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Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Day

 
On Wednesday Feb. 7, the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) and many immigrants and allies will gather at the state capitol building for a rally in support of WAISN’s 2024 immigrant justice campaigns.  The campaigns are for Health Equity for Immigrants to provide equal access to healthcare for all low-income Washingtonians, regardless of their immigration status, and Unemployment Insurance for Undocumented Workers to create a permanent, separate unemployment system that provides benefits to undocumented workers.
 
The Olympia City Council will also sign a proclamation designating February 7, 2024 as Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Day.
 
KBCS spoke with WAISN Executive Director, Catalina Velasquez about the work by immigrants and allies in the movement of advocating for immigrant communities, the campaigns and the event.
 
Producer: Yuko Kodama
Photo: WAISN

Update from the Southern US Border

 
Dulce Garcia, Executive Director at Border Angels gives us an update of Ukrainians and other migration patterns at the border.
 
Producer: Yuko Kodama
 
Photo: Dana Schuerholz

ICE and Detention

Antonio Guerrero, whose name is changed to protect their identity,  describes what it was like to be picked up by ICE and to live and work for roughly a dollar a day at the US ICE detention center in Tacoma.

Producer: Yuko Kodama

Photo: University of Washington

 

Day of Remembrance Remember and Resist Event 2/19/22

Saturday, February 19, 10:00 am–1:00 pm
At 10 am, meet at the Puyallup Fairgrounds (Blue Lot Parking, 311 10th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98372).
At 11 am, we will move to the Northwest Detention Center (1623 E J Street, Tacoma WA 98421) for a continuation of the program starting at 12 pm.


Weather permitting, there will be some outdoor programming. Masks and social distancing required.

February 19, 2022, will mark 80 years since the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal and mass incarceration of all Japanese Americans on the West Coast and beyond. Most Japanese Americans in the Seattle area spent their first few months in detention at the Puyallup Fairgrounds (“Camp Harmony”) until their transfer to the concentration camps at Minidoka, ID, and Tule Lake, CA. The trauma of family separation, child imprisonment, poor sanitation, bad food, inadequate health care, and uncertain futures persists—and continues today at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma.
Gathering in the same location where barracks once housed incarcerees, survivors, their families, and community members will share the history of Camp Harmony and personal experiences there, before rallying at NWDC to remember and resist the injustices of the past and present. The program will also include a live taiko drumming performance by Fuji Taiko and a special ceremony to remember Japanese American concentration camps and incarcerates.
For RSVP or information: info@seattlejacl.org


Notes: Dress warmly. There will be one porta-potty facility available on the Puyallup site. Feel free to
bring signs, tsuru and noisemakers for the Tacoma portion of the program!

Courthouse ICE Arrests

The New York Times has published a number of articles on the trend of ICE arresting undocumented immigrants at courthouses.  Monserrat Padilla, Co-Director of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) describes the increase of ICE arrests at public courthouses here in Washington state.

You can call the WAISN 24 hour hotline  at 1-844-724-3737 for help, information and resources.

LGBTQ Immigration Detention in Washington State

As of January 28th, Washington’s Northwest Detention Center is intentionally housing LGBTQ detainees. Monserrat Padilla Co-Director of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) describes the efforts to protect this population of immigrants.

Producer: Yuko Kodama

Photo: torbakhopper

Skagit Valley Farmworkers and ICE

US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agents arrested 24 year old Medardo Cruz-Ventura on January 24th.    Edgar Franks, Political Director of Familias Unidas por la Justicia describes how ICE activities impact Washington’s Skagit Valley where farmworkers make up 30% of the population.

Yes! Magazine: Sanctuary Policies and Deportation

We have some new information about how the US government is addressing deportations. According to a new study from the Pew Research center, nationwide deportations made by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2017 increased 30% from the previous year. These increases are not distributed evenly. In regions where city and state governments worked hand-in-hand with ICE, deportations increased more than 75%. In regions where sanctuary policies are more prevalent, increases remained relatively low. YES! Magazine’s Bailey Williams speaks with magazine fellow Micheal Dax who wrote the article “A Year Later, Fewer Deportations in Cities That Adopted ‘Welcoming’ Policies“.

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Maru Mora-Villalpando: The Department of Licensing and ICE

Maru Mora-Villalpando is an Undocumented Immigrant rights Activist, founder of NWDC Resistance and #Not1More Deportation. In January, 2018, she was served a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordering her to appear in immigration court at an unspecified date. Then, in February, 2018, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) admitted that it furnished records to a request from ICE about Mora-Villalpando and other undocumented Washington residents. KBCS’s Yuko Kodama spoke with Mora-Villalpando last month about her experience with the DOL and how she expects the state to respond to the DOL’s actions.

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Lawsuit Against the Northwest Detention Center

On September 20th, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit against the GEO Group, the second-largest private prison provider in the country, which operates the Northwest Detention Center. The state’s lawsuit asks the court to order the company to give up the profits netted from paying detainees up to one dollar a day for their work in the detention center.

KBCS’s Yuko Kodama caught Maru Mora Villalpando, community organizer of Northwest Detention Center Resistance, on the phone to talk about the conditions regarding work inside the Northwest Detention Center, for its detainees.

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Hunger Strike at Tacoma’s Immigration Detention Center

In Tacoma, detainees at the immigration detention center are continuing their hunger strike. They’ve stopped working at the facility, making phone calls, purchasing from the commissary and sleeping in addition to not eating. Demands to GEO, the private firm operating the detention center are better pay to run the facility, better food, access to healthcare and speedier court procedures. The strike started on Monday and was scheduled to end today at noon.

KBCS’s Yuko Kodama contacted Northwestern University’s Deportation Research Clinic Director, Jacqueline Stevens by phone to get some perspective on conditions within the detention centers.

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