From CASA de Maryland –
Annapolis Painting Service Immigration Raid: Families Separated; A Community in Crisis
Between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Monday, June 30th, 75 federal immigration officials and 50 Anne Arundel County police conducted raids at the offices of Annapolis Painting Service and private homes.
Forty-five people were aroused from sleep, seized on the way to work, forced to the ground at gun-point, hand-cuffed in their living rooms, pulled half-clothed from the shower, prohibited from using the bathroom, arrested in front of young children, or otherwise dragged from livelihoods, communities and families.
While officials have repeatedly stated that purpose of the raid was to investigate the business practices of Annapolis Painting Services(APS), many of the people arrested had either never worked at APS or had resigned. Those who worked for APS painted homes, others were bakers, all were hard workers contributing to the Annapolis economy.
In the aftermath of this raid, hundreds of people, including small U.S. citizen children, have been thrown into crisis in a county whose executive is clearly unsympathetic to their needs. Of the 45 people taken into custody, more than half were moved out of Maryland within days and are already as far away as Texas and New Mexico.
Another 20 people are still in Maryland, but in detention centers far-flung from their families. In the aftermath in Annapolis, families are now homeless and many have lost their primary breadwinners. Families are terrified of interacting with governmental systems like schools and clinics, and certainly the police.
We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.
For that reason, we are reaching out to you. Families affected by the raid have multiple needs that only people of faith and empathy can fulfill. Washington has failed to pass immigration reform and it is our communities that are left suffering the consequences. Below are some critical areas that we need your help with.
* Volunteering free housing
* “Sponsoring” a family by raising funds to assist with emergency financial needs
* Donating money to a bond fund so those arrested who pose no risk to our communities can be reunited with their families as quickly as possible
* Volunteering free or reduced cost child care for families affected by the raid
* Organizing a collection of in-kind donations (food, toys, clothing)? to respond to the basic food and service needs of families
* Providing rides to family members so they can visit their loved ones in detention
* Visiting people in detention to keep their spirits up
There are creative ways in which this can be done. You or your congregation can adopt a family, you can host a fundraiser in your home, you can take up a special collection. We can assist you with any of these activities. If you or your congregation could help with these needs, please call CASA de Maryland at 410-732-7777 or e-mail Elizabeth Ortiz and firstname.lastname@example.org .