Things That Matter

Woman Records Scene Inside Family Car As ICE Pulls Husband Out While Daughters Cry And Scream

Milwaukee Police Department is facing backlash after officers with the department were caught on camera helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) execute an arrest. The collaboration is troubling for the immigrant community in Milwaukee because Chief of Police Alfonso Morales previous said that local law enforcement would not collaborate with the immigration officials. Several police departments across the country, including Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, have stated that they would not adhere to federal mandates by helping out ICE when looking for backup and/or information during their raids. Other cities, police departments have been mandated to cooperate with ICE.

The Milwaukee Police Department is accused of assisting ICE to detain a father who now leaves behind his wife and three daughters.

Credit: Kristine De la Cruz / Facebook

The Milwaukee Police Department released the following statement, according to the Shepherd Express that expresses they assisted ICE because they were requested to: 

“Enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws is the responsibility of the federal government, particularly the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Accordingly, the Milwaukee Police Department does not unilaterally undertake immigration-related investigations and does not routinely inquire into the immigration status of persons encountered during police operations. This prohibition does not preclude the department from cooperating with federal immigration officials when requested, or from notifying those officials in serious situations where a potential threat to the public is perceived.”

The only reason the public is aware of this detainment by ICE and the Milwaukee Police Department is because of a local immigration organization was informed of the detainment as soon as it was happening and recorded the entire thing.

Credit” Voces de la Frontera / Facebook

Voces De La Frontera was informed that  Jose Alejandro De la Cruz-Espinoza was being detained as he was parked outside of his house after his wife called them on their hotline. The hotline was set up for any undocumented immigrant to request help. The video shows individuals confronting police officers and asking them if they had a warrant, and if they had shown the warrant to De la Cruz-Espinoza family. 

An immigration advocate asked a Milwaukee police officer why he was there helping ICE, the officer said that they just happen to be in the area.

Credit: Voces de la Frontera / YouTube

The unnamed man tells the officer “we pay your taxes, you’re supposed to be working for us.” The officer responds by saying, “that’s why we are here, to make sure you don’t meddle in their business.” 

“I just can’t believe the Milwaukee Police Department is collaborating with ICE.”

Credit: Voces de la Frontera / YouTube

The heartbreaking video shows the moment that De la Cruz-Espinoza steps out of the car and his daughters are there screaming and crying. A woman in the video, who Voces De La Frontera said is his wife, said in the video that ICE agents reached into her car through the window and unlocked it. “They wouldn’t let us say goodbye, they wouldn’t let us hug him. Nothing,” according to a Voces de la Frontera press release. “They physically dragged my daughters out of the car, and they did not provide a search warrant. They terrorized my family.”  

The video also has the immigration advocate saying “Chief Morales is gonna love to see police collaborating with ICE.”

Late last year, according to the Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Police Department Chief Morales said that the immigration community should not fear the police and that they would not work with ICE. “I promised to bring back the public trust. My job is to bring (back) trust from the community and work with them; my job is not to go out and enforce those types of laws.” He did say, however, that the police would work with ICE in the cases of “homicides, armed robberies or high-level drug offenses.” He added, “We are not a sanctuary city — we’re here to enforce the laws,” Morales said.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Milwaukee, released the following statement: 

“At a time when the MPD and Chief Morales should be focusing on improving practices and rebuilding damaged relationships with the community, their decision to join in immigration enforcement undermines the confidence and trust of Milwaukee residents. Having local police participate in immigration enforcement also makes our city less safe. When people believe that police officers will enforce immigration laws against them, they become less willing to report crime or serve as witnesses for fear that the police will help deport them. Moreover, this arrest ran counter to the intent and spirit of MPD’s own Standard Operating Procedure 130, and prior statements by Chief Morales. It must end.”

Here’s a video shot by De la Cruz-Espinoza’s wife from inside the car.

Video of Alex being arrested illegally this morning. A Milwaukee Police Officer reached in my car and unlocked the doors without a warrant.

Posted by Kristine De la Cruz on Monday, September 23, 2019

A Gofundme page has been set up for the family. Click here if you’d like to help.

READ: Louisiana Police Detained A US Citizen After A Judge Cleared His Release Because He’s A Latino

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Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

Entertainment

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

The media advocacy group Define American recently released a study that focused on the way immigrant characters are depicted on television. The second-annual study is entitled “Change the Narrative, Change the World”.

Although the study reports progress in some areas of onscreen representation, there is still a long way to go.

For example, the study reported that half of the immigrant characters depicted on television are Latino, which is consistent with reality. What is not consistent with reality, however, is how crime-related storylines are still an overrepresented theme in these storylines.

The study shows that on television 22% of immigrant characters have crime storylines show up as part of their narratives. These types of storylines further pedal the false narrative that immigrants are criminals, when in reality, they’re just everyday people who are trying to lives their best lives. Ironically, this statistic is an improvement on the previous year’s statistics in which crime themes made up 34% of immigrants’ stories on TV.

These numbers are further proof that the media feels stories of Latino immigration have to be about sadness and hardship in order to be worth watching.

According to Define American’s website, their organization believes that “powerful storytelling is the catalyst that can reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.”

They believe that changing the narratives depicted in entertainment media can “reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.” 

“We wanted to determine if seeing the specific immigration storylines influenced [viewers’] attitudes, behavior, or knowledge in the real world,” said Sarah Lowe, the associate director of research and impact at Define American to Variety. “And we were reassured and inspired to see the impact it had.” 

