Matthew Earley 0

Specialty Coffee Statement on Immigration, Child Separation, and Asylum

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We are the specialty coffee importers, roasters, and cafe professionals who bring you your daily cup of coffee. In doing coffee work, we often spend time in the global south where coffee is grown and harvested. Through our work we have seen the difficult conditions that many families in those regions face daily. Abject poverty, hunger, and lack of employment opportunity often drives families to look for a better life in the United States. More than that, in some areas the absence of the state and rule of law combined with uncontrolled organized crime and gang activity sends people fleeing for their lives to our borders.

While we applaud the President for ending new child separations, we ask for families who have been separated to be reunited immediately. We call on the President and Congress to approach all immigrants with empathy for their situations and for their feelings. We ask that the Administration, Congress, and the Justice Department step back from the current "zero tolerance" stance and work together, with the American people, to find solutions that are fair, legal, and morally sound. And we ask them to please remember that ours is a country founded by immigrants and that our national diversity makes us stronger and more resilient.

We stand united as an industry to demand that immigrants be treated with respect and dignity. Many of our ancestors came to the United States from far off lands looking for relief and better lives for themselves and their children. This is still the dream that drives people to our borders. We ask all to remember that the coffee they drink every morning comes from some of the same people who have come to our borders struggling to build a new life in this country-- they are human beings like us with needs and feelings and they have value. And finally we ask all to remember that no human being is "an illegal"-- they are people like us and, regardless of how they enter this country, they deserve our empathy.

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