For Immediate Release
June 29, 2015
Contact: SG Sarmiento, firstname.lastname@example.org // Martha Ojeda, email@example.com
Immigrants Serenade Outside Fed Detention Facility in Houston, Demand “ICE Out of Harris County”
“Harris County Sheriff Hickman must define whether he will continue this deportation agenda, or take the first, necessary step to build trust with the Latino community”
Houston, Texas—Early Monday morning, immigrant and civil rights groups serenaded individuals detained at the federal detention center in Houston and called for an end to Harris County’s “outdated” 287(g) deportation agreement with US Immigration Enforcement (ICE) carrying banners saying “ICE Out of Harris County.”
Headlining the morning serenade was 12-year old singer Madelyn Hernandez who is well-known in Texas for singing songs to the immigrant experience.
“Our response to the fear and harassment that results from mixing up local police with ICE is to show the love that we have for our families, for our community,” said Aracely Ramirez, Houston resident and member of Fe y Justicia Workers Center. “Today, we chant down the walls that separate our families. And to the new Sheriff, it’s time for Harris County to show some moral courage and stand with its own residents.”
Despite a broad consensus about the broken immigration system, ICE deportation operations and programs, such as 287(g) agreements that deputize local officials to act as ICE agents, remain intact in about 30 localities across the US. Harris County is among the counties with the highest levels of deportations in the country, behind Los Angeles, CA, and Maricopa County, AZ. But just last month, in response to the growing rejection of these Arizona-style deportation agreements, Los Angeles County ended its own 287(g) agreement.
“Thanks to Adrian Garcia’s 287(g) agreement with ICE, Harris County is among the counties with the highest levels of deportations in the country, along with the likes of Sheriff Arpaio’s Maricopa County in Arizona,” said Salvador G. Sarmiento of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “Incoming Harris County Sheriff Hickman must define whether he will continue this deportation agenda, or take the first, necessary step to build trust with the Latino community.”
For photos and video of the serenade, contact firstname.lastname@example.org