Sunday, April 27, 2008

Vigil Tuesday for five Chattanooga women held for deportation

Bear-trap bureaucracy sparks statewide outpouring of support

One hour of silence and prayer

"Sold to the public as a way to take dangerous criminals off the streets"

No criminal charges

The Tennessean reported here that women from the recent immigration raids in Chattanooga are being held in Nashville awaiting possible deportation. According to this web page produced by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the detained Chattanooga women are held and will be processed for deportation without being charged with a crime.

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Davidson County public defender Ivan Lopez was quoted in this front-page article in the Tennessean on Sunday as saying that a Nashville-ICE partnership program called 287(g) "was sold to the public as a way to take dangerous criminals off the street" but that "[i]n reality, what's happening is you are breaking up families." The 287(g) program and the Chattanooga raids have in common that ordinary people are being put through extraordinary suffering, primarily for regular work that has been made into an outlaw act.

The detentions are another example of how our immigration system isn't broken; it's a fully functioning bear trap for ordinary immigrants (see stories here and here).

A vigil for the detained women and their families will be held on Tuesday outside the Nashville detention center on Harding Place, in coordination with other vigils in Chattanooga and Memphis. Details about the vigils from the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC):


Join us as we stand in solidarity with the workers affected by these inhumane acts.
Click here for more information

As many of you know, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) performed major raids across the country on April 16th, including one in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The raid in Tennessee—at a "Pilgrim's Pride" Poultry Processing plant—resulted in the arrest of 156 immigrants.

The raids have devastated Chattanooga's immigrant community, and have sent shock waves across the region.

Men in Georgia—women in Nashville. While it should be noted that 32 women who were identified as mothers were released on Thursday, families have still been torn apart and are struggling to reconnect. Immigrant rights groups across the region are attempting to assimilate a complete list of the workers detained. However, many workers are still missing and their locations remain unknown.
“The raids in the poultry processing plants in the southeast are disheartening and immoral. Even worse is the breaking up of families. We will pray for these women and their families."

Rev. Jeannie Hunter, Associate Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church.

“All workers and their families deserve being treated with dignity. The workers who are detained are victims of the employers and the broken immigration system. It is the federal immigration system that needs to be held accountable. The workers need their rights protected. ”

Megan Macaraeg with Jobs with Justice
Vigil for Worker Rights and Dignity
"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Vigils will be held in Memphis, Chattanooga, and Nashville.

Click here for printable flier.

When: Tuesday, April 29--- 6:00-7:00pm

Where: Harding Detention Facility (5115 Harding Place, Nashville TN 37211) where five women from Chattanooga raids are being held.

Join us as we stand on the sidewalk in silence and in prayer for an an hour. Organizers will provide signs with the MLK quote.
All people deserve to be treated with dignity.

Information on the Chattanooga and Memphis vigils will be available shortly.

Vigils, Forums, and Organizing has been made possible thanks to the hard work of the following organizations and individuals:

Justice for Our Neighbors

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)—Elise Shore

La Paz de Dios—Sylvia Rangel and Stacy Johnson

St. Andrew's Center—Mike Feely

Coalicion de Lideres Latinos—America Gruner

ACLU of Tennessee—Tricia Herzfeld

The Steel Workers Union

Jobs with Justice

The many immigration attorneys throughout the state and beyond who have offered their advice and assistance throughout this emergency.

All the individuals who have given their time and energy towards helping the familes affected by the raids.

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