Follow-up on Ellensburg Raid

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In a recent post we talked about worksite enforcement and how it has a devastating impact on communities. In that statement we highlighted the Ellensburg, WA raid on January 20th:

According to recent media reports, on January 20, 2011, ICE conducted a raid in Ellensburg, Washington, a city of 17,000 residents. Federal officers apprehended 30 immigrants in their homes, leaving community members to struggle with the consequences, such as caring for the children separated from their families. The following day, hundreds of people gathered at a local church to discuss what happened and how to support those directly affected.

LIRS has deep concerns with how immigration enforcement impacts communities and families. That’s why we were pleased to read this blog post from Immigration Impact that follows up on how the Ellensburg raid affected families and what can be done to support and care for them.

We continue to urge immigration reform to help alleviate the suffering that families and communities are currently facing. Enforcing a broken system only causes undue suffering on hard working families while doing nothing to address the root causes of the problem. The longer we wait to address immigration holistically, the more stories we will hear like Ricardo’s:

“I opened the door and they pointed at me with a gun,” he said. “And I said, ‘can I please put a shirt on,’ and they said, ‘put your hands in the air.’ Then when I came out they handcuffed me and they did that to my 15-year-old brother.” Although never arrested, Ricardo told a reporter , “My heart was destroyed. I knew my life wasn’t going to be the same,” he said. “I felt bad for my older brother, because he’s almost 20 and he has to take care of a family now.”

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