A project of the Center for Community Change


Fair Immigration Reform Movement Condemns ICE Raid in Tennessee

Immigrant Leaders Under Attack for Speaking Out

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement condemns the raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on brave members of an immigrant rights group in Shelbyville, Tenn.

The raid occurred last week at the homes of members of Latinos Unidos de Shelbyville, after several of them spoke out publicly on the apparent abusive practices of the local law enforcement agencies and ICE.

“The raid is clearly an act of retaliation and intimidation by law enforcement officials,” said FIRM spokesperson Marissa Graciosa. “ICE launched these raids days after these community members released a report that detailed the abuse they apparently have endured at the hands of law enforcement.”

FIRM joins with other groups in calling for ICE to end these raids, and for the Justice Department to look into the allegations of abusive practices detailed in the report “The Forgotten Constitution.”

To read the report, go to:http://www.tnimmigrant.org/storage/The%20Forgotten%20Constitution.pdf

VIDEO: In the Shadow of the Raid

“In the Shadow of the Raid” is a documentary film that explores the devastating effects of the May 2008 immigration raid at the kosher meatpacking plant Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa. If you’re a follower of this blog, you know that Guatemala is very close to my heart and watching the footage in the trailer below is all-too familiar for me.

The documentary, which I definitely want to see, will be premiering at the Morelia International Film Festival, in Mexico between Oct. 3 and Oct. 11. This is the type of film that can change hearts and minds about the issue of immigration. Most people in this country view the issue as purely domestic – they can only see our side of the border. I cannot stress enough how important the international perspective is in this debate.

One of the biggest lessons I learned during my time in Guatemala was that decisions we make here, policy we put into action and priorities we create for our country, are felt in a very real and direct way in countries like Guatemala. We are not separate, but interconnected. And the sooner we realize this and take responsibility for our part in this global community, the better.

For more on the documentary, visit IntheShadowoftheRaid.com

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The Postville Raid: A Tale of Two Villages

The village of San Miguel Acatan, in northwest Guatemala

The village of San Miguel Acatan, in northwest Guatemala

If you haven’t already, you should check out Frontline PBS’s latest look at the impact of the Postville, Iowa immigration raid on workers from two Guatemalan villages. Watch the video here.

Guatemala is close to my heart. For two years, I worked with communities in the highlands of the Cuchamatanes mountains in northwest Guatemala. These communities, impacted by globalization, a decades-long civil war and the slow deterioration of an older way of life, are extremely transient. It was rare to meet a family without at least one (usually more) person in el norte. While I work daily to push for comprehensive immigration reform here in the United States, it is never far from my mind that there are much bigger global structures that must be re-examined if we are to combat the gaping inequities created by these structures – a task so big it makes my head spin.

For now, make sure to check out the video at Frontline. It makes my heart ache and it makes me want to go back to Guatemala, just to visit and to listen.

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