For Immediate Release
Grassroots Groups Mobilize, Napolitano Orders Review of First Workplace Raid Under Obama Administration
WASHINGTON - The Center for Community Change today met with representatives of the
Department of Homeland Security to continue discussing the first workplace raid
under President Obama. The meeting followed a day of furious activity as the
Fair Immigration Reform Movement helped lead the rapid response mobilization of
grassroots activists throughout the
country through use of its Mobile Action Network,
producing calls, faxes and emails to the White House.
The groups' quick action got the
attention of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano who immediately
asked for a review of the raid at the Yamato Engine Specialists in
Wash. The raid was conducted by more than 70
ICE agents in riot gear and resulted in the chained detention of 28 workers.
"We are pleased by the Obama
Administration's quick response to this raid, and are hopeful they will
immediately abandon the harsh, ineffective enforcement-only practices of the
Bush Administration," said Marissa Graciosa, campaign coordinator for
FIRM, a CCC
project. "This raid was another wake up call for the
Obama Administration to enact policies that reflect the country's values of
inclusiveness, shared responsibility and shared sacrifice. We need just and
humane immigration reform, not the terrorization of our communities."
Activists, led by OneAmerica in
Seattle, quickly pulled together a
press conference Wednesday morning and groups throughout the country sent out
action alerts that generated thousands of phone calls and emails to the White
House expressing their displeasure with the raid. At Thursday's meeting, DHS
officials promised to continue working with
CCC and other groups to find creative ways to
safe, but also to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
"This was a meeting that would
never have happened under the previous administration," Graciosa said. "The
meeting and the review are promising signs that we have an administration that
will be responsive to people's concern and is truly committed to living its
Center for Community Change
Executive Director Deepak Bhargava shares a
provocative insider's perspective on the progressive community's first real test
of its critical friendship with the Obama Administration in this blog post: http://www.communitychange.org/blog/cocktails-and-criticism/view.
The Center for Community Change strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups to enhance their leadership, voice and power. We believe that vibrant community-based organizations, led by the people most affected by social and economic injustice, are key to putting an end to the failed "on your own" mentality of the right and building a new politics based on community values.