Every year thousands of people in the United States are detained and arrested without due process under the guise of national security.
The Rights Working Group is demanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) be held accountable for their unjust policies through the launch of the "Night of 1000 Conversations" campaign.
The Seattle campaign kick-off event on Thurs., June 19, hosted by OneAmerica (the new moniker of Hate Free Zone), was just part of a nationwide effort to begin a dialogue about restoring human rights regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
According to the Center for International Policy immigrants are the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. prison population. It is estimated that 300,000 immigrants are detained every year in the name of increased security.
More than 20 community activists, immigrants, and union workers shared their ideas and experiences in SODO last Thursday evening after watching a documentary video about workplace raids by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement teams.
For many in the room, the issue hits close to home. One Somali woman said she has seen the immigration raids in her neighborhood in south Seattle. Others described an atmosphere of fear even among legal residents. Nafiso Samatar admits to fearing for the security of her own family despite the fact that she is now a U.S. citizen. "I have little kids to raise," she said, shaking her head, "it's hard to trust anyone."
The Rights Working Group hopes to start a national dialogue on the topic through the 1,000 Conversations campaign, and is specifically demanding that DHS stop immigration raids that detain workers without due process, improve conditions for those in custody, and get through an enormous backlog of citizenship applications.