We are concerned with the immigrant community given our lives, our collective function and the fact that the shooting was reportedly done in a room of people testing (or taking a practice test) for their citizenship. It is especially heartbreaking that the dreams of so many were ended in such a violent way, and so very close to their fruition.
We will be paying close attention and working together to update you on this unfolding story.
National Immigrant Justice Center:
Staff at Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center are following the news about what is happening in Binghamton, New York. We understand from news reports that the American Civic Association provides important services to immigrants and refugees seeking to become citizens and reunite with their families. The National Immigrant Justice Center engages in similar work to protect the rights of immigrants, and for that reason this story hits especially close to home. Our thoughts are with the people, families, and communities who have been affected by this horrible tragedy.
Today members of America's Voice grieve with the victims of a tragic shooting at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, NY. The organization provided services and support to members of the immigrant and refugee population in the small town in Upstate New York. We cannot imagine the heartache and pain that family members of the victims are currently experiencing, and we extend our deepest sympathies to all those wounded in the deadly attack.
While we wait to hear more details about today's tragic turn of events, we hope that no one will try to take advantage of this tragedy by engaging in despicable political maneuvering that would only serve to distract the public from the real, chilling loss of life at this community center.
It seems that many of the victims of today's horrific shooting were on their way toward becoming full citizens of our nation. In honor of their memory and their families' grief, as well as the men and women who work every day to make sure that our values as a nation of immigrants are upheld, we hope that the discussion around this unspeakable tragedy centers on the tragic loss of life and how best to serve the families and communities who have been brutalized by it.
We should focus on the tragic and shocking deaths of the immigrant men and women who were reportedly taking their citizenship tests (or studying for these) inside the center-a poignant moment for those who have sacrificed and toiled to become full participants in our great nation. We hope that the grief and suffering of families who lost loved ones today is not amplified by callous statements and actions of extreme groups whose primary purpose is to stir up bitterness and resentment toward the most vulnerable members of our society.
United Farm Workers:
The United Farm Workers is deeply saddened by the violent killing of innocent people at an immigration center in upstate New York this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims and families and the people of Binghamton where this act of nonsense violence occurred. The UFW will be memorializing the victims and recommitting ourselves to non-violent struggle at the upcoming Cesar E. Chavez events this weekend in California.
Center for New Community:
Center for New Community was deeply saddened by the tragedy that took place in Binghamton, NY on Friday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families, and the community.
Early reports indicate that this was a senseless act of violence carried out by a lone individual with unknown motives. It is reported that the victims were a group of immigrants taking a citizenship exam at the American Civic Association, which provides services to immigrants and refugees seeking to become citizens and reunite with their families.
This is a tragedy for America and for the immigrant community. As an organization that works to defend the human and civil rights of all persons residing in the United States, Center for New Community urges everyone to resist using this incident for political purposes in the contentious immigration debate.
At this time, we encourage the nation to focus its full attention on supporting the community of Binghamton, New York.
Washington, DC-The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, is deeply saddened by the shooting tragedy that occurred at an immigrant center in Binghamton, New York today.
"Today's horrific unfolding of events at an organization dedicated to providing services to America's newcomers and offering hope to so many families is extremely heart-wrenching," said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. "The impact of the shooting at the American Civic Association is felt by all those who work every day to open the door to the American Dream for hardworking immigrants in this country."
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is deeply saddened by the tragic shooting that took place today at the American Civic Association, an immigration services agency in Binghamton, NY.
This is a tragedy for America and for the immigrant community. It is particularly sad that a place that offers hope and assists immigrants to better integrate into American society has now become the site of such tragedy. Our hopes and prayers go out to the victims and families and the entire Binghamton community.