Survivors of Crystal City WWII Internment Camp to hold Austin press conference supporting asylum-seekers in sanctuary

March 29, 2019

Hilda Ramirez and Alirio Gamez recently re-entered sanctuary after Immigration Customs and Enforcement issued a warrant for their arrest

 

*PRESS ADVISORY*

Monday, April 1 @ 3PM CST

Survivors of Crystal City WWII Internment Camp to hold Austin press conference supporting asylum-seekers in sanctuary

Hilda Ramirez and Alirio Gamez recently re-entered sanctuary after Immigration Customs and Enforcement issued a warrant for their arrest

 

WHAT: Press conference

WHO: Survivors of Crystal City WWII Internment Camp, their descendants, sanctuary leaders, faith leaders and community members

WHEN:  April 1, 2019, 3PM CT

WHERE: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Dr, Austin, TX 78728

 

AUSTIN, Tex. — A group of Japanese American and Japanese Latin American survivors formerly incarcerated at the Crystal City Family Internment Camp during World War II, as well as their descendants, will hold a press conference on Monday afternoon in support of Hilda and Ivan Ramirez and Alirio Gamez, asylum-seekers taking sanctuary in Austin churches.

The Friends of Crystal City are visiting Austin following a pilgrimage to the site of the Crystal City Family Internment Camp and a protest in front of the South Texas Family Detention Center  in Dilley on Saturday afternoon.

Ramirez and Gamez are leaders of the Austin Sanctuary Network, a coalition of congregations and non-profit organizations that work in solidarity with immigrants and asylum seekers to resist deportations. ICE denied Ramirez and Gamez’s requests for extended deferred action and were expected to appear for their ICE check-in on March 19, a day after their temporary stay expired. Fearing arrest, Ramirez and Gamez decided to not attend their ICE check-in and instead to re-enter sanctuary in Austin churches.

Ramirez and her son Ivan have been living at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. They came to the U.S. in 2014 seeking asylum, and spent the next 11 months detained at the Karnes County family detention camp in South Texas.

More than 4,000 men, women, and children were incarcerated at the Crystal City Internment Camp as a result of racism, wartime hysteria, and the failure of political leadership. Survivors and descendants recall the human rights violations of their community during World War II and feel the need to highlight the similarities between their plight and those seeking sanctuary after fleeing from violence.

 

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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation, and criminalization are things of the past. Follow us @Grassroots_News.

Austin Sanctuary Network is a coalition of faith communities, immigrants and other community members of civil society and organizations in and around Austin, Texas, that support immigrants fleeing violence or in danger of deportation. See austinsanctuarynetwork.org or follow ASN on Twitter at @SanctuaryAustin.

 
Contact: 

Contact:Kimiko Marr kimiko@jampilgrimages.com

Rev.  Jim Rigby, jim@austinsanctuarynetwork.org

Maria Reza, mreza@grassrootsleadership.org, 512-499-8111