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VIDEO: ICE Just Shot An Undocumented Mexican Outside Tennessee Grocery Store

Since Trump’s rise to power, the undocumented community living and working in the United States has become progressively more psychologically oppressed. Studies show that undocumented immigrants are so afraid to leave their homes for fear of ICE, they’re now avoiding routine errands like grocery shopping. The Right claims that this insidious culture of fear is simply the consequence of breaking the law. Deportation is a serious, family-altering life event that is right to be feared. Even worse is the fear of violence from ICE officers. The undocumented community is reeling after seeing those fears play out for one migrant who was shot by ICE outside a Tennessee grocery store.

On Thursday, a 39-year-old Mexican national was stopped at a traffic light. ICE agents shot two bullets at the man while he was driving his truck, claiming that act was tantamount to assault on the agents. The FBI have been called to investigate the legitimacy of the assault claim, and still don’t have adequate evident to charge the man with a crime.

It all started outside a grocery store.

@NC5_MTorres / Twitter

Local media outlets obtained footage of the incident, which occurred in Antioch, Tennessee on Thursday morning. The video depicts a seemingly normal traffic stop. The migrant was driving a white box truck, circled in red. Beside the truck is an undercover black sedan with blinking police lights.

Federal officials are describing the moment the migrant drove off as “assault” on the agents.

Bryan Cox, a spokesperson for ICE, told Buzzfeed News that the migrant was pulled over for “immigration law violations.” Cox claims that the man tried to “flee the scene” and “drove toward an agent who then fired two bullets at him.” Now that the video footage is out, concerned citizens are arriving at their own conclusions. “He drove off and not at police. No agent should fire his service arm unless his life is in danger,” tweeted @SheldonAYS.

Another Tennessee resident commented, “Not much assault here, except by the guy with the gun. We really need a president who doesn’t want to turn the U.S.A. into a police state.” Meanwhile, the other side is tweeting, “I am glad the agent is safe. I hope they find this criminal soon and throw him over the wall.”

Footage shows the ICE agents pointing their guns as the man drives off.

@NC5_MTorres / Twitter

The man was hospitalized and treated for two bullet wounds, and left a Nashville hospital the following morning. At the hospital, FBI arrived on the scene to determine whether the man assaulted the ICE agents, which might warrant the use of excessive force by ICE. The undocumented immigrant then surrendered himself to the FBI, now a victim of America’s famed police brutality. His lawyer, Andrew Free, told Buzzfeed News, “The FBI informed me that if there had been sufficient evidence to charge him when he surrendered he would’ve been arrested.”

ICE said that no matter if its agents are prosecuted, the man will still be deported on any given day.

According to Cox, the Mexican national has been deported four times and has a criminal record which includes a conviction of domestic assault. Meanwhile, the FBI is holding the man’s blood-splattered truck in custody until the investigation is over.

In response, the immigrant community is putting on “Know Your Rights” workshops for Nashville residents.

“If we educate our community and we educate the agents on how to approach this situation, instances like today will not be happening; we can avoid bad news with both agents and our community; and right now, our community is living in fear,” immigrant rights activist American Leon told News Channel 5 Nashville. His goal is to ensure that all immigrant families have an emergency plan in place if they get arrested by ICE. That plan must include arrangements for their children in the event they can never return home.

Nashville’s Mayor has all but named Trump to blame for the incident.

@DigitalProdJoey / Twitter

“The federal government’s inability to arrive at comprehensive immigration reform results in situations like what happened in Antioch this morning,” Democratic Nashville Mayor David Briley said in a statement. “This is exactly what we don’t want happening in our city.”

Just two days prior, Mayor Briley signed an executive order calling on Tennessee’s General Assembly to repeal a state house bill that bans state and local lawmakers from passing sanctuary city policies. If the bill is repealed, we can expect mayors around Tennessee to declare their cities as “sanctuaries” from ICE.

Twenty Years Ago The US Sided With Fidel Castro To Send Back Elián Gonzales, Here’s Why His Story Still Matters Today

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Twenty Years Ago The US Sided With Fidel Castro To Send Back Elián Gonzales, Here’s Why His Story Still Matters Today

Associated Press

About 20 years ago, 5-year-old Elián Gonazalez arrived three miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale from Cuba, on a makeshift raft, in search of his relatives in the states and a better life. Gonzalez’s survival through the arduous waters that would drown his mother and a dozen others along the way, might have been the media’s narrative in a different circumstance. 