Define American’s founder, Jose Antonio Vargas, is relatively optimistic about the study’s outcomes, saying that the report has “some promising findings” and the numbers “provide [him] with hope”. He added that there are still “many areas in which immigrant representation can improve”.

via Getty Images

Namely, Vargas was disappointed in television’s failure to take an intersectional approach to immigration in regards to undocumented Black immigrants. 

“Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups,” Vargas told Variety. “But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” 

“Change the Narrative, Change the World” also showed that Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants are also under-represented on television compared with reality. Also worth noting, male immigrants were over-represented on television compared to reality, while immigrants with disabilities were also under-represented.

The study also showed that when viewers are exposed to TV storylines that humanize immigrants, they’re more likely to take action on immigration issues themselves. 

The effect that fictional entertainment narratives have on viewers further proves that representation does, indeed, matter. What we watch as entertainment changes the way we think about other people’s lived experiences. And that, in turn, can change the world.

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A Group Of TPS Beneficiaries Are Touring The Country In A Bus To Save The Crucial Immigration Program

Things That Matter

A Group Of TPS Beneficiaries Are Touring The Country In A Bus To Save The Crucial Immigration Program

tps_alliance / Instagram

Updated September 23, 2020

A coalition of people is coming together to stand up for Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries. Federal judges recently gave the Trump administration the approval to end the status for 300,000 people in the U.S.

A group of Temporary Protect Status holders is on a road trip to save the program for 300,000 people.

The National TPS Alliance is driving across the country to engage voters about the need to protect the program. The “Road to Justice” road tour started in Los Angeles and will be stopping in 54 cities in 32 states. The tour ends in Washington, D.C. where the TPS holders will petition Congress directly to save the program.

The program was started in 1990 and offers safe refuge for people who’s countries have experienced disaster, civil unrest, or other extraordinary circumstances. Some people who have been granted TPS in the U.S. include Central Americans after Hurricane Mitch, the second-largest hurricane in the Atlantic, devastated large swaths of the region in 1998. Haitians were also given TPS after the earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince in 2010.

The organization is hoping to engage voters and get them to care about the immigration crisis facing the nation. Activists have already praised the group and pledged to support their cause at the ballot box.

“We are going to vote for justice, for the TPS community,” Angélica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told NBC News. “President (Trump) and his administration are racist and do not care about the damage they are causing to our community.”

Original: A federal court just handed a huge ‘victory’ to the Trump administration, which has been eager to restart mass deportations. Despite a global health pandemic, the administration has been pressing forward with plans to deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

Until now, many of these migrants were safe from deportation thanks to Temporary Protected Status, which shields some immigrants from deportation under humanitarian claims. However, the recent court decision – in San Francisco’s 9th Circuit – gives Trump exactly what he wants right before the elections.

But how will it affect immigrant communities across the country? Here’s everything you need to know about this major decision.

The 9th Circuit Court just ended TPS for more than 300,000 undocumented immigrants.

A California appeals court on Monday gave the Trump Administration permission to end Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan, clearing the way for officials to force more than 300,000 immigrants out of the country.

The decision affects people from all walks of life, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, have U.S.-born children and have been considered essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week’s ruling from the circuit court comes after a district court (also in California) temporarily halted Trump’s plan to end TPS in late 2018 after a group of lawyers sued, arguing that Trump was motivated by racial discrimination.

“The president’s vile statements about TPS holders made perfectly clear that his administration acted out of racial animus,”Ahilan Arulanantham, a lawyer for the ACLU of Southern California, wrote in a statement. “The Constitution does not permit policy to be driven by racism. We will seek further review of the court’s decision.”

But today’s 2-1 decision reversed the district court’s temporary order and allowed the federal government to take away TPS protections while the court case continues.

ICE and DHS has promised to wait several months before taking away TPS status if the agency won in court. As a result, the ACLU told NPR that it expects the protections to start ending no sooner than March, meaning that Joe Biden could reverse the administration’s decision if he wins in November, though the organization plans to fight back in the meantime.

Temporary Protected Status was created to protect people in the U.S. from being sent back to dangerous places – and it’s saved lives.

Credit: Daniel Ortega / Getty Images

The TPS program was first introduced in 1990, and it has protected immigrants from more than 20 countries at various points since then. More than 300,000 people from 10 different nations currently use the program, some of whom have lived and worked in the United States for decades.

Trump has sharply criticized the program, sometimes along racial lines, and in one infamous and widely criticized incident two years ago, the president reportedly referred to the program’s beneficiaries as “people from shithole countries.”

TPS provides protection for short periods of up to 18 months, but the federal government has continuously extended it for the countries mentioned in the lawsuit “based on repeated findings that it remains unsafe to return.” 

As a result, it said, most TPS holders have been living in the U.S. for more than a decade, contributing to their communities and raising their families. Many of the more than 200,000 U.S.-citizen children of TPS holders have never been to the country their parents are from and would have to choose between their families and their homes.

The ruling will have a major impact on migrant families and communities across the U.S.

Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Immigration advocacy groups are slamming the court’s ruling, noting it will impact hundreds of thousands of TPS holders as well as their families and communities. In a statement, Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said the decision will “plunge their lives into further turmoil at a time when we all need greater certainty.” 

As the global pandemic stretches on, immigrants with protected status make up a large portion of the country’s front-line workers. More than 130,000 TPS recipients are essential workers, according to the Center for American Progress. 

“TPS recipients have deep economic and social roots in communities across the nation,” said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “And, as the U.S. responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, TPS recipients are standing shoulder to shoulder with Americans and doing essential work.”

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