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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Advocates to Call Attention to Unfair Working Conditions and Broken Immigration System

June 11, 2008

DeEtte Waleed, (503) 550-3510
Marco Mejia, AFSC Portland, (503) 740-8035
Robert Brown (503) 267-9346
Erik Sorensen, CAUSA (503) 488-0263

Immigrant Rights Advocates to Call Attention to Unfair Working Conditions and Broken Immigration System

Portland, Ore. — Today, the Oregon New Sanctuary Movement, Oregon immigration rights and labor groups, and immigrant families will hold a press conference calling attention to unfair working conditions and our broken immigration system that terrorizes innocent people.


Who: Immigrants, social justice advocates, people of faith and labor unions

When: Wednesday, June 11th, 2008, 10:30 am

Where: Del Monte plant, 9243 N Rivergate Blvd, Portland OR

This morning's press conference and vigil is part of the week of action and prayer for the families torn apart by Fresh Del Monte ICE Raid that occurred one year ago today. On June 11th, 2007, the Fresh Del Monte Produce fruit and vegetable processing plant in North Portland was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 167 immigrant workers were torn from their livelihood and their families. Many were taken to a private prison near Tacoma and deported. A small number of women who were pregnant or had very young children were put under house arrest. Today the families are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

Last year, community leaders, elected officials, faith communities and community organizations came together to denounce the raids in a press conference at Fresh Del Monte in North Portland. Portland Mayor Tom Potter at the time denounced such actions by The Department of Homeland Security saying that “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.”

Among those to speak today include David Leslie, Executive Director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Margaret Butler, Executive Director of Portland Jobs with Justice, Alice Perry, Immigrant Rights Specialist of American Friends Service Committee, and Rev. Kate Lore, Social Justice Ministry Director of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Portland

Organizations co-sponsoring the week of prayer and action include: Oregon New Sanctuary Movement, with Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition, Comite de Solidaridad y Apoyo Mutuo, Jobs with Justice, American Friends Service Committee, Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Witness for Peace NW, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Bridgeport UCC, Zion UCC, the Jobs with Justice Faith-Labor Committee, CAUSA, Ascension Catholic Church, Peace and Social Concerns Committee of the Multnomah Friends Meeting, the Social Justice Council of the First Unitarian Church, Justice Commission of Ainsworth UCC, and the Justice Witness Ministry Team of the Central Pacific Conference of the UCC.

For more information on the Oregon New Sanctuary Movement, visit or call (503) 550-3510 or email

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