Friday, June 01, 2007

[olympiaworkers] [Fwd: [OMJP] ICE raid in Shelton]

To our community from the Director of Proyecto CIELO in Olympia:
Please alert any media contacts you have to help get the word out.
And please stay tuned for helpful things we can do to support the
separated families and denounce these arrests.
Jean Eberhardt

Residents report that at about 5:00 yesterday's morning (Thursday
May 31st) ICE agents raided an apartment complex and a mobile home
park nearby in Shelton) and took (at least) 17 people. The detained
people included both men and women, but it appears that the agents may
have avoided residents who had children or if the woman was
pregnant. One resident of an apartment that was not raided reports
that it was done quietly, and that unaffected residents didn't know
about the raid until two hours afterwards. There is an advocate
onsite at the apartment complex today and will be gathering more
There is an interesting connection between a visit that the
Washington State Commission of Human Rights did last week to Shelton
and the raid. At the meeting last week a Hispanic man came forward
to denounce repeated abuses by the management of an apartment
complex towards Hispanic and immigrant tenants. The raid last
morning happened, coincidentally, at that apartment complex. There is
another interesting connection: large numbers of the immigrant
population in Shelton live of harvesting salal (sometimes better
know as brush). The harvesting season came to an end couple of weeks
ago and this is the time when you can easily find people at their
homes at times when, during the harvesting season, they would be
There was and still is a lot of confusion and fear in the
community. Some families have been separated and there were people
in the street on tears. There is a deep feeling of fear and
silence. Many have left the community, included relatives of those
detained. There are rumors that ICE continued operations during the
whole day and more people may have been detained. The local bilingual
elementary school is organizing van rides to pick up the kids of
the families who are afraid to leave their homes.

The Washington State Human Rights Commission has already been notified
and contact has been made with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to
find the detainees at the detention center in Tacoma. The community is
working on providing support to those families who will suffer
financially because of the loss of the head of household. We need people
to spread the word around and ideally, contact the media to get the
story out.
Patricia Vázquez
CIELO ESL Program Coordinator
3102 8th Ave NE
Olympia WA 98506
(360) 790 7825

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