Check Us Out On Twitter and Facebook!

Contact Voz


Our office is at 1131 SE Oak, Portland, OR 97214

Map to our office

(503) 233-6787


Martin Luther King Jr. Worker Center is at 240 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., 97232

Map to Martin Luther King Jr. Worker Center


Nov 7, 2014 – Aguirre released

For immediate release: Nov 7, 2014

Community labor leader Francisco Aguirre RELEASED!

Community celebrates with relief and resolves to continue to work for  freedom and justice for all undocumented people and their families

Photo and video embedded below.

UPDATE, 8:07 am, Saturday Nov 8: Aguirre was released from Multnomah County Justice Center at approximate 10:04 pm Friday, Nov 7, 2014, to his wife and a crowd of approximately 20 supporters who had been patiently waiting outside the jail since 8:00 pm that evening. He is  back in sanctuary at Augustana Lutheran church with his family and community. His federal case will be heard on January 13, 2015.

After smiling with his fist raised to the gathered crowd, and hugging his wife, Aguirre began to speak:

“When i was inside,”  he said, with a dramatic pause, “I met so many brothers that this injustice system has put them in jail. They have similar cases. They get picked up on the street, in their homes, ICE showed up with no warrant, they get detained. Now they are in the process of being deported, of being separated from their kids. ‘Don’t forget us,’ they say, “because we are here.’ So we have to keep fighting for our brothers and sisters, because they can’t do anything. but we can.”

“We are very thankful that justice was served today and that Francisco is now reunited with me and his three children tonight,” said Rosa Navarro, speaking on behalf on the Aguirre family. “We are also hopeful that ICE will respect his U-visa process and that my husband can come home and be with his family in peace, without fear of persecution from ICE.”

Please join us for an Interfaith Service to celebrate the reunion of Francisco Aguirre with his family and to remember the 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States, and to call for the immediate administrative relief that can prevent the pain and anguish of  the 1100 individuals who are separated from their families each day through deportation.

The Interfaith Service for Freedom will be held at Augustana Lutheran Church at 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 9, 2014, at 2710 NE 14th Ave (Corner of  NE 15th Ave and NE Knott).

# # #

Beloved Community Labor Leader Released from Multnomah County Justice Center at approximately 10:04 pm to his wife and approximately 20 supporters, They are back in sanctuary at Augustana Lutheran Church. Photo credit: Peter Parks.

VIDEO: Community labor leader Francisco Aguirre Released! (Video: Peter Parks; Music: Francisco Aguirre)

Portland, ORe. — Today a federal judge ordered the temporary release of community labor leader Francisco Aguirre. Aguirre spent 45 days in sanctuary with the support of hundreds of community leaders from faith, labor and immigrant rights organizations. He was arrested yesterday after he appeared at the Clackamas County Courthouse where he was accepted into the diversion program.

According to an AP report, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed ICE has lifted its detainer on Aguirre, meaning his removal from the U.S. is on hold pending the outcome of his federal case.

“Today is an incredible day of justice for Francisco and his family. We applaud the judge’s decision, and it is a good feeling to know that in Oregon, you can find justice and a humane approach to treat our brothers and sisters as they deserve. We will not stop until there is not one more deportation,” said Pastor Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church, where Francisco stayed in sanctuary.

“We are very thankful that justice was served today and that Francisco can be reunited with me and his three children tonight. We are also hopeful that ICE will respect his U-visa process and that my husband can come home and be with his family in peace, without fear of persecution from ICE,” said Rosa Navarro, on behalf on the Aguirre family.

The coalition Unidos Con Francisco (United with Francisco in English) held a rally shortly before his hearing as well as packed the courtroomroom with dozens of supporters. They are awaiting his final release to greet him and celebrate this amazing ruling by the court.

The group plans to ensure that he is indeed safe from detention, as well as to continue efforts of the sanctuary movement to support other Oregonians in positions similar to that of Francisco.

A statement from Francisco will be released as soon as he is safe and out of the justice center. Additionally there is expected to be over a thousand people, including faith and spiritual leaders, elected officials, and community leaders who will gather Sunday at 6pm at Augustana Lutheran church to celebrate his return and continue the fight for immigrant justice.

Pastor Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church updates the crowd immediately after the court hearing. Photo Credit: Douglas Yarrow.
Rae Anne Lafrenz of Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice expresses hope for a good outcome before the hearing this afternoon. Photo Credit: Douglas Yarrow.
Community supporters rally in front of the courthouse before todays court hearing before filling the courtroom. Photo credit: Douglas Yarrow.
Pedro Sosa, American Friends Service Committee, rallies the crows before the court hearing. Photo credit: Douglas Yarrow.
A solidarity rally in DC for administrative relief tonight sends a message of solidarity. Photo credit; B Loewe.


May Day March and Rally



What: May Day Rally and March

When: May 1, 2014: Gather at 2:00.. Rally at 3:00.. March at 4:00

Where: SW Park Blocks at SW Salmon St. and SW Park Ave.                       

PORTLAND, OREGON April 22,2014 – As we approach International Workers Day in 2014, we find ourselves facing unprecedented cuts to public services including education, street and park maintenance, social services, unemployment insurance and much more. As a result we are seeing a rapid increase in symptoms of poverty including houselessness and food insecurity. Along with all of this we continue to experience attacks on people of color, immigrants, working families, women, students and the right to organize.

