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Press Release: 10 Arrested at Detention Center in Protest of Unjust Immigration Policies


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Press Contact: Juan J. Ramirez,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x 228,  E-mail: jramirez@thenyic.org
New York  (Thursday, August 22, 2013)

Press Release: 10 Arrested at Detention Center in Protest of Unjust Immigration Policies

Protesters Demand Vote on Path to Citizenship and Real Immigration Reform

(New York, NY)— Immigrant rights and faith leaders were arrested today in Manhattan protesting against the nation’s unjust deportation policies and the House leadership’s delay in passing an immigration reform bill with a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million people living in the U.S. without papers.
Protesters blocked the entrance of the Varick Street Detention Center, where many immigrant detainees in New York are processed for deportation. Participants chanted, sang and held banners demanding the end to the immoral separation of families.   “In New York and across the country, members of Congress are hearing from pastors and bishops, business owners and workers, conservatives and liberals, immigrants and DREAMers – all saying that now is the time for immigration reform.   We will continue to be in the streets, at town hall meetings and on the phones demanding real reform for immigrant communities until the House passes a just and comprehensive immigration bill,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.
The civil disobedience action is part of an unprecedented, coordinated effort nationwide to send a message to House leadership that the fight for immigrant families will continue until the House produces comprehensive legislation that includes a path to citizenship.
"We cannot stand idly by while hundreds of thousands of families are torn apart by deportation and detention policies each year. We speak out today to urge Congress to fix our broken immigration system and not let this opportunity for sensible and humane reform go to waste.  The price we pay today is small compared to the price we will all pay if Congress fails to act," said Alina Das, co-director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at NYU Law.
“In the spirit of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream Speech, we are asking the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform and do the right thing by families and immigrant workers aspiring to citizenship. King stood on the side of justice for all and we are called to walk in that direction as well,” said Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York.
“Immigration Equality is demonstrating because our joy that many gay and lesbian couples can finally get green cards is tempered by our frustration that so many other future Americans, LGBT and straight, are still not free. We are waiting for the House of Representatives to act, and we cannot wait any longer,” said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality.

Rev Chloe Breyer with demonstrators at 201 Varick Street to demand a stop to unjust immigration policy and draw attention to the need for immigration reform

(L to R) Rev Chloe Breyer, Interfaith Center of New York ; Alina Das, NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic; Sister Lily Butler, Sisters of Charity;
 Juan Carlos Ruiz, St. Jacobi Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality; and Bright Limm, Korean Americans for Political Advancement participate in civil disobedience.

Sister Lily Butler of the Sisters of Charity being arrested

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The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.



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