International Workers Day March

When: May 1, 2016
Where: Eureka, CA

On May 1st, 2016, True North Organizing Network organized a rally in solidarity of workers following a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Sun Valley Farms in Arcata, California. In September 2008, ICE agents raided Sun Valley Farms in Arcata, arresting approximately 23 people and placing some in deportation proceedings. In a September 4, 2008 article, Eureka’s Times-Standard interviewed one of the employees present, said “some of her co-workers were very frightened they’d be taken away even though they are legal. The whole experience was terrifying, she said.” The remaining seven workers have for the past 8 years fought their cases in U.S. Immigration Court and are currently in the last phases of their appeals process.

“We are families who came here to work. We contribute to our community and pay taxes. For humanitarian reasons, I ask the federal government to not separate me from my children, who are U.S. citizen,” said one of the workers facing deportation. “My daughter was three months old when her father was taken. I ask that the deportation order be removed and our family reunited” says the wife of one of the Sun Valley workers.

Non-immigrant Humboldt and Del Norte County residents joined their immigrant neighbors in a show of support. One supporter, Leila Roberts of Eureka, reflected, “The neighbors on my block are from Mexico, India, and Samoa, as well as Eureka born and bred. I love that.” She added, “You hear all the time how unfair and confusing our immigration system is. My undocumented neighbors deserve to feel safe and welcome. We can all find compassion for the terrible bureaucratic wasteland they’re trapped in. Comprehensive immigration reform is coming. Until then, live and let live, for goodness’ sake.”