Two days after Rep. Lynn Woolsey — as chairwoman of the House Education and Labor Workforce Protections Committee — held a hearing on how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids affect children and families, including those affected by March 2007 raids in San Rafael’s Canal District, ICE conducted raids again today in that very same district.
Said Woolsey, D-Petaluma, in today’s news release:
“Today’s ICE raids conducted in the Canal District sent shock waves throughout our streets, schools, and neighborhoods, both because of how the raids were conducted and the chilling effect they had on our community. These raids have resulted in widespread anxiety and fear, particularly among children.
“Some children reportedly witnessed parents being taken away, and local schools reported extraordinarily high rates of absenteeism. Three of the Canal District schools canceled their Open Houses planned for tonight out of fear for the safety of parents and students in the community.
“Members of our community have a right to know what has happened in their homes and neighborhoods. On the federal level, I continue to be in close contact with senior ICE officials to find out how members of our community can get more information; how the agency worked with the school, child service agencies, and other members of the community before and during the raids; and whether detainees have received the medical care they need.
“It’s clear that ICE humanitarian voluntary guidelines for conducting workplace raids must apply to all ICE raids, because, without them, the raids will continue to have a devastating and traumatic impact on our communities and our children. Perhaps these guidelines need to be mandatory.”