A Letter from WNC Businesses
Dear Congressman Meadows and Senator Thom Tillis,As business owners in Western North Carolina, we are writing to express our concern and anger about the April 2018 ICE activity in WNC, and to ask both of you to immediately intervene on behalf of the members of our community who were detained.
This situation has had a negative impact on businesses, and has caused unnecessary trauma for many families. By creating a climate of fear and uncertainty, ICE caused reliable workers to miss work and regular customers to avoid leaving their homes to make purchases, impacting the bottom line for many of us. By detaining workers, ICE is creating hardships for employers, as well as for the families those employees support.
Buncombe County is not new to ICE raids; in 2008 over 30 workers were taken by surprise at the Mills Manufacturing. In 2012, Shogun Restaurant was raided, causing them to lose 12 workers. These businesses and workers did not receive any support from elected officials in the aftermath of those stressful disruptions. We are now in the aftermath another disruption. During the week of April 14, from Yancey County all the way to Burke County, our immigrant neighbors were threatened, and 26 community members were picked up by ICE and placed into custody. This is an opportunity for you to take right action where your predecessors failed.
Our understanding is that you consider yourselves pro-business. As our representatives, we are asking you to call ICE to task for creating economic and emotional upheaval in our community. Please use your positions to return the detainees to their jobs and families as soon as possible.