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‘Families Belong Together:’ Rally Saturday, then actions all week

Immigrant toddlers ordered to appear in court alone.

Yes, that’s a headline this morning in America.

President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending “family separations” at our nation’s southern border hasn’t ended the humanitarian crisis his administration has created. There is still no plan (or funding) for the thousands of children taken from their parents by federal agents to be reunited with their families. Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” remains in place and every person found without documentation near the border will continue to be arrested and prosecuted, including people who are fleeing violence and oppression and seeking asylum in America. The White House continues to fan the flames of hatred and racism by calling immigrants criminals and rapists, and falsely repeating that Trump’s immigration policies are a national security issue.

And the Republicans who control Congress are aiding and abetting this national disgrace because they either support what is happening, or they are afraid to stand up to Trump and even criticize his despicable immigration and border policies, much less use their legislative powers to stop him.

So it’s up to the American people to demand an end to the inhumane treatment of immigrants and their families. Tomorrow — Saturday, June 30 — will kick off a week of public actions on the issue. The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO urges all union members and community supporters to participate. Here’s the schedule:

SATURDAY, JUNE 30 — Families Belong Together: National Day of Action — Events are happening in communities across Washington state (find the one nearest you), but perhaps the biggest will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SeaTac Federal Prison, 2425 S. 200th St., where hundreds of immigrants and asylum-seekers are being imprisoned. This demonstration will include volunteer training on what citizens can do to support detainees. Get details at the Facebook event page.

SUNDAY, JULY 1 — NWDC Resistance — 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Northwest Detention Center, 1623 E. J St. in Tacoma. This is the for-profit prison run by the GEO Group, Inc. where more than 1,500 arrested immigrants are being held. The NWDC has faced many protests — including hunger strikes by detainees — and lawsuits alleging inhumane treatment of immigrants there. Facebook event page.

MONDAY, JULY 2 — Put Yourself in My Shoes — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the USCIS office, 12500 Tukwila International Blvd. in Tukwila. Protesters will present shoes in front of this office to represent the 2,000-plus children in detention. Facebook event page.

TUESDAY, JULY 3 — Daily Vigils at the ICE Court Office — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day until July 6 outside the ICE Immigration Review Court, 1000 2nd Ave. in Seattle. Facebook event page.

THURSDAY, JULY 5 — Walk a Mile in Our Shoes Congressional Visits — 2 to 4 p.m. at congressional offices in Vancouver (3rd CD), Yakima (4th CD), Issaquah (8th CD), and Spokane (5th CD). Facebook event page.

SATURDAY, JULY 7 — “We Stand With Immigrants” activist symposium — 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, 17550 NE 67th Ct. in Redmond. This symposium will include debrief and reflection, workshops/training for broader immigration issues, and planning for next steps. Facebook event page.

Please visit the Facebook event pages of each event to confirm times/locations and to RSVP.

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FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!