I occasionally point out a few of the positive ways in which some of my elected officials represent me. At my book group, we discussed what happened in the Canal district on March 6th and 7th. One teacher said that attendance was down by 25% because children were afraid if they came to school they would come home and their parents would be gone. I know people have different opinions on immigration but I feel that surely we can take care of all children and that includes humane treatment of their parents. I am pleased to read this letter by Carole Migden to Julie Myers. There is a way to do things and what happened in Marin County on March 6th and 7th was not what we want to see in the "land of the free and the home of the brave."
March 8, 2007
Julie L. Myers
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
425 I St. NW, Room 7030
Washington, DC 20536
Dear Ms. Myers:
It was distressing to read reports of recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement handling of raids in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael and a small neighborhood in Novato, California on March 6 and 7, 2007. The manner in which ICE agents conducted their business does not reflect the values and priorities of civilized society.
The Canal neighborhood is a close-knit community of hardworking people who have come to our country in search of a better life. They are our neighbors and friends and they are also vital to our local culture and economy. ICE agents’ conduct during the raid and the lack of respect shown for the dignity of human beings is not acceptable on American soil, regardless of immigration status.
Though we understand the duties of ICE, we must object to the tactics employed and their resultant effect on a whole community which has been devastated in the wake of these events. We are hearing disturbing reports from the community: of small children being handcuffed and arrested, and others being forcefully separated from their parents and left behind with no arrangements made for their care. We have heard reports of next of kin being detained while trying to pick up children of relatives apprehended by ICE, and other deplorable abuses of authority. If this is the case, it shows callous disregard for the health and well-being of the Canal neighborhood’s most vulnerable residents.
We demand that you immediately cease these heavy-handed tactics and work with local authorities on strategies to achieve your enforcement objectives in a humane and reasonable manner.
Carole Migden, Senator, 3rd District
Jared Huffman, Assembly Member, 6th District
cc: Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
Marin County Board of Supervisors
Douglas Mundo, Canal Welcome Center
Tom Wilson, Canal Alliance