The 5-year-old would soon become embroiled in an international custody battle. Did Gonzalez belong back in Cuba with his father or in Miami’s Little Havana with his uncle which many believed was his mother’s dying wish? 

The communist leader of Cuba at the time Fidel Castro wanted him back — and although the U.S. government initially placed the boy with his Cuban-exile relatives, they would eventually side with the dictator

Elián Gonzalez arrived in Florida in 1999 over Thanksgiving weekend.

Up until 2017, the United States had a “wet feet, dry feet,” policy with regards to Cuban migrants — all were welcome. The policy from 1966 allowed anyone who entered the United States territorial waters from Cuba, legally or illegally, to reside. It was revised in 1995 by the Clinton administration so that any Cubans retrieved in the territorial waters would be sent back, but if they made it onto dry land they would be allowed to stay. 

Gonzalez was found by South Florida fisherman in 1999 over Thanksgiving weekend. The 5-year-old was welcomed by the anti-communist community of Cuban exiles. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service placed Gonzalez with his paternal relatives who lived in Miami and wanted to raise him, however, his father in Cuba demanded his son be returned.

 Under the “wet feet, dry feet” policy, Gonzalez would have to petition for asylum because he was discovered before touching dry land. This small detail would cause a six-month, international legal battle and shift the way many Florida Cubans perceive American politics. 

Courts decide to send Gonzalez back to Cuba. 

While Cuban demonstrators and empathetic Americans supported the stay of Gonzalez — the governmental powers that be were building a case that suggested otherwise. A Florida family court granted custody to Gonzalez’s great uncle in Miami. However, INS had the superior authority to decide that his real legal guardian was his father in Cuba. Had the boy’s mother survived, things might have turned out differently. 

On March 21, District Court Judge Kevin Michael Moore of Southern Florida ruled that only a legal guardian can petition for asylum on behalf of a minor. But on April 19, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that Gonzalez could stay until his family could file an appeal. When government negotiations failed with the family, more extreme measures were taken to retrieve the boy.

On April 22, 2000, on orders from Attorney General Janet Reno, armed government officials raided Gonzalez’s home with guns and tear gas. A photo showing a crying 5-year-old Gonzalez with a large gun pointed to his face would later win the Pulitzer Prize. 

Gonzalez was safely repatriated back to Cuba.

The Gonzalez decision may have affected the outcome of the 2000 election.

Following the Clinton administration, the 2000 election was a turning point in American politics. Many Cubans felt alienated by the Gonzalez decision, and thus, walked away from the Democratic party altogether. 

“It was humiliating to Cuban-Americans, and the 2000 election was payback,” Miami pollster Sergio Bendixen told the Atlantic in 20001.

Republican George W. Bush won by 537 votes during a messy (and possibly corrupt) recount of the 6 million votes cast in Florida, beating out Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. Known as “el voto castigo,” Gore received only 20 percent of the Cuban vote in Florida, compared to Bill Clinton’s 35 percent in 1996. Thus, 80 percent of Cuban American voters chose Bush over Gore — which should be a lesson to both parties trying to build Latinx coalition. 

Bush would go on to start the endless war in Iraq, utilize Islamophobic rhetoric in the wake of 9/11, trigger one of the worst recessions, and until recently, was considered the worst president in U.S. history. Gore would go on to warn us about climate change decades before the discourse entered the national conversation. 

What has become of Elián Gonzalez today? 

Gonzalez, in his 20s, is now a communist and staunch supporter of the Cuban Revolution. He was welcomed with a celebration upon his deportation. On his seventh birthday, Fidel Castro himself attended his birthday party. 

Whether Gonzalez is on the right side of history is beside the point because the 5-year-old boy could not have become who he is today without instigation by the United States. Communist-sympathizer or not — he was correct about one thing: 

“Just like her [his mother], many others have died attempting to go to the United States. But it’s the US government’s fault,” Gonzalez told CNN in 2013. “Their unjust embargo provokes an internal and critical economic situation in Cuba.”

