News

Religious, Labor and Civil Rights Organizations Call for an Immediate Moratorium On Immigration Raids

 
 

National Movement Grows as Immigration is Placed on Congressional Policy Plank

Statement

Philadelphia January 3 — The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and more than 60 human rights organizations across the country urge President Bush to issue an executive order that declares an immediate moratorium on community and work site raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Our organizations, representing labor, religious and civil rights groups across the country, urge the administration to work with Congress to build humane, rational and fair immigration policies. We call for this action after witnessing the worksite raids that occurred at Swift meatpacking facilities in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and Utah.

We call upon the Department of Homeland Securitys Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Office of the Inspector General of Homeland Security to immediately investigate allegations of civil rights violations, including the racial profiling of the more than 1,200 workers apprehended in the raids.

Strong-arm tactics and the excessive use of force in the raids were evident. Workers who appeared to be Latino were separated from non-Latino looking workers. Federal officials refused to provide timely information to family members, clergy or attorneys, and in some cases threatened to arrest those seeking information about their loved ones.

Some of those detained were relocated to Camp Dodge, a military detention facility. Attorneys and clergy were not allowed into the detention center for several days. The ICE national telephone inquiry line did not provide information to relatives or attorneys about the whereabouts of detainees for nearly 48 hours.

Workplace raids continue a campaign of terror that criminalizes workers who are only seeking jobs and a better life. They do nothing to fix the nations broken immigration system and only serve to polarize how immigrants are perceived. They promote discrimination and racial profiling, and sow fear and uncertainty in the nations immigrant communities. Such actions weaken the social and economic fabric of our community and threaten the basic civil and human rights of immigrant and non-immigrant communities alike.

The December 12 raids occurred on an important religious holiday for many families a day to pay tribute to the Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe. To target Latin American immigrants, many of whom are Catholic, on such an important religious holiday shows a grave disrespect for their religious beliefs.

With Congress poised to address immigration reform in the new year, if the administration is truly committed to a fair immigration policy and justice for the nations families, workplace and community raids must be stopped now.

Campaign Endorsers

In the spirit of the season and our nations commitment to justice for all, we urge the Bush administration to take immediate and decisive leadership to address this deplorable community crisis and inhumane action. We urge organizations and individuals alike to join us in this call for an immediate halt to immigration raids and to urge the Bush administration and Congressional leaders to take immediate actions that produce a constructive and fair policy resolution to the nations immigration debate.

NATIONAL STOP RAIDS NOW MORATORIUM ON WORKPLACE RAIDS CAMPAIGN ENDORSERS

As of January 2, 2007

In Alphabetical Order

Alianza de Federaciones y Organizaciones Mexicanas (California)

American Friends Service Committee

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Massachusetts Chapter

American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Brazilian Immigrant Center

California Prison Moratorium Project

Carolina Interfaith Taskforce on Central America (CITCA)

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fresno

Central California Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Central Valley Partnership for Citizenship

Centro Presente (Massachusetts)

Coloradans for Immigrant Rights

Colorado Democratic Latino Initiative

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

Compañeros (Colorado)

Confianza, an Association of Latino Ministers (Colorado)

Congress of the People-Poor! (Georgia)

Coordinadora de Lideres Comunitarios (Georgia)

Creighton Center for Service and Justice (Creighton University, Nebraska)

Dignity through Dialogue and Education ( Colorado)

Dominican Development Center

El Centro Amistad (Colorado)

El Centro de Las Americas ( Nebraska)

El Centro Humanitario (Colorado)

Elders of 4 Colors 4 Directions (California)

8th Day Center for Justice (Illinois)

Families for Freedom

Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC – North Carolina)

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB)

Georgia Peace with Justice Coalition

Global Labor Strategies

Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace

Haitian-American Initiative Toward Integration (H.A.I.T.I.)

Haiti Solidarity Network of North East

HarborCOV

Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana

Immigrant Legal Center of Boulder County

Immigrant Rights Network of Iowa and Nebraska

Immigrants Rights Task Force of Jubilee Interfaith Organization

Interfaith Worker Justice

International Institute of New Jersey

Jobs with Justice (Georgia)

Jobs with Justice, Eastern Massachusetts

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (National Office)

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (Massachusetts Chapter)

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (San Antonio, Texas Chapter)

(The) Latino Network

(The) Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA – Colorado)

League of United Latin American Citizens (Metro-West Council, Massachusetts)

Madera County Peace and Freedom Party

Massachusetts Global Action

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Matahari – Eye of the Day (Boston)

Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance

National Day Laborer Organizing Network

National Immigrant Solidarity Network

National Lawyers Guild, Massachusetts Chapter

National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)

Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest

New Jersey Human Rights Organization

New Jersey Immigration Policy Network

People of Faith (Connecticut)

Sikh Community Center (Baltimore)

South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow

Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning (Colorado)

Student Action with Farmworkers

United Dubuque Immigrant Alliance (UN DIA)

United for Justice with Peace (Massachusetts)

United Methodist Hispanic Ministries of North Alabama

Winston-Salem Friends Meeting Peace and Concerns Committee (North Carolina)