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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Statements from Community Leaders regarding ICE Raid at Del Monte

June 14, 2007

Below are just some of the statements from community leaders regarding the ICE raid at Fresh Del Monte Produce fruit and vegetable processing plant in North Portland.

"Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Dept of Homeland Security Secretary should exercise prosecutorial discretion for compelling cases in which persons who are detained and are primary care givers, have small children, or other have other extenuating circumstances. The events of today make clear that we need comprehensive immigration reform at the national level." -Oregon State Representative Tina Kotek read entire statement

“Our nation would be better served if this kind of energy was focused on creating a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship; addresses the immigration backlog that keeps families apart; and provides a safe and legal way for workers to enter our country and be productive workers and taxpayers. Immigrants provide more than mere labor in our community. They have long enriched our history, our culture and our city. My heart goes out to families dealing with the aftermath of this morning." -Portland Mayor Tom Potter read entire statement

"Today's raid is a shameful example of why we need comprehensive immigration reform for this country. Kids are going to be left at school today, or come home to an empty house, because their parents are unable to be there for them. That's not what this country is about. The President and Congress need to stop playing games, step up and provide a realistic immigration policy that doesn't separate children from their parents like this raid did today."- Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain

“Yesterday's raid on the Fresh Del Monte Produce plant in North Portland is an affront to a nation whose tradition has always welcomed the stranger in search of the security and livelihood which he cannot find in the country of his origin. 167 families have been torn apart. They live in uncertainty. Many do not know where the sole support of their family has been taken. They have no idea when or if their loved ones will return. Within the immigrant community, there is a fear that raids such as this are aimed at ridding the country of a significant number of immigrants before immigration reform is achieved.” - Archbishop John G. Vlazny, Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon read entire statement

“People doing hard work for minimum wage to support their families are not criminals, regardless of their immigration status. They are not a danger to anyone. You won’t find criminals by looking among those who are washing, chopping and packaging lettuce. What you will find are the working poor, many of whom have fled grinding poverty and desperation to do this humble work.” - Oregon State Senator Avel Gordly read entire statement

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