Immigration Forum and Community Organizing in Watsonville

On March 30th, 2007, César Chávez Day, the MigraWatch Network sponsored a forum on immigration at St Patrick's church in Watsonville. The forum featured guest speakers, a performance by Teatro Sin Fronteras, and group discussion of a plans of action for when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) come back to California's Central Coast.

The MigraWatch Network was formed after ICE, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, conducted raids in Santa Cruz county on September 7-8, 2006. The sweeps were part of a nation-wide effort to round up people in violation of immigration laws, an effort ICE calls "Operation Return to Sender." During the September raids, 107 people were apprehended in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Hollister. Raids continue to terrorize communities in all corners of the nation.

Locally, the MigraWatch Network is working with several organizations to build a safe and welcoming area for all people and to work on resolutions with local government declaring sanctuary for undocumented persons of all nationalities. One important part of the organizing is the MigraWatch Hotline, a partner project with the Resource Center for Nonviolence. The hotline serves as an emergency number to alert volunteers that the Migra are in the neighborhood. Volunteers arrive on the scene to document and provide witness to the actions of ICE. Read more and view photos

previous coverage: 107 Locals Arrested in ICE Sweep || Immigration Raid Protest in Watsonville


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