NEVER AGAIN ACTION LAUNCHES “QUIT ICE” INITIATIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Leah Fuhr

neveragainatl@gmail.com


NEVER AGAIN ACTION LAUNCHES “QUIT ICE” INITIATIVE 

In lead-up to Yom Kippur, Jewish groups urge ICE employees to repent, atone, and find new jobs


OCTOBER 7, 2019, ATLANTA, GA.—Never Again Action today launched a new initiative to encourage Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees to quit their jobs by offering them free and confidential career advice from professionals. Within hours of launching, Quit ICE has received additional offers of support from dozens of professionals nationwide and gone viral on Twitter

Never Again Action: Atlanta launched the initiative at a protest outside the Atlanta ICE field office, designed to coincide with Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, which begins Tuesday evening. Protestors encouraged ICE employees inside to listen to their consciences and do teshuvah, or repentance, for their sins by quitting their jobs.

“We planned this action for the day before Yom Kippur because we want to encourage ICE employees to atone for their complicity in the atrocities happening at our border and in immigrant communities around the country,” said Leah Fuhr, an organizer with Never Again Action. “We want to help them repent while they still can.”

“During Yom Kippur, we are called to reflect and atone for sinful actions,” Jose Caldas, a member of Congregation Bet Haverim, said in a speech at the protest. “Today, I call on the employees of our immigration courts, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and the privately operated detention facilities to examine their conscience, and not support an immigration system that unjustly treats persons in need. You don’t have to work for ICE. We will help you find a better job.”

Recognizing that conscientious objectors who work at ICE may want to defect but aren't able to quit their current jobs without finding new ones, Never Again Action: Atlanta developed a website to pair them with career advisers who can provide help with resumes, cover letters, interviewing, and other job hunting support.

What began as a small, local initiative has already expanded beyond the Atlanta area: the first ICE employee to reach out for help is from outside Atlanta.

“We want conscientious objectors inside ICE to know we see them, and we’ll help get them out,” said Fuhr. “At the same time, we're pulling out the gears of our nation's inhumane immigration system one by one. It can take months to hire a new ICE officer, and months more to train them. Our goal is to help get conscientious objectors out while disrupting operations inside ICE as much as we can.”

Protesters emphasized the urgency of taking action against ICE, and the Jewish obligation to act.

“As Jews, we are responding to Isaiah’s call throughout the ages to be the restorers of the broken places and to loosen the chains of the oppressed,” said Rabbi Josh Lesser from Congregation Bet Haverim during the protest. “Our immigration and detention system is broken and refugees and migrants are unfairly oppressed under this administration; we demand an end to the greed and cruelty in the ICE system.”

The Quit ICE website is quitice.wordpress.com or bit.ly/quitice

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Never Again Action is a mass mobilization of Jews who are organizing to shut down ICE and hold the political establishment accountable for enabling the deportation machine that has separated immigrant families across the U.S. for decades and for the current crisis at the border.

We come together as a group of differently affiliated Jewish organizers, alongside immigrants and allies, recognizing that we have seen this groundwork laid before. We understand it to be our community’s obligation to stand up when we see history repeat itself and to declare that Never Again means Never Again for anybody.

Alyssa Rubin