Battle Against Secure Communities in Vancouver, WA
OneAmerica's community base group members continue actively opposing ICE's "Secure Communities" program in an effort to get County leaders who have joined the program to reconsider. Members of the Vancouver base group took their concerns directly to Clark County Commissioners and plan to continue this pressure.
Watch KUNP TV (Univision Portland) reporter Delia Hernandez' story above on about their efforts, originally in Spanish with English translation below.
Nov. 29, 2011 - The struggle against Secure Communities, which was implemented last month, continues in Vancouver. This morning, we attended a city council hearing, where testimonies were given; hoping council members will eliminate this program.
The immigration attorney, Eulalia Soto Esquivel, testified before the council that Secure Communities is a thousands of dollars expense to the city of Vancouver. She added that the program is violating the rights of the detained.
Soto Esquivel: "Here, locally, there are people who are detained longer than necessary. And who is paying? The people are paying and this is illegal."
Since the implementation of Secure Communities, community members have mobilized but at the same time they live in fear.
Perez [Vancouver Resident]: "I am afraid that a policeman might stop me and simply because of my profile, I will be asked for my documents. This is what I am truly scared of, not returning home and no longer seeing my kids."
Many of the people present, said that it had been their first time at a hearing and they plan to attend every Tuesday with OneAmerica to let the council members know that changes need to be made to Secure Communities.
Diaz [Vancouver Resident]: "It is difficult because in order to cause an impact, we need for our voice to be stronger and the support is not there yet."
These efforts are being made as a campaign across the state of Washington to put an end to this program even though it has already been implemented in many cities. However, in Mt. Vernon, its implementation has been postponed.
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