Things That Matter

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

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

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Protestors In Puerto Rico Bringing A Guillotine To The Governor’s Mansion Is Just Another Reminder Boricua’s Don’t Mess Around

Things That Matter

Protestors In Puerto Rico Bringing A Guillotine To The Governor’s Mansion Is Just Another Reminder Boricua’s Don’t Mess Around

@JoshuaPotash / Twitter

Like every other Latin American country and state, Puerto Rico has a long and torrid history with racism.

On the island, hundreds of protestors are now also taking place in the demonstrations that were sparked by the death of African-American police victim, George Floyd. In an effort to combat racism, protesters marched outside the mansion of Governor Wanda Vázquez in Old San Juan. Meanwhile, they chanted and demanded justice for George Floyd while also demanding change in Puerto Rico.

Ignoring the island’s coronavirus curfew, protestors took to the street and protested with all sorts of messages, but the one that truly caught those of us watching was the moment when protestors brought in a guillotine.

As anger and frustration continued to fuel the demonstrations, protestors brought in a massive guillotine to the Governor’s Mansion.

Shariana Ferrer-Núñez, a member of Puerto Rico’s Feminist Collective Under Construction, told Democracy Now that “We recognize that we must dismantle white supremacy, we must dismantle a racialized system, we must eradicate anti-Black violence” about the demonstrations.

According to the blog Orlando Latina, “For Puerto Rico’s elected class, the guillotine ought to be a terrifying symbol, as indeed it was during the French Revolution. But I doubt it, for the political class is a self-serving, self-dealing “firm” that has become unmoored from the people on the ground and oblivious to its needs.”

Here’s hoping this symbol hits elected officials in Puerto Rico enough to attempt to make change.

Here’s How You Can Help The Black Lives Matter Protesters Around The Country

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help The Black Lives Matter Protesters Around The Country

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Social media has been filled with images of protests from across the country. Peaceful protesters have been beaten, shot with rubber bullets, choked with tear gas, and arrested by police officers. With hundreds of people arrested for protesting the murder of unarmed Black people by police officers, here’s how you can help.

How To Help Minneapolis

Minneapolis is the epicenter of the recent civil unrest in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd by police. Floyd was accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Minneapolis police officers responded and fired police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he died. There were three officers on Floyd and he was cuffed as Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck.

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund – Floyd’s family has started the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund to establish financial help for his family. The fund has raised more than $7 million. According to the text on the GoFundMe page, a portion of the money collected will go to caring for Floyd’s children and setting up educational funds for them. The family has a second fund started by his sister.

Minnesota Freedom Fund – The Minnesota Freedom Fund is using donations to pay bail for people arrested for protesting in Minneapolis. The fund was established to fight back against the cash bail system in the U.S. that disenfranchises people who can’t afford to pay to avoid being incarcerated before their trial.

How To Help New York

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by @mal.mero

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Brooklyn Community Bail Fund – The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is using its current fundraising to help those arrested in New York while protesting. New York City was one of several American cities that saw widespread protests demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd.

How To Help Atlanta

The Action Network – Atlanta has seen sustained peaceful protests since George Floyd was killed. The Action Network is raising the funds now to help those in Atlanta pay for their bail if they are arrested while protesting in the state’s capital.

How To Help Chicago

Black Lives Matter, Chicago Chapter – The Black Lives Matter chapter of Chicago is asking for donations to maintain the organizing happening in the streets. The chapter has joined other chapters around the country in orchestrating major protests demanding police reform. Donations to the organization help to sustain them during this time.

How To Help Los Angeles

Peoples City Council Freedom Fund – Due to COVID-19, Los Angeles has set all bails to $0 to limit the spread of the virus in confined places, like jails. However, community leaders are monitoring to make sure that policy is still used for protesters. The Peoples City Council Freedom Fund is helping protesters by providing them legal support, medical bills, transportation, supplies, and protective gear to protesters.

How To Help Nationally

Credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Unicorn Riot – Unicorn Riot is an independent, nonprofit media organization offering on the ground reporting. According to the website, Unicorn Riot is free of corporate and government funding so they can cover stories as they see fit.

The Bail Project – The Bail Project is a bail fundraiser that is giving the same help nationally that many organizations offer locally. A donation to The Bail Project goes to helping people who are being arrested pay their bail anywhere int he country.

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