Blog Archive

Sunday, February 27, 2011

ICE raids in Ellensburg commemorated, impact on family remains

Feb 27, 2011

ELLENSBURG, Wash. – More than a month after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted raids in Kittitas County, a vigil and rally were held Saturday to commemorate the event and remind the public of the impact it had on families.

"We remember and we're going to remember," said Jazmin Santacruz, the Eastern Washington Organizer for One America.

Speakers from the west side of the state along with members of the group from as far as the Tri-Cities came to the event. They were joined by the Ellensburg / Kittitas County Human Rights Coalition. The meeting of these two organizations comes a month after students protested outside the federal courthouse in Yakima.

Santacruz says its important to look to the future and understand the lasting impact.

"Those families are still suffering from the effects of what happened," she said. "Trying to piece their lives together as best as they could without their parents or brothers or sisters or, you know, whoever was taken by these raids."

I.C.E. charged 13 people with criminal offenses on Jan. 20 that included ID fraud and re-entering the country after deportation. The agency also said at the time that 16 others were accused of an administrative violation of being in the country illegally.

One America is advocating for changes to current laws and argues this is a humanitarian issue. Comprehensive immigration reform is the long-term solution, Santacruz said.

KNDO tried to contact a representative from I.C.E. but the agency does not have anyone available for media interviews on the weekend. In the past, staff have declined to comment on the Ellensburg raids.