Media Contact

February 25, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHOENIX - ACLU of Arizona Legal Director Dan Pochoda sent a letter today to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, City Manager Ed Zuercher and Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia urging them to allow protestors to continue fasting in front of ICE headquarters in downtown Phoenix.

City officials have threatened to remove and arrest the protesters, who are speaking out against the unjust detention and deportation of family members and friends.

"The ACLU of Arizona strongly urges the City of Phoenix to abandon the apparent plans of members of the Police Department to arrest persons presently engaged in a fast in front of ICE headquarters on Central Avenue," Pochoda writes in the letter. "The persons fasting have relatives in an ICE detention facility in Eloy who are being processed for deportation despite presenting no danger to the community and who represent the predictable results of the misguided national policy of mass deportations."

"As announced by Puente, the sponsoring organization, the fasting would last two weeks and eight days have elapsed," Pochoda continued. "This peaceful vigil is of great importance and has attracted national attention. The City should now work with the parties to enable it to continue for the remaining six days, and end the threats of force and use of the criminal process. Such unnecessary actions will create individual hardship and negative publicity for the City."

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