New Yorkers Plan A Rally To Support The Woman Arrested For Selling Churros On The NYC Subway

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New Yorkers Plan A Rally To Support The Woman Arrested For Selling Churros On The NYC Subway

LightRocket

A woman selling churros on the subway, a sight as common as breakdancers, panhandlers, and school children selling candy in New York City’s central public transportation system, was arrested. The incident spurred further public outcry amidst allegations of over-policing on the trains. 

For years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) which oversees public transportation in New York, has come under fire as New York City’s subway system has increasingly begun to decay with more trains out of service, delays, mechanical failures, and trains that run slower than they did in the 1950s due to mismanagement and poor maintenance.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s solution was to hire 500 more subway police officers to combat fare evasion. Following the crackdown, widespread protests have occurred in response to at least two incidents where many felt officers used excessive force to thwart subway evasion and other petty crimes.

Police captured on video bringing churro vendor to tears.

In New York City it is not uncommon to see people selling helpful items or snacks on subway platforms, which is why the treatment of one churro vendor has sparked outcry on social media. Sofia Newman filmed and shared the video on Twitter. In it, the woman is crying as officers handcuff her and take away her churro cart.

Newman doesn’t remain a bystander, she shouts at the cops for harassing the woman. 

“It’s illegal to sell food inside the subway stations,” the officer told her. 

According to Newman, the woman kept trying to speak to one of the officer’s in Spanish, but a plainclothes officer kept interrupting. 

“She kept trying to speak to one of the cops in Spanish, but the plainclothes cop kept rolling his eyes and saying things like, ‘Are you done?’ and ‘I know you can speak English’ Eventually, they cuffed her and unceremoniously dragged her and her cart away,” Newman said

The police officers eventually take the handcuffs off of the woman and let her go, only issuing her a summons.

“No matter what the law says, there is no reason why that many officers needed to encircle, demean, and police the poverty of that woman of color,” Newman wrote on Twitter.

According to the NYPD, the woman has been issued 10 summonses for unlicensed vending, however many felt her treatment was excessive for a nonviolent crime. 

New York Comptroller and advocates criticize over-policing.

“Another incident that raises serious questions about the increased police presence in our subways,” New York City Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer tweeted. “This kind of enforcement doesn’t make anyone safer.”

Governor Cuomo seems to have little support for increase in police form as the New York Times notes. Police Commissioner James O’Neil (who resigned a week ago) said overall crime is down and the subway is safe, despite Cuomo’s assertions otherwise. 

AOC has also voiced her opinions on community justice and the subway system.

Transit advocates say the cost is too high and as the MTA’s financial crisis looms, service cuts and major layoffs are being considered. The 20 percent increase in officers would cost taxpayers $663 million over a decade. Some wonder if that money would be better spent bailing out the MTA and repairing the poorly functioning subway.

According to the New York Times, “Transit groups have urged Mr. Cuomo to cancel the plans for new officers, who would work for the transit agency rather than the city’s police department, as the current force does. The governor, they say, should instead focus resources on modernizing the subway, which still relies on signal equipment that was introduced before World War II.”

Protests spawn following allegations of subway police using excessive force.

Others felt that adding more police to the subway would lead to more policing of people of color and criminalizing of the poor who must pay $6.50 to commute to work every day in a city with a $15 minimum wage and where the average one-bedroom apartment cost $2964 to rent per month.

Those fears appeared to be a self-fulfilling prophecy when a video of a cop tackling a 19-year-old unarmed teen, Adrian Napier, for evading a $2.75 surfaced. A few days later another officer was caught punching two teenagers in the face, one of which is suing

“There is no excuse for the excessive use of force and hyperaggressive policing we saw in these two incidents,” Jumaane Williams, the city’s public advocate, said at a news conference at City Hall.

To protest the subway police, 1,000 demonstrators marched through the subway and “hopped” the turnstiles, evading the fares together in solidarity. 

“We needed to react quickly because what we’re seeing is this additional 500 cops that Cuomo has authorized are waging a war on poor people of color,” Amin Husain, an organizer with Decolonize This Place, told Gothamist

“If the city isn’t going to listen to the people, then the people are going to assert their legitimacy. I don’t think anyone disagrees: there should be less cops and better service for the MTA.”