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12/14: U.S. ICE RAIDS VIOLATE CIVIL RIGHTS
Released 15 December 2006  By Latinos Unidos

Press Release 12/14/06
For immediate Release
Contact: Julien Ross, CIRC, Denver: 720-290-1125
Silvia Martinez, Latinos Unidos, Greeley:
970-388-5685
Eddie Soto, Durango: 970-799-0836

U.S. ICE RAIDS VIOLATE CIVIL RIGHTS
AND TERRORIZE FAMILIES

SIMULTANEOUS STATEWIDE PRAYER VIGILS FRIDAY

CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON WORKPLACE RAIDS.
COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM NEEDED NOW!

The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), a
statewide coalition of over 80 community, faith and
labor organizations, denounces the U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in Greeley,
Colorado and in six other states. CIRC calls for a
moratorium on all U.S. ICE workplace raids and for the
U.S. Congress and the President to pass comprehensive
and humane reform solutions.

CIRC stands in solidarity with the workers and their
families who have been detained and separated, and
with Latinos Unidos, Congregations Building
Communities, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church and
other organizations in Greeley responding to the
crisis of children currently without their mother
and/or father and families without income to survive
or certainty of the future.

CIRC believes that reasonable Coloradans, from across
the political spectrum, can recognize the human
impacts of the ICE raids on hard working people and
families in our community-an impact often left out of
press coverage. What will happen to the many children
left behind without a parent or both parents? What
about the paychecks not received by now detained
workers, will families receive pay for their
backbreaking work in the meatpacking plant? What
about the holiday spirit ruined for hundreds of
families? What about the Greeley community, will it
rebuild after losing hundreds of its hard working
residents?

Today's struggle to support the separated families and
hold the U.S. ICE accountable for the inhumane raids
must also be our continued fight for fair and humane
comprehensive immigration reform. The SWIFT workers
and their families are an integral part of the
Colorado community and economy, and our immigration
policy must reflect this reality.

This tragedy is not about "identity theft" or
"criminal activity" as the U.S. ICE contends. It is
about women and men working to feed their families and
provide for a better life. It is about a U.S. and
global economy that depends on immigrant labor, yet
operates within a broken immigration system that
forces some workers to choose between working with
improper documents or not feeding their family.

Reckless raids that uproot communities, separate
families, create fear and confusion for children whose
parents were arrested, destroy family plans for the
holidays, and disrupt local economies are not the
solution. We need realistic comprehensive immigration
reform and CIRC calls upon the Bush Administration to
halt all workplace raids and instead work with the
Congress to find a solution to a broken immigration
system.

Simultaneous Statewide Prayer Vigils Friday December
15th, 7pm
The Greeley community will protest the raids and call
for comprehensive immigration reform with a
candlelight prayer vigil at Our Lady of Peace Catholic
Church in Greeley on Friday, December 15th at 7pm. In
statewide solidarity and unity, CIRC members in
Durango, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Grand Junction and
other communities will also hold simultaneous
candlelight prayer vigils across the state on Friday
December 15th at 7pm.

How you can support workers and their families
Coloradans that wish to support the SWIFT workers and
families who have been separated and left without
income can make a donation payable to: "Our Lady of
Peace Catholic Church" with "fund for families
affected by ICE" in the memo-line. Mail to: Our Lady
of Peace; Att: Rev. Bernard Schmitz; 1311 Third Street
Greeley, CO 80631. Phone: 970.353.1747. Your
contribution will go towards emergency rent and food
expenses.


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