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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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz are at it again on Twitter. This time it’s about immigration policy. After recently traveling to the US-Mexican border to underline the recent rise in immigration, Cruz accused AOC of pushing for a “full open borders” policy.

And of course, AOC got him with some solid zingers.

AOC in turn hit back at Cruz for recently fleeing his home state of Texas during its power grid collapse to vacation in Cancún.

In response to Cruz’s attack, AOC suggested Mexico avoid allowing Cruz in the next time he attempts to vacation there. She also called on him to resign from office for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of hypocritically attacking the current administration’s detention of migrant children at the border after they supported President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children.

Currently, Democrats like AOC are calling on Biden to impliment more liberal immigration policies.

Republicans have strongly expressed their dislike for the recent rise in migrants which has come as a result of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s most rigid border policies.

AOC is currently a co-sponsor of the Roadmap to Freedom resolution. The resolution calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a Roadmap to Freedom “in order to overhaul the outdated immigration system in the United States that has gone without significant reform for decades, and to relieve the great human impact an unjust system bears on communities around the country.”

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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