FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando
Phone: 206-251-6658 Email: email@example.com
“Terror in Twilight” Report from Seattle University shows the human impact of Border Patrol’s activity in Forks, WA
Seattle, WA, December 12, 2013: A report released by the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law and the Forks Human Rights group captures years of documentation by community members and shows the human impact of Border Patrol’s activity in the area.
This report signals the negative consequences of a federal detention bed mandate and punitive enforcement policies for our local communities. Forks has become the poster child on the northern border of what a bloated budget for enforcement only generates: “Broken families, broken communities, lack of trust in government, and fear” said Lesley Hoare, a member of Forks Human Rights who helped gathered the documentation.
This report tells the stories of a number of community members who have been stopped by Border Patrol on the Olympic Peninsula. It addresses the agency’s participation in routine local policing matters, and the heavy involvement of local law enforcement agencies in primary immigration enforcement. Although each agency has its own jurisdiction and rules to follow, the distinctions between them have become blurred and distorted. As in the infamous case of the death of Benjamin Roldan Salinas, this has sometimes had tragic and deadly consequences.
The report also acknowledges the positive changes achieved through grassroots efforts and litigation, including the lawsuit against Border Patrol for unwarranted traffic stops and halting the practice of Border Patrol officers acting as interpreters in routine police matters. The report gives specific recommendations on how to mitigate the consequences of heavy enforcement in an area with no land border and minimal cross-border activity.
At the national level, Legislators should ensure that any immigration reform measure clearly differentiates border surveillance from interior immigration enforcement, and President Obama should stop deportations while immigration reform is being decided.
At the State level, Legislators should approve the Trust Act. This Act will help rebuild trust between immigrant communities and local police by establishing statewide standards for responding to S-Comm detainer requests.
Border Patrol should discontinue the practice of detaining workers in the woods without probable cause, and they should discontinue stopping people under the pretext of checking for salal harvesting permits and other civil non-immigration matters.
Report is available upon request, to contact the lead author email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law, Forks Human Rights/ Comité de Derechos Humanos community group, and Latino Advocacy, LLC consulting firm for community groups working for immigrant rights and racial justice.