politics

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.

Instagram / @intertravel.rs

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.

Instagram / @jmendoza04

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.

The Health Crisis At Detention Centers Is Inhumane But The Gov’t Argues Migrants Don’t Need Hygiene Products Or Beds To Sleep

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The Health Crisis At Detention Centers Is Inhumane But The Gov’t Argues Migrants Don’t Need Hygiene Products Or Beds To Sleep

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It’s no secret that the U.S. government isn’t taking care of migrants at the border or detention camps. Undocumented people that are living under U.S. care are getting sick. They’re being exposed to the measles, chicken pox, common colds due to extreme air-conditioned facilities, abuse, and so much more. What makes this situation so much more infuriating is that the government could care less than people are getting sick.

This video of Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian went viral over the weekend because she was telling judges that undocumented people in detention camps don’t need soap, toothpaste or beds to sleep.

Fabian spoke with three Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal judges and said that they shouldn’t be required to give undocumented people hygiene products or beds to sleep in because those things are seen as privileges.

The case is based on a 1997 ruling known as the “Flores Agreement” that “requires, among other things, that the government hold minors in facilities that are “safe and sanitary” and that they are released from confinement without delay whenever possible.”

Here’s a portion of the transcript:

Judge Wallace Tashima: “If you don’t have a toothbrush, if you don’t have soap if you don’t have a blanket, it’s not safe and sanitary. Wouldn’t everybody agree with that? Do you agree with that?”

Sarah Fabian: “Well, I think it’ s—I think those are—there is fair reason to find that those things may be part of safe and sanitary.”

Judge Tashima: “Not ‘maybe.’ ‘Are’ a part. What do you say, ‘may be’? You mean there are circumstances when a person doesn’t need to have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap for days?”

Fabian: “Well, I think, in CBP custody, there’ s—it’s frequently intended to be much shorter-term, so it may be that for a shorter-term stay in CBP custody that some of those things may not be required.”

However, we know that the Trump administration is seeking to change that rule to allow for indefinite detention of children and migrants.

The judges were clearly frustrated with her and she could barely answer their questions properly.

Credit: @soledadobrien / Twitter

Vice President Mike Pence tried to get out of answering why undocumented migrants wouldn’t need hygiene products while being detained during a CNN interview and basically didn’t even know what the hearing was all about.

“Aren’t toothbrushes and blankets and medicine basic conditions for kids?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Pence, “Aren’t they a part of how the United States of America—the Trump administration—treats children?”

Pence replied by saying, “Well, of course, they are Jake,” and claimed he couldn’t “speak to what that lawyer was saying.”

Now a team of doctors and attorneys who have seen the migrants up close are releasing their findings and claim that virtually everyone they saw was sick.

Credit: @TexasTribune / Twitter

“The kids had colds and were sick and said they didn’t have access to soap to wash their hands. It was an alcohol-based cleanser,” Clara Long, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch said to CNN. “Some kids who were detained for 2-3 weeks had only one or two opportunities to shower. One said they hadn’t showered in three weeks. Hygiene and living conditions like this creates a risk of spreading infectious disease. It makes me very concerned about the public health emergency.”

Holly Cooper, co-director of the University of California, Davis’ Immigration Law Clinic and represents detained youth, put it this way, according to the Associated Press, “In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention, I have never heard of this level of inhumanity.”

READ: Historians And AOC Agree That Detention Centers Look Like Concentration Camps But Conservatives Don’t Want To Hear It

While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

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While Trump Postponed ICE Raids, He Keeps Using The Community As A Political Pawn Because He Can’t Legislate

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News broke over the weekend that President Trump would be delaying planned immigration raids throughout the country. He tweeted that the deportation operations would be postponed by two weeks to see if Congress can make changes to asylum laws and work out legislative groundwork with Democrats.

As news of the roundups became public knowledge on Friday, faith and immigration groups prepared and informed communities of their rights and procedures in case of an interaction with ICE officials. But the sudden abrupt reversal did little to relieve or reassure immigrants and their supporters.

Migrant communities across the country are becoming familiar with this feeling.

President Trump’s reversal came as immigrant advocates prepared undocumented immigrants for a highly publicized operation. ICE officials were expected to target more than 2,000 families with pending deportations orders. But even with a delay, fears are mounting for many who don’t know what to expect next for themselves and their families.

Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools, says that President Trump’s delayed immigration raids do nothing but toy with immigrant communities livelihoods.

“We don’t trust him in any way,” Murillo told NBC News. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”

This isn’t the first time President Trump has used immigration fear tactics to push for legislation.

Back in 2017, President Trump attempted to terminate the Obama-era program that protected so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. It was a failed attempt to pressure Congress in passing an immigration bill that included new restrictions on legal immigration. Earlier this year, a 35-day government shutdown ended without Democrats agreeing to the president’s terms, funding for a border wall.

There has been pushback from politicians and immigration advocates that are calling the raids unjust.

According to CNN, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the raids. It was the next day that the President would announce the delay. Pelosi approved of President Trump’s announced delay and said it would give Congress enough time to work on immigration reform.

“Mr. President, delay is welcome. Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together,” Pelosi tweeted.

Some are calling the move a tactic to help benefit Trump’s effort to secure funding for immigration enforcement. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently in the midst of negotiating legislation to allocate funds to different agencies, that includes ICE. The agency is dealing with record large-scale migration of Central American families and unaccompanied children to the U.S.-Mexico border, currently at a 13-year high.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the strongest advocates against ICE deportations. The organization says President Trump’s immigration policies have installed fears in communities across the country.

“Our communities shouldn’t have to live in fear that parents won’t come home from work, or kids won’t return from school, or a knock at the door could rip a family apart,” the ACLU said in a tweet. “This isn’t Donald Trump’s America, it’s ours. We can resist his deportation agenda — together.”

Many on social media are using their platform to share tips and advice in case an individual finds themselves interacting with ICE.

CREDIT:@diana-bbcita/Twitter

Within hours that news broke that immigration raids would be happening, people took to social media to share helpful tips. From informing people to stay in their homes and to not answer their doors, by the time President Trump announced the delay on Saturday, people were ready.

Images across social media showed ICE checkpoints and areas of interest where deportation officials might show up. But even as more time is given to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, many aren’t taking any risks.

“He’s making an announcement as if these deportations are not already happening,” Murillo said. “He’s saying if Democrats don’t do what I want them to do, deportations will start in two weeks. Deportations have been happening since he went into office. It’s coming, maybe it will turn a little bit, stay on guard. We can’t ever let our guard down.”

READ: ICE Raids Ordered To Begin On Sunday In Major Cities

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