Restoring Trust Action
By Daisy Miranda – Organizing Intern VOZ Workers Rights Education Project
On Wednesday, July 11th thirteen members and allies of Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project marched down to the Multnomah Commissioners’ office as part of the week long national campaign, Restoring Trust: Breaking ICE’s Hold on our Communities. Those that participated included several day laborers, Voz staff, and allies from Jobs with Justice, Oregon New Sanctuary Movement and Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers.
After a warm, long walk on the streets of Portland the group arrived to the offices of the Commissioners. Once there the group faced a couple of obstacles such as the security guard not permitting the entrance to the top floors unless there was an appointment that had been set to David Austin from Jeff Cogen’s staff informing Romeo Sosa, Executive Director of Voz, that if he did take the group upstairs they would find nearly deserted offices since it was lunchtime. Just as the group decided that it would be best to let Austin deliver the folders to the Commissioners Marissa Madrigal, Chief of Staff from the Office of Chair Jeff Cogen, walked into the lobby and recognized Sosa. Shortly after Madrigal invited the group to come up to her office to discuss the folders that had been brought for the Commissioners. Once the group made their way into Madrigal’s office they were also greeted by Guillermo A. Maciel, Policy Advisor for Chair Jeff Cogen. As everybody sat around the long oval table Maciel greeted everyone and thanked us for coming down to the offices. The approximately 20 minute meeting consisted of Sosa extending a thank you to the commissioners for passing Resolution No. 2012-027 and asking that they continue to support the struggle against the Secure Communities federal law. Maciel assured the group that he would personally deliver the message to Chair Jeff Cogen and stated that he looked forward to working with us in the future.
All five commissioners were handed folders with a letter that thanked them for passing Resolution No. 2012-027 back in March of 2012. The recently passed resolution encourages federal government to use prosecutorial discretion when dealing with cases of deportation. The folder also included different models of legislation that Cook County, Illinois, Santa Clara, California, Washington DC, the State of California and others have created to restrict the circumstances in which local jails carry on federal deportation programs. Most importantly those that delivered the folders demanded that a clear line be drawn between public safety officers and immigration enforcement and urged that a straightforward, bright-line policy of not holding detainees for ICE past the time when you would normally release them be established.