In response to raids in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Hollister by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE aka INS, la migra) agency of the federal government, religious leaders with Communities Organized for Relational Power (COPA) held a press conference on September 13th at Temple Beth El in Aptos to speak from their religious traditions about immigration. ICE sweeps, detentions and deportations, called “Operation Return to Sender,” took place on September 7th and 8th according to the corporate media. However, there is also discussion in the community about federal abductions which have taken place on other days.
Listen to an audio report which includes an interview with Bishop Ryan Sylvester and Ramiro of the Watsonville Brown Berets. Also listen to an interview with Doug Keegan, director of the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project.
While people appreciated a response from the religious community, many felt that more action should be taken by religious groups and the community as a whole. The Watsonville Brown Berets, for example, are taking proactive steps to better organize people for future state repression. Show solidarity and come out to this year’s Peace and Unity March on October 7.
Crossposted at Indybay.org.