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NOLA Workers Center Begins 24 hour vigil

Immigrant Workers Launch 24 hour-long Prayer Vigil to Stop Gusman’s Racial Profiling—- Clergy and Community Demand End to ‘Living in Terror’

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at 1pm, members of the Congress of Day Laborers, New Orleans reconstruction workers, and their allies will launch a 24-hour prayer vigil at the office of Sheriff Marlin Gusman to demand an end to the racial profiling and race-based deportation of immigrant in Orleans Parish Prison (OPP).

Community members will give firsthand testimony of racial profiling and constitutional violations within OPP, including deprivation of liberty and due process, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress. Survivors of OPP will give witness accounts of Gusman’s policy and practice of funneling Latino immigrants into deportation for minor offenses. Community members will talk about the climate of terror they live in as a result, and demand that Gusman reverse his current policy of submitting to hold requests from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The prayer vigil follows Gusman’s refusal to comply with an Open Records Act requests from the Congress of Day Laborers, as well as his repeated cancellation of meetings to launch a real community dialogue on the issue, even after he publicly committed to do so in front of TV cameras on the steps of the New Orleans federal courthouse on Nov. 15, 2011 after a federal judge ordered the release of one immigrant workers from the Sheriff’s illegal custody.

Following the end of the prayer vigil on Feb. 3, clergy and community members will march from Gusman’s office to the New Orleans City Council meeting for the 3pm vote on an ordinance that would limit Gusman’s authority in expansion of Orleans Parish Prison’s jail size.

WHAT: 24 hour prayer vigil to stop Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s racial profiling policy.

WHEN: 1:00 PM CST, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011

WHO: Members of the Congress of Day Laborers; New Orleans reconstruction workers; their friends, family, and allies, and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice.

WHERE: Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, 819 South Broad Street, New Orleans, LA 70119

CONTACT: Saket Soni,, 504-881-6610

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