Center For Community Change: Parents Caught in Immigration Raids Testify to National Leaders
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 16, 2007
CONTACT: Center For Community Change
Phone: (202) 339-9300
Parents Caught in Immigration Raids Testify to National Leaders
Families, Local Elected Officials and Children's Experts Come to Capitol
Hill to Address National Crisis
WASHINGTON - May 16 - As the U.S. Senate
debates the future of immigration policy, real families caught in the teeth
of America's broken immigration system will come to Capitol Hill to testify
before national leaders.
Since January 2007, the Bush Administration has executed at least 85
raids on immigrant communities, arresting over 3,000 workers and stranding
children of those workers in every city they hit. Advocates are calling for
a moratorium on these anti-family raids and Congressional leaders have
promised to take action. These families and community leaders will provide
a first-hand account of the desperate need for Congress to deliver humane
immigration reform this year. National leaders will respond to their heart
Following the hearing, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement will
release a report on the local impact of the Bush Administration's
anti-family immigration raid policy.
WHAT: Parents & Children Caught in Immigration Raids, Leaders Testify on
WHEN: Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.
2255 Rayburn House Office Building; Washington, DC
WHO: Marian Wright Edelman - Children's Defense Fund, President
Kim Gandy - National Organization of Women, President
Rev. Robert Edgar - National Council of Churches USA,
Hilary Shelton - NAACP, Washington DC Bureau Chief
Dr. Randy Capps - Urban Institute, Senior Research Associate
Dr. Amaro Laria - Harvard University, Clinical Psychologist
Tom Selders (R), Mayor - Greeley, CO
Gayle McLaughlin (R), Mayor - Richmond, CA
Rev. Anna Lange-Soto, El Buen Pastor Episcopal Church,
Redwood City, CA
Shelly Heideman, Elizabeth Ann Seaton Program, Springfield, IL
Samuel Carabaj, Educator, Marshalltown, IA
5 Parents Caught in Immigration Raids and Their Children
Parents Testifying include:
-- Sandra is the mother of a 15-month-old baby girl. She was separated
from her daughter during a raid on March 6th at the Michael Bianco
factory in New Bedford, MA. Sandra struggled through 10 days apart from
her daughter in a jail in El Paso, Texas. When she was brought to
Texas, she had no idea when or if she would see her daughter again.
Sandra is originally from Cape Verde and her brother, who took care of
her daughter during their separation, recently became a citizen.
-- Norma is United States citizen. On September 20, 2006, the day of her
fourth wedding anniversary, her husband was arrested and detained by
I.C.E. agents in Richmond, California. At the time she was seven month
pregnant and her husband was the sole provider for Norma, their two-
year old daughter, and their unborn child. For two weeks Norma could
not determine the whereabouts of her husband. Her daughter would cry
and ask "When is Papi coming home?" Her husband was eventually
released. Their petition as husband and wife has been submitted to
immigration authorities, but they still have no guarantee that he will
not be deported.
-- Lixiere, Originally from El Salvador, Lixiere and his family came to
the US escaping poverty and violence. His son, 2 and 1/2 years old was
separated from both his parents, as Lixiere and his wife were both
detained during the New Bedford raid. Lixiere and his wife spent eight
days in jail, while their son suffered extreme trauma from the
separation. The son was taken care of by Lixiere's brother in law, who
tried his best to get the toddler to eat as he resisted and lost
weight. Lixiere was without any notice of where his son was for
-- Maria is the mother of two children and lives in Palatine, Illinois.
On February 17, 2007 at Cano Packing, a sweets packing factory, Maria
was among 17 people that were arrested and detained in an I.C.E. raid.
On the same day Cynthia, Maria's daughter, waited anxiously for her
mother to come home from work so they could celebrate her birthday with
her mom. Her mother didn't return that day and now faces deportation.
-- Dominga is the mother of 3 children, 2 years old, 5 years old and
7 years old. Her husband, Hector Mendez, was detained during the New
Bedford raid. Since then, she has struggled to make ends meet for her
children, as Hector was the bread winner of the family. Originally from
Guatemala, the family came to the US looking for a better life. While
Hector was only making $7.00/an hour at the factory, the little he
earned could provide for his young family. Dominga feels alone and
depressed as she faces the reality of raising her children alone.
The Center for Community Change is a nonprofit, nonpartisan low-income
advocacy group that promotes the development of community organizing as a
national force for social and economic justice. FIRM (Fair Immigration
Reform Movement) is a coalition of grassroots community organizations
nationwide, working on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform and
immigrant rights and is convened by Center for Community Change.