Brea, CA – David Huerta, President of SEIU United Service Workers West released the following statement today:
“This afternoon, several members and staff of SEIU USWW became victims of what appears to be a deliberate and hateful crime while exercising their civil rights, when a car plowed into a crowd of families, seniors, and children outside Congressmember Ed Royce’s (R-39) Brea office. Four SEIU members and two SEIU staff were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
“The workers who visited Congressman Royce’s office today aimed to draw attention to the suffering faced by immigrants covered by Temporary Protective Status, who are now under threat by the Trump Administration with the complicity of Rep. Royce and others in Congress who have turned their backs on these refugees. We are shocked and saddened that families seeking refuge from violence in their home countries were victimized here in this country. Unfortunately, such hateful crimes have been fostered by the climate of fear and division established by the Trump Administration, and vehicular attacks have actually been actively promoted by the forces right-wing extremism.
“We call on Rep. Royce to join us in denouncing terrorist violence against peaceful demonstrators exercising their constitutional rights, and voice his support to extend TPS status for immigrants who tirelessly care for our children, clean our homes and offices, and work in our fields. There is no doubt they would suffer unspeakable hardship if they are forced to return to their countries of origin.
“Today’s peaceful demonstration, organized by SEIU USWW, UNITE HERE, and CARECEN, was permitted and held in cooperation with the Brea Police Department. We are grateful for the bravery of officers who stopped the driver before more violence was committed, and who took the perpetrator into custody.
“Our organizations pledge our full cooperation with law enforcement as this crime is investigated. Meanwhile, we refuse to be silenced in the face of oppression and violence and we will continue to elevate the voices of those calling for justice and healing.”
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PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW:
Event organizers will hold a news conference tomorrow, Friday, October 27, at noon at Rep. Royce’s Brea office to update the media and public on the condition of victims from today’s violence and echo their calls for justice for immigrant workers.
Background on today’s event:
Today’s event at Rep. Royce’s Brea Office protested the Trump Administration’s threat to end Temporary Protected Status, and called for Royce to lead on protecting immigrant workers with this legal status. These immigrant workers for decades have been highly vetted by the government, submitted to FBI checks and paid high fees to remain in this country. Their protected status is about to expire unless Congress acts. There are the more than 300,000 immigrant workers with Temporary Protected Status in the United States, migrating from countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti.