Alliance

Human Rights First

National Immigrant Justice Center

National Immigration Law Center

National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)

The Sidewalk School

Witness at the Border

Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights