things that matter

As Immigration Officers Trick People To Sign Deportation Orders, These Detainees Are Peacefully Fighting Back

danielthemcelroy / Instagram

Five hundred fathers and sons detained at the Karnes Detention Center in Karnes City, Texas are in a hunger strike protesting the unfair conditions of the center and being separated from their families. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) released a statement about the hunger strike standing with the detainees after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) downplayed the hunger strike.

The men and boys say that they are tired of being inside the facility under terrible conditions. They want their immigration cases expedited so they can be reunited with their families.

“The situation at Karnes today is one of the worst I’ve seen in my twelve years of practicing law,” RAICES’ Director of Family Detention Services Manoj Govindaiah said in a statement. “The trauma caused by their separations has forced these fathers into untenable positions of fear, anger, and despair. That these families feel the need to strike shows how tired they are of the games the administration continues to play with vulnerable communities.”

The fathers will protest by going on a hunger strike and disobeying orders, while the sons will not participate in school activities.

“It is an internment camp housing vulnerable fathers and sons jailed in their care,” RAICES Communications Director Jennifer K. Falcon, said in a statement. “The same fathers who ICE has tricked into signing deportation agreements masked as reunification papers.”

Detainees claim to RAICES that they are “being treated like animals” at this facility.

According to the press release: “The strike is born out of frustration from fathers and children who can no longer bear the trauma that comes with being separated, then reunited, and now being detained for long periods of time in unjust conditions where they are continuously being ‘treated like animals.'”

Many of the fathers are choosing to fight their cases and attempt to gain asylum rather then get deported.

RAICES believes the men on strike have a good chance of remaining in the country under asylum laws.

“While ICE has not provided RAICES with a list of detainees or their immigration case status, RAICES attorneys believe that those at Karnes are fathers who were coerced into accepting deportation in order to expedite reunification with their children,” reads the press statement. “However, upon reunification and after accessing legal services, many of the detainees have learned that they have colorable claims for asylum and, rather than accept deportation, are choosing to fight their cases.”


READ: A New Study Shows The Financial Incentive For Corporations To Maintain Prisons And Detention Centers

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

A Federal Court Ruled That Trump Cannot Withhold Federal Funds From Sanctuary Cities

things that matter

A Federal Court Ruled That Trump Cannot Withhold Federal Funds From Sanctuary Cities

A federal appeals court has ruled that President Donald Trump exercised executive overreach when he signed an executive order threatening to withhold funds from “sanctuary cities” if they don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials. The decision, issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, only applies to California, which is home to several “sanctuary cities” and counties. Nonetheless the court decision was a small victory for the Trump administration, as a 2 to 1 court vote lifted the nationwide ban against the implementation of the 2017 executive order.

The ruling is a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to punish cities and states that fail to help enforce federal immigration law.

The case stemmed from an executive order issued by President Trump shortly after taking office last year. He directed his administration to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities.” The 9th Circuit said Trump exceeded his authority because only Congress can put conditions on federal funds.

“Absent congressional authorization, the administration may not redistribute or withhold properly appropriated funds in order to effectuate its own policy goals,” Chief Judge Sidney Thomas wrote for the majority.

 The decision is a victory for immigration advocates in their ongoing battle with the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has repeatedly argued that “sanctuary cities” and states allow dangerous criminals to live among law-abiding citizens. However, immigrant communities have been proven to have lower crime rates. City officials in San Francisco say turning local police into immigration officers erases trust needed to get people to report crime.

Members of Congress are calling the threat to defund sanctuary cities politically motivated.

“Put simply, the president cannot use the threat of defunding as a weapon to force local governments to abandon politics that make their communities safer,” Counsel James R. Williams told The Boston Herald.

California state Sen. Kevin de León echoed the same response saying the Trump administration cannot overrule the courts ruling.

Hundreds of cities, counties and states have become sanctuary jurisdictions to preserve the integrity of their communities.

The term “sanctuary city” is used to refer to local jurisdictions (not just cities but counties and sometimes states) that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials to find and deport unauthorized immigrants. According to The Ohio Jobs & Justice Political Action Committee, there is an estimated 500 jurisdictions that are sanctuary cities in the U.S.

The battle for “sanctuary cities” is far from over and it is immigrant communities that are at most risk.

Last month, a federal judge in Sacramento largely rejected a challenge by the Trump administration of three statewide California sanctuary laws. In April, a federal judge in Los Angeles sided with the city in a ruling that said the administration could not consider sanctuary policies in parsing out police grants. While the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the sanctuary policies, many believe that is where this case is heading. The Trump administration has yet to comment on whether it intends to appeal the decision.


READ: Trump Threatens Once Again To Shutdown The Government If He Doesn’t Get His Billions For The Border Wall

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping the share button below!

Paid Promoted Stories