The letter and press conference were organized by the Liberation Not Deportation Coalition which consists of over 60 grassroots groups and individuals that organize on behalf of and by community members impacted by the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) and its partnership with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm of the Department of Homeland Security through a prison to deportation pipeline.
In 1997, Many Uch first walked into what was the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) building in the International District after being transferred directly from the Department of Corrections (DOC) custody after serving a three-year prison sentence. He faced an indefinite detention in an INS facility.
On Friday, Jan. 22, Uch walked out of the Department of Homeland Security building in Tukwila, WA to the applause of a dozen supporters and organizers. This time, with a Certificate of Citizenship in hand after being sworn-in as a naturalized citizen.
“This is one of the three achievements in my life that I’m proud of,” Uch said upon his release.
Accompanied by at least one light-up tambourine, a few makeshift drums, and as many as two trumpets, a group of roughly 100 protesters marched through the Ravenna neighborhood Thursday night, July 23, chanting, “Every day!” and “Whose lives matter!? Black Lives Matter!”