Things That Matter

5 Ways to Fight Back Against ICE!

Here’s a chilling fact for you: according to an ICE report, between the start of the Trump administration and the end of the 2017 fiscal year, they arrested 110,568 people. That, amigos, was a 42 percent increase over the same period the year before. So, what can we do about it? It turns out that there are a few ways that we can fight back against ICE. While this isn’t necessarily a comprehensive list, we’ve put together a primer for you so you know what you can do to fight back against ICE.

1. Know your rights!

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Or at least, know on a basic level what is considered legal when it comes to ICE arrests. Even if you yourself aren’t affected by ICE’s newfound zeal for deportations, chances are you probably know someone who is. One really important thing to note is that ICE doesn’t have the ability to conduct arrests anywhere they want to. Just like any other brand of law enforcement, ICE officers must have a warrant in order to enter a private residence to conduct an arrest. Short of a warrant, consent from the owner of a private residence is enough to allow them to enter and arrest someone lawfully. What this means is that if they can’t show you a warrant you are completely within your legal rights to deny ICE entrance to your home, and they can’t arrest people inside until they do have a warrant.

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Even though this is the case for private residences, this is not the case for other buildings such as schools, hospitals and places of worship. While ICE has publicly declared that it would avoid “sensitive locations” like these, that doesn’t mean they’re not within their legal rights to make an arrest at one of these public places. Plus, there’s nothing stopping ICE agents from simply waiting near one of these venues to make an arrest – something that they’ve been known to do over the past few years. 

2. Organize!

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Part of the joy of living in a democracy is being able to protest without the fear of detainment. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to stand in the street, hold signs and yell. You can also put whatever skills you have to good use – even if it just means being an extra set of hands. Immigrant-led organisations currently have their hands full at the moment, and can always do with another volunteer. Beyond simply helping out, volunteering for these kinds of organisations can help strengthen bonds in the community. This is super important, considering the climate of distrust we’re currently dealing with under Trump. 

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Keep in mind, though, if you are prime a target for the current administration’s immigration policies, you may be best to stay away from protest sites at the moment. This is because protests are typically conducted in public spaces, which can attract ICE agents since they are legally able to arrest people there.

3. Demand sanctuary policies!

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It’s probably helpful to start with what is involved in implementing a sanctuary policy. If the first thing that comes to your mind is the scene in The Hunchback of Notre Dame when Esmeralda seeks sanctuary at the cathedral, you’re on the right track: there’s just less singing. Sanctuary cities give immigrants a bit of protection by employing policies that limit their collaboration with ICE officials, and do not require knowledge around an individual’s immigration status to provide assistance.

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The reason sanctuary policies are so important is that they enable immigrants to seek out social services, avoid unsafe work environments, and get help for domestic violence incidents since they’re not afraid of being arrested when they do try to access these services. The best way to encourage sanctuary policies in your city or town is to petition your local officials and leaders by writing letters and meeting with them. The more people who do this, the more likely it is that these bureaucratic bigwigs will listen.

4. Hold ICE accountable!

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There are a few ways that you can hold ICE accountable. Firstly, you can document your encounters with ICE agents, either through writing notes or taking video. Keeping a record of these encounters is especially important in this day and age since ICE officials have been accused of using violence, intimidation, and deception during raids. By documenting what happens, you’re making sure that ICE officials stay accountable. Keep in mind that this suggestion about accountability comes with a caveat: depending on what state you’re in, you may not be legally allowed to document ICE encounters due to regulations concerning recording and consent.

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Another way you can hold ICE accountable is by boycotting businesses that have contracts with them. Companies the likes of Dell, Microsoft, and even some universities have had contracts with ICE. So, it may be worth doing some reading to find out what businesses are potentially funding ICE activities and avoiding them. On that note, you can also try petitioning these businesses to terminate their contracts – or going one step further and supporting organizations that advocate for immigrants’ rights.

5. Vote!

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This probably sounds like an odd suggestion, since the 2020 elections are still a while away yet. But the thing is, now is the time to start listening to candidates about their policies on immigration. Clearly, the Trump administration is showing no sign of changing its mind on its approach to deportation. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other alternatives. For example, on 15th April 2019, the Senate Democrats called to restrict funding for the Department of Homeland Security. “We cannot support the appropriation of funds that would expand this administration’s unnecessarily cruel immigration enforcement policies, its inhumane immigrant detention systems, or its efforts to build the president’s vanity projects,” they wrote in a letter about the issue. If successful, the proposed restrictions would severely limit immigration enforcement within the US.

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At this stage, 20 Democratic senators signed the letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker. Yes, senators with their sights set on the presidency. At the end of the day, however, your vote is the decider for who gets to sit on the iron throne … uh, in the White House. So, the challenge for you is to make sure that you’ve got a babysitter, or your shift covered, or study done when it comes time to vote. Make yourself available, and prioritize voting! Or, if you’re ineligible to vote, sit down with the people you care about, and let them know why this is important to you. Because at the end of the day, we vote on issues that are close to our hearts.

