June 14, 2010
Francisco Lopez, Executive Director, (503) 984-6816
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director (503) 488-0263
Groups to protest ICE program that divides families and threatens community security
Joint demonstration will call for an end to federal immigration program which harms the trust between local law enforcement and Latino Families
WHAT: MARCH AND RALLY TO CALL FOR AN END TO ICE PROGRAM THAT DIVIDES FAMILIES
WHEN: 4:30PM, TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2010
WHERE: U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) OFFICE, 511 NORTHWEST BROADWAY, PORTLAND, OREGON
WHO: CAUSA, RURAL ORGANIZING PROJECT, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION (SEIU) LOCAL 503
On Tuesday, CAUSA Oregon will conduct a joint demonstration with Rural Organizing Project (ROP) and SEIU Local 503 OPEU outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office in Portland. During a march and rally, members of the groups will call for an end to a program that threatens community safety and security.
Started in October 2008, "Secure Communities" is a national immigration program that targets non-citizens who are arrested by the police. The primary purpose of the program was to deport undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of serious and dangerous criminal offenses. However, the program is being used routinely to deport hard-working undocumented immigrants with children who are U.S. citizens.
"The tragedy of this program is that it does the opposite of what it's name suggests. Instead of making communities secure, it threatens the already fragile relationship between local law enforcement and the Latino Immigrant community", said Francisco Lopez, CAUSA's Executive Director. "Because immigrants may fear being separated from their families and deported, they will be less likely to report crimes where they are the victim. This makes EVERYONE less secure."
The Oregon State Police has agreed to implement the "Secure Communities" program and it is now active in Clackamas, Marion, and Multnomah Counties.
"We want to see the hardworking Latino members of our rural communities acknowledged and appreciated, not harassed, exploited and deported," said Kathy Paterno, Rural Organizing Project Board President. "Local law enforcement requires good relationships and trust in order to keep everyone safe, but ICE's involvement in our local communities is jeopardizing that trust. What we need is a fundamental overhaul of our nation's broken immigration system to prevent further erosion of our communities."
On Tuesday, groups will not only call for an end to the program that divides families and damages community trust but will also continue to pressure Congress and President Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
CAUSA is Oregon's statewide, grassroots immigrant rights coalition. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies.
ROP is a statewide organization of locally-based groups that work to create communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people, the need for equal access to justice, and the right to self-determination
SEIU Local 503 Oregon Public Employees Union works to improve the quality of life through worker empowerment and a progressive labor movement. SEIU Local 503, OPEU represents over 45,000 workers in Oregon.