Labor joins in fast for immigration reform

SEATTLE (July 1, 2013) — Leaders of the Washington State Labor Council and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-6th) will join local day laborers, immigrants and community supporters in a national fast this week, demanding that President Obama suspend deportations as Congress seeks immigration reform. The fast is part of a week of all-day fasts Monday through Friday that also call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

The national solidarity fast, “Not One More Deportation,” is being coordinated by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and began on May Day in California and, in addition to Washington State, continues through Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and other sites over the course of the next few weeks.

Fasters and their supporters are demanding that President Obama immediately suspend deportations and that Congress pass immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans. As Congress debates immigration reform, more than 1,100 people are deported each day, creating a moral crisis as families and children are needlessly separated. A truly comprehensive approach to immigration reform must protect workers’ rights and civil rights, reject militarization of the border, and eliminate barriers to a pathway to citizenship.

On Monday morning, day laborers and agricultural workers began fasting across the state, including in Seattle and Forks. In Seattle, they will gather at the Federal Building, 915 2nd Ave. in Seattle, for a rally from 4 to 5 p.m., followed by a community forum and film screening of “Lost in Transition” from 6 to 9 p.m. at St. Mary Church, 611 20th Ave. S., where local participants will spend the night.

On Tuesday, union leaders will participate, joined by Rep. Kilmer. Participants will include Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) President Jeff Johnson and WSLC Secretary-Treasurer Lynne Dodson; Hilary Stern, Executive Director of Casa Latina; Robby Stern, President of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action; and Will Pittz, Executive Director of Washington CAN. More groups of fasters will be participating in Spokane and Vancouver, as well.

TAKE A STAND! You, too, can participate. Those in the Seattle area will meet Tuesday at 9 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 611 20th Ave. South in Seattle, as Monday’s participants end their fasts and labor’s contingent begins theirs. Participants will also attend a community forum at 6 p.m. in Auburn at St. Mathews, 123 L St. NE. Also you can send fasters messages of support at #Not1More. Click here for more details, including a complete list of the week’s events around the state.

Organizers of the local fasts include: Casa Latina, Washington CAN, Washington State Labor Council, SEIU 775, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, One America, Saint Mary’s Church, Faith Action Network, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Entre Hermanos, Equal Rights Washington, Washington State DREAM Act Coalition, Community to Community, St. Matthew’s Church, Inmigrantes Unidos de Shelton, and Latino Advocacy.

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