Nebraska Organizations take Joint Position on August 8 Immigration Raids in Nebraska
Media Release | August 9, 2018
August 8, 2018 — Nebraska immigrant advocacy organizations (Center for Rural Affairs, Centro Hispano Comunitario de Nebraska, Heartland Workers Center, Immigrant Legal Center, and the Multicultural Coalition of Grand Island, Nebraska Appleseed) condemn the arrests of hard-working Nebraskans and the tearing apart of families in a joint response to Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids across central Nebraska:
“Raids like those reported today send shock waves of devastation across Nebraska communities, breeding fear and trauma. We hear from people across our state who live in terror of being separated from their families. This unjust damage spreads as our neighbors are scared to lead their lives, go to work, or leave their children, who also are often traumatized, in the care of schools,” said Sergio Sosa, executive director of the Heartland Workers Center in Omaha.
Audrey Lutz, executive director of the Multicultural Coalition in Grand Island, said, “We are devastated by the increased presence of ICE and other DHS agents in our community. Their resulting efforts are not successes for safety or justice. Our community will not tolerate this kind of federal intervention, which threatens our core value of kindness and sends a message to the rest of the nation that we approve of the atrocities of family separation and inhumane holding conditions. Grand Island is a player in the global economy because of the contributions of people born from all over the world, living and working here despite the cruelties of our outdated immigration system.”
Shane Ellison, legal director at Immigrant Legal Center in Omaha, said, “I’m proud of our legal team who has worked through the night to address the emergency legal needs of the individuals who were detained and their children and families whose lives are in chaos.”
Congress has a duty to uphold human dignity. Nebraskans are urged to call on their members of Congress to stop this harm caused by the White House’s anti-immigrant policies and act on immigration reform legislation that resolves our outdated system, keeps families together, and allows hardworking Nebraskans to continue to contribute to our communities.
The removal process happens quickly. It is important that detainees and their families know the Pro Bono Detainee Project is available for the urgent legal needs of those in detention. Forms are available at immigrantlc.org/get-help/ and should be completed at once.
Individuals needing immigration assistance can call the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline (NILAH) at 1.855.307.6730. Because of the high volume of calls, if placed on hold, please press 9 to leave a voicemail. NILAH staff will confirm if callers are eligible for free or low-cost immigration legal services, and if so, make a referral for a legal consultation with an immigration attorney. For more information, visit nilah.org
Center for Rural Affairs
Centro Hispano Comunitario de Nebraska
Heartland Workers Center
Emiliano Lerda, J.D., LL.M.
Immigrant Legal Center
Multicultural Coalition of Grand Island
Grand Island, NE