Letter to Secretary Napolitano

January 4, 2010


Secretary Janet Napolitano

Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528

Email: janet.napolitano@dhs.gov, Fax: 703.235.0854


We are writing to you as concerned families and community members of South Florida. We have watched our communities and families be torn apart by immigration raids, detentions, and deportations. We have had to answer calls from mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters that have seen the people closest to them ripped away from them. 


We firmly believed that the new Administration would bring change to the conditions immigrants and their families are facing around the country. Unfortunately, things have only become worse. Many in Congress and the Administration have told us that change is slow and we must be patient. However patient we have been, the employees of your department, The Department of Homeland Security, have not shown the same patience and restraint in continuing to separate our families and tear apart our communities.


We simply cannot just sit back and wait any longer. We need the Administration to act now to keep our families together and our communities strong. On New Year’s Eve, a half dozen of us had our last meal and entered St. Ann’s Mission in Naranja, Florida, just south of Miami. We have vowed to consume only liquids and not eat another meal until the Obama Administration hears the voices of all the families torn apart by deportation. We need the Administration to act in its executive authority now to:


1)      Suspend the deportation of immigrants with American families, especially families with U.S. citizen children or spouses until Congress acts to fix the broken immigration system.

2)      Send you, the Secretary of Homeland Security, to South Florida to meet with us, the fasters, and hear from us firsthand the conditions that moved us to fast.


In the meantime, we will continue our fast indefinitely. We are asking all those of conscience, especially those that are losing a friend or family member to the broken immigration system, to join us in the Fast for Our Families. We hope to hear from you soon; our communities literally cannot wait.  You may contact us by calling Maria Rodriguez, Director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, by calling (305) 322-6705 or emailing maria@floridaimmigrant.org. You may also view the attached document that contains our ideas for change.


Sincerely yours,

The Fast for Our Families


Cc: Barack Obama, President of the United States of America; Congresspersons Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Kendrick Meek, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Senators Bill Nelson and George LeMieux; Governor Charlie Crist; Archbishop John Clement Favalora; and Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade County.