Things That Matter

Neighbors Formed A Human Chain To Prevent This Man From Getting Deported And It’s The Most Beautiful Act Of Humanity I’ve Seen

Although the planned Trump ICE raids didn’t happen on the scale that many were expecting, there are still many heartbreaking stories of people being rounded up, arrested, detained, and even deported. However, in some cases entire communities have come together to fight back against ICE and to protect people from illegal arrests.

Case in point: this story out of Tennessee in which vecinos, advocates, and legal activists came together to protect a father and his son from an illegal ICE raid.

A group of vecinos created a literal human chain to protect their neighbor from ICE agents.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Hermitage, Tennessee community members rushed to a neighbor’s home to protect him and his son from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents early Monday morning, at one point forming a human chain around the van where the family had been stuck so they could safely exit into their home.

It started early Monday morning when ICE officers followed a man’s van and tried to pull it over. After the van’s driver pulled into the driveway of a house, the officers blocked him in. The man remained inside the vehicle and alerted local advocates and neighbors, the affiliates said.

ICE had come to arrest a man but the neighbors formed a chain to allow him to get into his home and then helped him drive away.

Credit: @dgordon52 / Twitter

A crowd gathered, with witnesses recording the tense scene on their cell phones and bringing supplies to the parked vehicle. Neighbors brought gasoline to keep the van running and food and water for the man and his 12-year-old son, who were holed up inside. “While there were immigrant advocate community members present, it was clear that a major thrust of the citizen response was being driven by the immediate neighbors of the man and child in the van. … It was striking to watch neighbors deliver food, water, and gasoline to help their neighbor stay in his car,” Nashville City Council Bob Mendes said in a statement describing what he watched unfold

ICE officers eventually decided to leave “to de-escalate the situation,” ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told CNN. Coxsaid he wouldn’t say “who the agency’s target or targets may have been so as to not compromise a potential future operation that would seek to arrest the individual at a different time and place.”

People were full of emotion once the story broke.

Credit: @odetteroulette / Twitter

With all the bad news in the world, many people have pretty much lost faith in ever hearing anything good again. So when the story of a group of people coming together to protect a man and his son from an ICE arrest broke, many were overwhelmed. It showed to many that even in the unlikeliest of places good people doing good things do still exist.

Like seriously, we dare you to watch this video and not at least get goosebumps.

When they form the chain so the man and his son can get to their car…omg it’s so powerful to watch a community spring into action.

Some took to Twitter to call for more of this community action.

Credit: @UnitedWeDream / Twitter

Many advocacy organizations used this story as an example of community-driven efforts to fight back against Trump’s racist immigration policies. Actions like this one protected a family from an illegal arrest. The agent’s warrant wasn’t legally sufficient to arrest the man and had it not been for the quick action of the community, ICE would of gotten away with it.

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ICE Is Arresting And Deporting Undocumented Marchers Who Attend Black Lives Matter Protests

Things That Matter

ICE Is Arresting And Deporting Undocumented Marchers Who Attend Black Lives Matter Protests

@JesusOhh_ / Twitter

Since the death of George Floyd reverberated across the world, millions of Americans have taken to the streets to demand justice and racial equality. Along with them have been other communities who are so often victimized by police – including undocumented residents.

Under the current immigration system, immigrants are subject to daily intimidation, violence, and abuse by the authorities – at the border, in their neighbourhoods, and at detention facilities. 

As the national outcry against police brutality and racial injustice intensify, and people continue to take to the streets – it’s important to stay alert and keep yourself and your family safe as ICE is looking for immigrants at BLM protests across the country.

Authorities have invited ICE agents to infiltrate Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S.

From New York to Arizona, ICE agents have actively been patrolling BLM protests, looking to arrest and deport undocumented participants.

In New York City, ICE agents violently tackled and detained a protester. In Arizona, ICE collaborated with the local police to detain immigrants who were mistakenly arrested near a protest site and have set in motion their deportation proceedings.

The presence of ICE agents at protests and their abuse of both immigrants and U.S. citizens serve as a reminder that the American immigration mechanism is yet another manifestation of systemic racism and police brutality. 

Even U.S. citizens who appear Latino are at risk of dangerous interactions with ICE.

