We’ve been warned about social media becoming our worst enemy; we have to be careful with what we post. It’s even more crucial to be careful if your immigration status is not yet permanent.
According to attorney Matthew Kolken, immigration officers, “routinely review social media in making assessments of eligibility for immigration status, or alternatively, if they are planning on charging someone with a violation of immigration law.”
As Latinos, we happen to be very opinionated about basically EVERYTHING, but be careful if you take to social media to rant. Take 24-year-old Emad El-Sayed for example. He posted a picture of Donald Trump on Facebook with the share text: “wouldn’t mind serving a life sentence for killing this guy,” because he would be “doing the world a favor.” Whether this was a joke in poor taste or a way to vent frustration against Trump’s racist and hateful rhetoric, U.S. authorities did not see it this way. The post was taken as legitimate threat against Trump.
El-Sayed lived in the states with a student visa and was studying at the Universal Air Academy in Los Angeles. When the school saw the post, they reported him to the feds and took away his I-20 document which made his student visa useless. El-Sayed was arrested, but eventually released to “voluntarily” return to Cairo, Egypt.
“Immigration officers are absolutely looking at social media,” said immigration attorney Danielle M. Claffey. “We’ve come to realize that, when it comes to immigration issues, the government will definitely use social media to investigate an individual.”
All this is not to say you shouldn’t have a voice…just be thoughtful on social media when immigration status is at play.
Read more about the dangers of social media on immigration status from Vice here.
News broke over the weekend that President Trump would be delaying planned immigration raids throughout the country. He tweeted that the deportation operations would be postponed by two weeks to see if Congress can make changes to asylum laws and work out legislative groundwork with Democrats.
As news of the roundups became public knowledge on Friday, faith and immigration groups prepared and informed communities of their rights and procedures in case of an interaction with ICE officials. But the sudden abrupt reversal did little to relieve or reassure immigrants and their supporters.
Migrant communities across the country are becoming familiar with this feeling.
President Trump’s reversal came as immigrant advocates prepared undocumented immigrants for a highly publicized operation. ICE officials were expected to target more than 2,000 families with pending deportations orders. But even with a delay, fears are mounting for many who don’t know what to expect next for themselves and their families.
Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools, says that President Trump’s delayed immigration raids do nothing but toy with immigrant communities livelihoods.
“We don’t trust him in any way,” Murillo told NBC News. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”
This isn’t the first time President Trump has used immigration fear tactics to push for legislation.
Back in 2017, President Trump attempted to terminate the Obama-era program that protected so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. It was a failed attempt to pressure Congress in passing an immigration bill that included new restrictions on legal immigration. Earlier this year, a 35-day government shutdown ended without Democrats agreeing to the president’s terms, funding for a border wall.
There has been pushback from politicians and immigration advocates that are calling the raids unjust.
According to CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the raids. It was the next day that the President would announce the delay. Pelosi approved of President Trump’s announced delay and said it would give Congress enough time to work on immigration reform.
“Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together,” Pelosi tweeted.
Some are calling the move a tactic to help benefit Trump’s effort to secure funding for immigration enforcement. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently in the midst of negotiating legislation to allocate funds to different agencies, that includes ICE. The agency is dealing with record large-scale migration of Central American families and unaccompanied children to the U.S.-Mexico border, currently at a 13-year high.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the strongest advocates against ICE deportations. The organization says President Trump’s immigration policies have installed fears in communities across the country.
“Our communities shouldn’t have to live in fear that parents won’t come home from work, or kids won’t return from school, or a knock at the door could rip a family apart,” the ACLU said in a tweet. “This isn’t Donald Trump’s America, it’s ours. We can resist his deportation agenda — together.”
Many on social media are using their platform to share tips and advice in case an individual finds themselves interacting with ICE.
Within hours that news broke that immigration raids would be happening, people took to social media to share helpful tips. From informing people to stay in their homes and to not answer their doors, by the time President Trump announced the delay on Saturday, people were ready.
Images across social media showed ICE checkpoints and areas of interest where deportation officials might show up. But even as more time is given to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, many aren’t taking any risks.
“He’s making an announcement as if these deportations are not already happening,” Murillo said. “He’s saying if Democrats don’t do what I want them to do, deportations will start in two weeks. Deportations have been happening since he went into office. It’s coming, maybe it will turn a little bit, stay on guard. We can’t ever let our guard down.”
The Dominican Republic has been dealing with some really horrible press lately. Hundreds of people are falling ill while visiting the island and 11 tourists from the U.S. have died since last May. A bulk of the deaths occurred in the last couple of months and people are getting concerned. However, some people are trying to make sure the entire country isn’t thrown away because of this news.
The Dominican Republic is facing some really hard press lately and it has people concerned.
There are at least 11 Americans who have died while in the Dominican Republic or shortly after coming home from their vacations. Hundreds more have reported falling extremely ill while on vacation. The most notable examples of people falling ill are at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana. According to reports, the culprit is the liquor in the minibars in the guest rooms.
The stories have people on edge about possible trips and outings to and in the Dominican Republic.
While everyone is showing legitimate concern or cracking jokes, Dominicans are getting pretty upset about the collective call to cancel the DR. Not only are they bothered that their home country is being treated with such disrespect.
Jokes aside, here are some reasons people want you to stop trying to cancel the Dominican Republic.
Sasha Merci is not here for you and your willingness to just write the whole country off. Her biggest concern about the movement to cancel trips to the DR is the lack of people looking to find solutions for what is happening in the country.
And she’s not alone.
For so many people, the deaths in the Dominican Republic, while horrible, should not keep people scared from traveling to the Caribbean island. According to officials on the island, the deaths in the DR are not abnormal when compared to years before, however, the reaction to the deaths is at a peak.
There are also DR defenders who claim those canceling the island have never even been.
There are plenty of people telling people to cancel their trips to the island. However, there are other people pushing for people to educate themselves so they can still go to the Dominican Republic, have a good time, and stay healthy.
Those who are already planning a trip to the Caribbean island are staying firm and telling everyone else to calm down.
It does seem like a severe reaction to a level of deaths that Dominican officials claim to be normal for this point in the year. People are joking that they just won’t touch the mini bar to guarantee their safety. However, the consumption of alcohol is one of the main factors linking the deaths together.
A couple of social media users are hoping the fear of traveling to the Dominican Republic will lower the cost of plane tickets.
Low key, who wouldn’t be down for a trip to the DR if the tickets are just $108? It seems like too good of a trip to miss out on. Cheap, international, and a quick trip since it is pretty close to the U.S. According to reports. 6.5 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic in 2016 and 2.2 million of them are from the United States.
Despite the number of people calling for understanding, some people are just ready to write-off the whole nation.
People were quick to defend the island in the face of this comment. A lot of commenters pointed to all of the things happening in the U.S. and asked why there hasn’t been a call to cancel the U.S.
If you are canceling your trip to the Dominican Republic, there are people willing and ready to take your tickets.
The deaths in the Dominican Republic are tragic. No one should be losing their lives while on vacation in a resort. However, while calling for a boycott of a country might feel good and necessary, it does not to address the problem. Fortunately, authorities are starting to investigate the deaths to try and prevent them moving forward.