By Oregon Faith News Note,
Three Oregon clergy members were arrested this week as they were protesting at the Portland Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency center. They were arrested for blocking vehicle access. The clergy members were requesting the release of 121 immigrants being held at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution.
Those arrested were Rabbi Debra Kolodny of UnShul in Portland, Reverend Michael Ellick of the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and the Reverend Barbara Nixon of Corvallis’ First United Methodist Church. All three were later released.
Here is video from KGW-TV:
Here is an excerpt from a letter explaining their protest.
For twelve years, the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ) has been working with people of faith and good conscience in Oregon to advance immigrant justice. We are in relationship with over 140 faith communities
throughout the state. We are writing to ask that you immediately release the remaining asylum-seeking individuals detained at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution into the care of the community. As of this week, many of the individuals detained have passed their credible fear interviews and are ready to be released as they await their asylum hearings before an immigration judge. Alongside partners at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and the Sikh community, IMIrJ has helped create a respite network for the individuals as they are released.Many of these individuals are fleeing violence only to be met with the isolation and desperation of incarceration. We’ve been saddened to hear reports from the Federal Public Defender of depression among the men detained and profoundly disturbed to learn that one of the men recently attempted suicide.
Read more on the story at The Oregonian