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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mothers Day Vigil at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma on Saturday

For Immediate Release
May 6, 2009

Beth Poteet, 503.550.3510

Oregon New Sanctuary Movement organizing a Mothers Day vigil at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA

Portland, Ore.-- On May 9th, the Washington and Oregon New Sanctuary Movement coalitions will join together with immigrant rights, labor groups and immigrant families, in a Mothers Day vigil outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA, a privately-run holding facility for immigrants awaiting trial in an immigration court or deportation.

Human rights abuses at immigration detention centers around the nation have been the focus of several recent reports, including one conducted by Seattle University School of Law and several partner organizations. The Seattle University report found that multiple human and constitutional rights are routinely violated in the Tacoma-based center, including the right to counsel, to family unity, to medical treatment and violations of due process due to the forced signing of papers.

Faith leaders, immigrants and other community members will gather to decry the inhumane treatment of detainees in the Center, offer moral support to detained immigrants and their family members and call for immediate action by the Obama Administration to stop the raids, detentions and deportations that are tearing apart so many families.

"Mothers Day is an opportunity to honor the sacred bond between mothers and their children around the world. On May 9th we will pray for the thousands of mothers and children who yearn for each other's tender touch, but suffer instead an unjust separation wrought upon them by our nation's broken immigration system," said Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, pastor at Ainsworth United Church of Christ.

No child should be separated from their mother .

"We call upon our nation's leaders to pass just and humane comprehensive immigration reform that prioritizes family unity, brings undocumented immigrants out of the shadows with a path to citizenship and protects the rights of all worker," said Marco Mejia, Oregon New Sanctuary Movement co-founder and board member.

The vigil will include prayers, street theater, reflections and music by diverse religious and community leaders, and lift up the testimonies of immigrant mothers and children who are suffering.

The vigil is being planned as one of many coordinated Mothers Day Actions throughout the Western U.S., spearheaded by the Western region of the National New Sanctuary Movement.

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



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