(This event is organized by IMIrJ.)
It’s time to break the immigrant detention machine in Oregon and Let Our People Go.
The stories of the men detained at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution are beginning to come out through immigration lawyers and the federal public defender’s office. We are hearing about strip searches, lack of religious accommodation, those detained being forced to eat next to toilets, and that there has been a suicide attempt. These stories are heartbreaking and horrendous.
While the interviews are not complete, we have received word that so far 100% of the individuals detained have passed their "credible fear" interviews. This means the men will be in a releasable position later this week. ICE, and more specifically, acting regional director Elizabeth Godfrey has discretion to release the men to a respite network APANO is coordinating with IMIrJ and our Sikh friends. It’s time to tell Godfrey and ICE, "to let our people go!"
As people of faith, we continue to ask, “if not now, when?” As an IMIrJ clergy ready bench, we feel the time has come to escalate and take direct action. With targeted demands on strategic pressure points throughout Oregon where ICE’s family separation & detention machine is operating, we are planning an August of Action.
Take a look at this chart we’ve created.
As we prepare for an August of Action, we will gather tomorrow on Tuesday, July 31st at 10am at Elizabeth Caruthers park located at 3508 SW Moody Ave, Portland, OR 97239 to pray and walk to the ICE offices, where we will deliver a public letter asking for the immediate release of the people detained in Sheridan. Please bring signs that say, “Let Our People Go.”
In addition, faith communities throughout the state will launch a massive calling campaign to the ICE offices. Take a look at our talking points and mobilize your community to phone bank, email, and flood acting regional director of ICE Elizabeth Godfrey with stories of those detained at Sheridan and our demand to “Let Our People Go!"
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow,
IMIrJ Clergy Ready Bench Core Team