Credit: Juan Delgado / Getty Images

Just last week, a U.S. citizen from Puerto Rico was marching in New York at a BLM protest, when he was jumped by five ICE agents. He was violently pushed to the ground, held at gunpoint, and handcuffed and searched without explanation. In a later statement, ICE declared that the man was suspected of holding a firearm, and that no arrest was made once no weapon was found. The man, who is a military veteran, had sustained several bruises from the incident and preferred not to disclose his identity. 

“It’s just really concerning to see ICE out on the street, grabbing somebody who’s peacefully protesting before the curfew, who was doing absolutely nothing wrong,” said Terry Lawson, a supervising policy attorney at the Immigrant Defense Project, in an interview for NBC News.

The migrant advocacy community has tried its best to keep people aware of the risk of joining in protests.

Credit: @JesusOhh_ / Twitter

As protests spread across the country following George Floyd’s death in late May, so did warnings to undocumented immigrants thinking about joining the demonstrations.

Messages on social media warned that ICE officers were on the ground: “ICE is at the protest, if you’re undocumented leave!” one person tweeted.

“Please if you’re of undocumented status or have DACA PLEASE PRIORITIZE YOUR SAFETY FIRST! ICE is taking advantage,” read another tweet.

“CBP and ICE agents are at protests across the country. They have made claims to the media they aren’t going to arrest people, but we know they are notorious liars,” tweeted the advocacy group United We Dream.

There were soon online guides with resources on what undocumented people could do to stay safe, because an arrest at a protest has the potential to end in deportation.

Police working with ICE is nothing new – but the fact that they were working at BLM protests put many on edge.

Credit: Ross Franklin / Getty Images

In Arizona, police and ICE have worked closely together for decades. In fact, many protesters in Phoenix last week not only demanded an end to police brutality but also urged the Phoenix Police Department to end its collaboration with ICE. Similar protests have taken place in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.

These co-policing techniques are turning any interaction with the cops into a potential crisis for undocumented immigrants and their families.

According to US Customs and Border Protection, the agency has been asked to deploy resources to “several states undertaking various operational support roles at the request of fellow law enforcement agencies.” The CBP agents were sent to “confront the lawless actions of rioters,” not to carry out an immigration enforcement mission.

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Selena Gomez Offered A Special Commencement Speech To Immigrads Celebrating Their Special Achievement

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Offered A Special Commencement Speech To Immigrads Celebrating Their Special Achievement

selenagomez / Instagram

It is graduation season and Covid-19 has changed how we conduct graduation ceremonies. This year, few high school seniors will be able to walk across the stage as states and counties protect their health and offer graduation alternatives. Celebrities have stepped up to give these seniors special commencement speeches.

Selena Gomez wanted to give immigrads a special commencement speech honoring their experience.

“Congratulations to all of the Immigrads,” Gomez says int he video. “I know that this is a virtual ceremony, but it is very real and it is very real to all of the families, and all of you, and your communities. I want you guys to know that you matter and that your experiences are a huge part of the American story.”

Gomez used her speech to connect with the immigrant graduates by relating to their stories.

“When my family came here from Mexico, they set into motion my American story, as well as theirs,” Gomez says. “I’m a proud third-generation American-Mexican, and my family’s journey and their sacrifices helped me get me to where I am today. Mine is not a unique story. Each and every one of you have a similar tale of becoming an American.”

Gomez gave her address for Define American, an immigrant-led organization.

Define American “is a narrative and culture change organization that uses media and the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America,” reads the website.

Gomez fans are here to support the singer and her speech.

Gomez has used her platform to confront major topics in American politics and society. She produced “13 Reasons Why” to enter the conversation about teenage suicide and has used her social media platform to celebrate undocumented immigrants chasing the American Dream.

Gomez ended her speech giving all of the immigrads some words of encouragement.

“So, regardless of where your family is from, regardless of your immigration status, you have taken action to earn an education, to make your families proud, and to open up your worlds,” Gomez says. “So, I’m sending all of my love to you guys today, and congratulations, and I hope that you guys are set off to be everything that you want to be.”

READ: TV Special “Graduate Together” Gave The Class Of 2020 A Special Send-Off

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