Unfortunately, we’re not able to provide legal counsel. That being said, there are services in your community that can provide solid advice which is only a quick google away. If you have stories to share with us about your own experiences fighting back against ICE, you’re welcome to share them with us on our Facebook – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Things That Matter

Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

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President Joe Biden has a lot of work ahead of him and he is hitting the ground running. On his first day in office, President Biden has a series of executive actions he is signing to reverse a lot of the damage created by the Trump administration. Here are some of the things President Biden will do with these actions.

The border wall on the southern border is done, y’all.

President Biden is saving the taxpayers billions of dollars by halting the construction of President Trump’s border wall. The border wall is one of former President Trump’s several unfulfilled promises at the expense of the taxpayers.

Despite his unrelenting campaign, Mexico never paid a dime to the wall. President Biden’s action to halt the border wall is a humanitarian and conservationist move that will save billions of tax dollars. According to estimates, there would be $3.3 billion in unused funds in the projects accounts.

The emotionally devastating Muslim ban will finally come to an end.

Former President Trump famously put an end to travel from predominantly Muslim countries. The order arbitrarily excluded a group of people based on their religion. The order that has kept families apart for years is finally coming to an end thanks to President Biden.

President Biden’s ation will bring families together and safeguards the rights of religious freedom. The ban has kept spouses separated, children apart from parents, and caused real damage. There is more to be done to make up for the stain on American history and the action is the first step.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is toast.

We all remember the terrifying scenes of Native people being brutalized by federal officials under Trump’s command. President Biden will make sure that the permit for the pipeline is revoked and put an end to a project that has been devastating the Native community. Activists have been fighting for years to get this done.

Undocumented people will have to be included in census counts.

President Biden is getting rid of the Trump administration’s terrible policy of ignoring undocumented people in the census. There have been several arguments by officials that the move would work to undermine certain states. The policy would take federal money away from states that did not support the former president and have high undocumented populations.

President Biden is going to preserve DACA.

More than 600,000 people benefit from the Obama-era program. Former President Trump waged a war against DACA and Dreamers for political points. Most Americans support DACA and a pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries. With the new executive action, President Biden will instruct the federal government to restore the program to its fullest.

There is still a lawsuit the Biden administration will have to fight. The lawsuit challenging DACA’s legality was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In total, President Biden will sign 17 executive actions that will roll back several issues created by the previous administration.

“Today, hours after taking the oath of office, President-elect Biden will take a historic number of actions to deliver immediate relief for families across America that are struggling in the face of converging crises. He will sign a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters to take initial steps to address these crises, including by changing the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change, and advancing racial equity,” reads a statement from the Biden-Harris Transition Team. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward. These actions are bold, begin the work of following through on President-elect Biden’s promises to the American people, and, importantly, fall within the constitutional role for the president.”

READ: President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

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President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

Things That Matter

President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been sworn in as the 46th president and the 49th vice president of the United States of America. The new administration has been sworn in and the inauguration was a beautiful representation of America with people of color and women taking center stage.

Lady Gaga kicked off the 59th inauguration by singing the national anthem.

In 2017, Lady Gaga famously participated in the Women’s March the day after former President Trump’s inauguration. Four years later, the singer proudly took to the Capitol to usher in the beginning of the Biden/Harris administration. Dressed in custom Schiaparelli, Lady Gaga performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and left people speechless.

Vice President Kamala Devi Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

This was a special moment. The first Latina to ever serve on the Supreme Court was the one to swear in the first woman, first Black, and first South Asian vice president. It was a historical moment that will forever change the United States.

Justice Sotomayor has made a name for herself in American pop culture because of her blistering dissents. As the first Latina on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor opened possibilities for Latinas. We basically watched one icon swear in another icon and it is everything.

The most exciting moment of the inauguration might have been Jennifer Lopez and her remix of an American classic.

Lopez sang “This Land Is Your Land” but added a special twist. During the song, Lopez stops and says, “Una nacion, bajo de dios, indivisible con libertad y justicia para todos.” Translated, she said, “One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” That’s right. The Puerto Rican pop superstar used her moment at the nation’s Capitol building to give a shout out to all the Latinos who call the U.S. home.

Of course, the most iconic moment was J.Lo shouting “Let’s get loud.”

We all know that song. We are all singing it now after reading those three words. It was truly one of the most impactful moments of her performance. Only an icon could turn “This Land is Your Land” into a greatest hits medley. We are all better for having witnessed it.

However, it was 22-year-old Amanda Gorman that stole the entire show.

The Youth Poet Laureate was chosen to speak at the inauguration and she youngest inaugural poet of all time. She joins the impressive ranks of Maya Angelou, Richard Blanco, and Elizabeth Alexander. Her poem, written right after the Capitol riot. It was relevant, poignant, and moving.

“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
It can never be permanently defeated.”

And, of course, Joseph Robinette Biden became the 46th president of the United States of America.

“Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. A once-in-a-century virus that silently stalks the country,” President Biden said. “It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some four hundred years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.

“The cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity, unity.”

Welcome to the White House President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

READ: The TikToker Who Put Fleetwood Mac Back On The Charts Will Perform At The Inauguration’s Virtual Parade

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