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Press advisory: National Grassroots and Religious Leaders Gather in DC to “Cleanse” ICE and Celebrate a New Day in America, 1/21/2009

By January 19, 2009No Comments

For immediate release
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sookyung Oh, NAKASEC, (267) 334-5918,
Mary Moreno, Center for Community Change, (202) 306-7951,

National Grassroots and Religious Leaders Gather in DC to “Cleanse” ICE and Celebrate a New Day in America, A New Hope for Immigration Reform

WHAT: Ceremonial cleansing of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters by faith leaders of all backgrounds and community forum on immigration. Staff from the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago, Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles and the National Korean American Resource & Cultural Center have worked to organize this event and will participate. EunSook Lee, executive director of NAKASEC, will emcee the community forum.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 21, 2009
11 a.m. – Gathering at Banneker Park to then march to ICE Headquarters
11:30 a.m. – Expected arrival at ICE Headquarters
1:30 p.m. – Community forum at Westminster Presbyterian Church

Meet at Benjamin Banneker Park, 10th & G Sts. SW, Washington, DC.
Rally at ICE Headquarters, 500 12th St. SW
Forum at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I St. SW

WHO: National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and its allies, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and National Capital Immigrant Coalition (NCIC). NAKASEC is an executive committee member of FIRM.

WHY: On January 21st, faith leaders and the grassroots community will gather at Banneker Park for a procession to the offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a ceremony to cleanse ICE of 8 years of repressive policies and inhumane measures. On the first day of the new administration, we will also celebrate a new day for America, and a new hope for just and humane immigration reform and worker justice.

The event at ICE will include traditional cleansing and remembrance ceremonies based on various faith traditions, as well as interfaith passages recalling suffering, struggle and hope. Aspects of the ceremony will make reference to the Old Testament story of the destruction of Jericho. More than 200 faith leaders are expected to participate, surrounded by hundreds of more immigrants and allies representing 8 states, as far away as Florida & California.

The action at ICE will be followed by a community forum at Westminster Presbyterian Church, where community members and grassroots leaders from immigrant rights organizations will share experiences and talk about building a movement that can win the change we need.