Plans for the annual May Day march and rally in Portland are taking form as a broad range of community organizations and labor advocacy groups, including local unions, prepare to celebrate International Worker’s Day. “The gap between the haves and the have nots continues to widen as corporate control of the economy grows and government corruption increases,” said Ben Marston of Unite Here, a union representing low wage hotel workers. “Our members struggle to make ends meet and often have to rely on social services such as food stamps even though they work full time. Workers are starting to fight back as we have seen recently with unions like the Portland Association of Teachers, the city workers of DCTU and the Professors at PSU who all threatened to strike in order to force good faith negotiations and a fair contract.”

According to Romeo Sosa of the immigrant rights organization Voz, “The immigrant population has always played a major role in the May Day event. Despite a growing attack on undocumented workers and their families, the community is standing strong in saying ‘no more’ to deportations that are separating children and parents.” Sosa continues, “We have collaborated with unions and community groups like Jobs with Justice and the homeless advocacy group Right 2 Dream Too. We see that our struggle against this corrupt system connects us all and that through solidarity we will become strong enough to create a new and just world.”

People will begin to gather at the South Park Blocks at 2:00 PM and the rally begins at 3:00 PM with speakers and musicians who will communicate the challenge to the community to confront issues of poverty wages, homelessness, wage theft, foreclosures, unemployment, racial and gender inequality,  the need for a just and humane immigration reform, climate change and other affects of the systemic attack on working people.  At 4:00 PM a march will begin through downtown Portland and will end back at the South Park Blocks at about 5:30 PM when there will be a short wrap up rally with some entertainment and speakers.


Greg Margolis……503-285-6603 or 503-806-9164 [cell]

Marco Mejia……503-740-8035

Endorsed by:

*VOZ Workers Rights Education Project *Portland Jobs with Justice *United Auto Workers *Industrial Workers of the World – Portland *PSU American Association of University Professors *Oregon Fair Trade Campaign *Oregon Jericho *Dare to Struggle *Service Employees International Union – Local 503 *Portland Peaceful Response Coalition *Oregon Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals *Portland Anarchist Black Cross *Portland Central America Solidarity Committee *United Brotherhood of Carpenters – Local 156 *American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees *Oregon AFL-CIO *Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines *All-African People’s Revolutionary Party  *Portland Solidarity Network *American Friends Service Committee *Right to Survive *International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers – Local Lodge 1005 *Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Portland *Right 2 Dream 2 *American Federation of Teachers – Oregon *National Association of Letter Carriers – Branch 82 *Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon *International Longshore and Warehouse Union *Hella 503 *Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice *Comite De Solidaridad Y Apoyo Mutuo

Voz and ACT Network Victorious in New ICE Holds Ruling

On April 16, 2014, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton joined other sheriffs from Clackamas and Washington countries by announcing that they would no longer comply with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s requests to keep undocumented immigrants in jail for deportation.  This came after a U.S. Districts Court judge ruled that Clackamas County had violated a woman’s Fourth Amendment rights by keeping her jail longer than her two day sentence.  As a result of the decision of Sheriff Staton, other counties in Oregon have followed.

Immigration detainer or ICE holds are a routine request from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the Oregon sheriffs detain a person beyond the time the person would otherwise be released. As a result of these holds, hundreds of families were torn apart, immigrants were afraid to report crime minimizing community safety, and tax payers were subjugated to paying $168 per night for each inmate in jail. According to the Oregonian, from January 1, 2011 to August 31, 2012, ICE’s policies resulted in 1,465 holds in Multnomah County, all of which was due to sheriffs like Staton believing that ICE holds were mandatory when in fact they are not.

All of this changed on April 11, 2014, when Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart, U.S. Districts Court for the District of Oregon ruled that Clackamas County was liable for violating Maria Miranda-Olivares Constitutional rights. Ms. Miranda-Olivares filed her lawsuit in March 2012 after being unlawfully held in jail for two weeks. David Henretty, a former Voz Executive Board member and the attorney representing Maria stated that, “This case makes clear that if a county decides to hold a person beyond lawful custody on the charges, that extended incarceration must satisfy the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. The presence of a request from ICE to prolong the incarceration does not overcome this fundamental right.” Ms. Miranda-Olivares now awaits a trial to determine the amount of her damages.

Despite the influential court case, much of why Sheriff Staton changed his policy on ICE holds was thanks to Voz and their partner, Activists Coming Together for Justice and Dignity (the ACT Network) who have been working diligently over the past two years to put a stop to the unlawful holdings. Voz and the ACT Network have pressured Sheriff Staton to change his policies through the use of rallies, letter writing, and community forums that showcased the stories of brave undocumented community members impacted by ICE holds.

This ruling was the tipping point  after years of pressure and awareness by the ACT Network. As a result sheriffs across Oregon stepped up to put a stop to ICE holds stating they would no longer comply with ICE requests. Immediately following Sheriff Staton’s decision 50 immigration holds were lifted for jail inmates in the Portland area and is expected to affect hundreds of Multnomah County inmates within the next year. Given Sheriff Staton’s new policies, families will no longer have to fear being torn apart, communities will be safer, and tax payer’s money can go to more productive community activities.