MEDIA ADVISORY for April 8th-9th: Hundreds of SEIU Cleaners and Immigrant Rights Activists to Hold Vigils Outside of Local ICE Offices Across the Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published 11:42 AM Eastern - Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ali Jost, 202-730-7159, ali.jost@seiu.org

At vigils in CA, MA, & MN SEIU to Call on DHS and ICE to Get its House in Order, Restore Faith in Agency's Competence

On April 8-9, hundreds of SEIU cleaners will holds prayer vigils outside of local Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices across the country to protest recent enforcement outrages and call on the agency to get its house in order. Rather than wasting limited funds to chase hard-working, tax-paying cleaners, home-care providers and nannies, the activists will call on President Obama and Secretary Janet Napolitano to re-focus ICE enforcement on its original goals of targeting crooked employers and criminals.

Thursday and Friday's vigils are an effort to illustrate the ongoing, human cost of this agency's misguided, out-of-control immigration enforcement strategy--which only serves to waste taxpayer resources, hurt hardworking people, and devastate local communities. ICE's "strategy" of sowing misery in workplaces and communities not only fails to tackle the underlying issue of our broken immigration system, it also contradicts efforts to improve wages and working conditions of all U.S. workers.

WHAT: Prayer vigil of area cleaners and immigrants rights activists to call on ICE to stop the enforcement outrages and get its house in order.

WHEN / WHERE:
Oakland, Thursday April 8: 11:00 a.m. PT
ICE office at 15th & Broadway, Oakland CA

Sacramento, Thursday April 8: 7:00 p.m. PT
ICE Office 650 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA

San Jose, Friday April 9: 11:00 a.m. PT
ICE office 1817 Monterey Rd, San Jose, CA

Los Angeles, Friday April 9: 4:00 p.m. PT
USCIS Office, 300 North Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA

Boston, Friday, April 9: 4:00 p.m. ET
USCIS Office, Government Center, Boston, MA

St. Paul, Friday, April 9: 11:30 a.m. CT
Ramsey County Jail, 100 East 11th Street, St Paul, MN

Additional sites are pending.

VISUALS: SEIU janitors with American flags holding peaceful signs, candles, carnations.

BACKGROUND: SEIU's Immigration Enforcement and Reform Principles

SEIU believes that America deserves a professional and well-managed immigration enforcement agency that sticks to the constructive mission of punishing criminals and the most abusive employers. DHS and ICE must be able to distinguish between bad-actor-employers and those who are merely caught in a broken system. They should focus scarce resources on the bad actors who intentionally take advantage of our dysfunctional immigration system to exploit workers and push down wages for everyone.

SEIU also believes that over the long-term, the only real solution to our broken system is comprehensive immigration reform. As the largest union of immigrant workers, and also a union that represents more than a million workers who are not immigrants, we hope and expect that our nation's leaders will enact workable solutions to our immigration problems and that they will recognize that punitive, anti-immigrant measures are neither realistic nor workable. Read more about SEIU's Immigration Reform Principles and about Change to Win and AFL-CIO's joint labor framework.

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With 2.2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas and the largest union of immigrants. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.

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