Workers’ Center of CNY joins Upstate Immigrants and allies to stop “La Polimigra” on Day of the Dead

For Immediate Release: Contacts: Carly Fox, organizer (585) 500-9409
October 29, 2014, Rochester and Syracuse Rebecca Fuentes, organizer (315) 657-6799

Upstate New York Immigrant Advocates Oppose NYS State Police Collaboration with Immigration Enforcement

Immigrants and allies conduct an action on Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos): “We remember the dead and fight like hell for the living.”

Who: Immigrants, farmworkers, and immigrant rights allies (Worker Justice Center of NY, Rural and Migrant Ministries and Worker Center of Central NY, Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice, May First Farmworker Committee and Community volunteers)
When: Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 @ 2:00pm-6:00pm. DETAILS: 2:00pm gather | 2:30pm deliver letter to state police | 4:00pm community celebration and potluck at the Epiphany Church on Main Street
Where: 109 W. Main Street, Sodus, NY
What: Day of the Dead is a Latin American traditional holiday that focuses on gathering of families and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. In honor of the mothers, fathers, children, and workers who have suffered from unjust immigration policies, we will deliver a letter from the community to NYS State Police barracks in Wayne County calling on the State Police to enforce state, not federal, immigration laws.
Why: Immigrants and advocates will take this opportunity presented by the Day of the Dead cultural tradition to give voice to our fears and frustration living in a community that is terrorized by law enforcement. We will draw attention to the New York State Police’s continued collaboration with Border Patrol and ICE – a relationship we refer to as the “Poli-Migra.” Carly Fox, an organizer with Worker Justice Center of NY, says “The NYS State Police operate with virtual impunity when they racially profile and pull over those they perceive as being immigrant, and then turn them over to Border Patrol. We are literally seeing people disappear from one moment to the next and leaving children traumatized as they see their parents taken away in handcuffs.” Rebecca Fuentes, a worker organizer with the Worker Center of Central NY, asks: “Why are the State Police enforcing federal law? We want a police force that does it’s job to protect communities, not terrorize them and turn them over to immigration when they call for help because they are a victim of a crime.” According to information gathered from public sources, there have been sixteen farmworker deaths in New York State in 2014. “We can’t call 911” says Jose Coyote-Perez, farmworker leader and organizer with the May First Farmworker Committee. “When there is a health and safety hazard on the farm, an emergency such as a bull attacking a worker, we can’t just call 911. (The Police) will deport us.” The immigrant community in Upstate New York distrusts law enforcement and no longer feels safe to reach out to police for protection. Sister Luci Romero from Latino Migrant Ministries of Wayne County remarks: “We are living death. All of the children who are left alone, the youth who are feeling sadness, depressed, even suicidal. This celebration isn’t just a religious one, it’s about justice, it’s about staying alive. The Day of the Dead is a day for everyone.”