FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2008
Beth Poteet, Witness for Peace Northwest, (503) 287-7847
Robert Brown (503) 267-9346
Marco Mejia, AFSC Portland, (503) 740-8035
Erik Sorensen, CAUSA (503) 488-0263
Portland, Ore.--One year ago, the Fresh Del Monte Produce fruit and vegetable processing plant in North Portland was raided by agents from the when 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. One year later the families are still struggling to rebuild their lives.
From June 6th to 14th, the Oregon New Sanctuary Movement, Oregon immigration rights and labor groups, and immigrant families will take time to decry the injustices at Del Monte as well the ongoing assault against immigrant workers and their families through detentions, raids, and deportations. We stand in solidarity with all immigrants as they fight for their human rights.
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."
"Today, raids on immigrants continue across the country, separating little children from their parents and tearing apart families and communities", said Marco Mejia from the Oregon New Sanctuary Movement. "As a nation, we need to decide if we truly value workers' rights, family unity, and the wellbeing of children."
Organizations co-sponsoring the week of events between June 6th and June 12th include: Oregon New Sanctuary Movement, Augustana Lutheran Church, 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 www.oregonsanctuary.org or call (503) 550-3510 or email portlandsanctuary.@gmail.com.
Let My People Stay Calendar of Events