Statement from the Co-Directors
A Day Without Immigrants / Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes Strike

Washington, DC – Today, the Washington Peace Center is shutting down our offices in solidarity with “A Day Without Immigrants / Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes” strike. Now led by two women of color with different immigrant backgrounds, our organization could not overlook the significance of this citywide and nationwide action. We will continue to amplify the voices of impacted community members and call on all residents to uplift their demands.

Día Bùi: “We, as part of a city at the epicenter of an entire nation, are in the urgency of now. Across the country, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids have been rampant and xenophobia has been the oppressors tool to instill fear. We too must fight harder in resistance and spread the word in as many languages as possible. We too must increase our commitment to respond rapidly and responsibly. I am a daughter of Vietnamese refugee parents. There has not been a day that goes by that I am not reminded of the constant threat and adversities immigrants and refugees face. Which is why I am ready and proud to join the enormous citywide and nationwide efforts to take a stand today for immigrant rights. We cannot afford to spend precious time waiting for liberation to come as we must organize, strategize and take action for it. Our resistance is stronger together and the impact of today’s strike must ripple across this city to send the powerful message that immigrants are here to stay! DC presente!”

Darakshan Raja: “As an organization led by two immigrant women of color, we feel it’s important to stand in solidarity with immigrants all across the District who are on strike today. As human beings whose value and worth has been reduced down to labor, which is too often minimized, devalued and degraded, a strike is our way our reclaiming our agency and demonstrating how vital we are to the functioning of the world. Today, we stand united and reject the good immigrant and bad immigrant dichotomy. We reject that we are only valuable as a white supremacist hetropatriarchal capitalist system deems us to be. We reject being reduced down to pieces of paper that decide our status, which is how we are marked for violence.  We stand with communities who have fled violence only to find themselves facing another system of violence in the form of xenophobia, Islamophobia, bigotry, racism and crushing dehumanizations.  From raids, hate crimes to daily degradation, we stand with our immigrant communities in all our power and beauty. We will continue to resist and hope that some day borders and pieces of paper don’t determine whether we belong, exist, or deserve a life of dignity. 

In solidarity with the local immigrant community and Many Languages, One Voice (MLOV), we demand:

  • ICE out of DC – no ICE presence and declining of all ICE detainer/notification requests;
  • If we lose our federal funds for being a sanctuary, the local government must make up the difference; 
  • Immediately pass and fully fund the Language Access for Education Amendment Act of 2015 so that all limited and non-English speaking District residents can access DC resources;
  • Stop unchecked police violence committed against immigrants, including Black people and all people of color; 
  • Remove undocumented mark from DC drivers’ licenses;
  • There is no discrimination against Muslims and that DC does not support the creation of a Muslim registry or specialized surveillance of these communities;
  • Not one unjust firing of anyone who chooses to participate in the Day Without Immigrants.

Follow use the #DayWithoutImmigrants, #UnDiaSinInmigrantes and #SanctuaryDC for updates on today’s actions.