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.

Instagram / @artbazil

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!

Instagram / @jumiaci

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.

Samantha Bee Sat Down With Four Undocumented People Who Once Worked For President Trump

Things That Matter

Samantha Bee Sat Down With Four Undocumented People Who Once Worked For President Trump

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

President Trump has made it a key part of his presidency to go after undocumented immigrants. He has used tactics to demonize them and uses fearmongering to make sure his base of supporters blame the undocumented community for their problems. Samantha Bee recently sat down with three undocumented people who were once employees of Trump and how they saw a change after his practices were exposed.

Samantha Bee started by asking them if they needed papers when they were first hired.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samanta Bee / YouTube

“When I got there I asked the supervisor, ‘Do we need papers here?’” one of the women recalled. “And she says, ‘No, no, it doesn’t matter. But in 2016, they started asking for documents. And then my manager told me, ‘This guy will take you somewhere where they make those papers.’”

That’s right. A former housekeeper for President Trump told Samantha Bee that she was not required to have papers are the start of her job but was eventually taken to get fake ones made.

Originally, the undocumented workers for Trump did think that things might get better for them when he was running to be president.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

However, they quickly realized that he was going to do anything but help them if he won the race. Unfortunately, they were right. Trump has a documented record of attacking undocumented immigrants and has started taking aim at legal immigrants.

Within the company, things did change when Trump started his presidential campaign.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

“When he started his campaign, from then on they didn’t let me go to his house,” one woman told Samantha Bee. “So, I would go into Ivanka’s house and sometimes Eric’s when he would visit.”

Yet, instead of firing people for being undocumented when he became the president, he gave them certificates.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

The certificates were to show the employees how much Trump appreciated their hard work while working for him. They originally thought they were pretty cool because they are from the White House. Yet, it was not enough to combat the darkness to come.

It wasn’t long until there was abuse from the supervisors, according to one woman.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

“The supervisor would assign me double shifts,” the first source said. “And she would tell me, ‘This is how we should treat immigrants’—and if we said anything, immigration would come. And when [Trump] called us ‘immigrant rapists,’ the supervisor would say, ‘Good, good, that’s nice because immigrants are no good. Garbage.’ … There were many insults, and she even hit me three times,” she alleged. “So I decided to speak out, because there was so much injustice.”

Watch the full interview below!

READ: Undocumented Employees Are Being Fired From Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Resort After Hiring Practices Were Exposed

‘Ya Me Voy’ Documentary Gives And Intimate And Emotional Look Into The State Of The Immigration Debate In The US

Entertainment

‘Ya Me Voy’ Documentary Gives And Intimate And Emotional Look Into The State Of The Immigration Debate In The US

imleavingnowdoc / Instagram

The recent immigration debate in the U.S. has largely centered around the forced separation of families at the southern border and indefinite detentions. However, “Ya Me Voy,” a documentary by Mu Media, is shining light on the internal immigration debate. The story centers on a man living undocumented in the U.S. and his decision to stay in the U.S. or leave and rejoin his family. However, unexpected love and troubles at home in Mexico play a major role in his decision.

“I’m Leaving Now (Ya Me Voy)” is a touching look at the personal immigration debate many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. face.

Credit: mumedia / Instagram

Felipe, an undocumented immigrant living in New York, has spent years living away from his family in Mexico. His mission was to find work and send money home regularly to help his family with the ultimate goal to move back to be with his wife and kids.

The documentary starts with Felipe calling his family telling them that he was ready to move back to Mexico and reunite with them.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

After several attempts and changes of mind, Felipe is finally ready to go back home. He had been sending his family money and expects to come home in a better position. It has been 16 years and he has been diligent in sending money back to his family.

However, during a phone call home, he learns that everything he had worked for has fallen apart.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

His family had managed to squander the money he had sent back for them. Not only that, they had gotten themselves into debt. Felipe, who was planning to go home, realizes that it might not be able to go home since the family is now indebted after his 16 years of hard, manual labor in the U.S.

During the documentary, the audience learns that Felipe has fallen in love with a woman in the U.S.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

The romantic relationship complicates his decision to do home. On one hand, he wants to reunite with his sons and wife more than anything. He misses them terribly and knows that his heart ultimately lies with them. However, his family has spent the money he managed to send them and returning would put him back where he was when he came to the U.S. all those years ago. The new romance offers him solace and comfort in the U.S.

We witness Felipe having tough conversations with his new life in the U.S.

Credit: The Cinema Guild / YouTube

Felipe is trying to determine if he is still able to move back to a family he does not know. It has been so long since he left Mexico that he is essentially a stranger to his children. His wife has been without him for 16 years and he has set unexpected roots in a place that was supposed to be temporary. At one point, you see him telling a vendor that he was preparing to leave and she jokes that she’ll believe it when he is no longer here.

Ultimately, he is forced to make a decision as to whether he is going to stay in the U.S. or be with a family he left years ago.

Credit: mumedia / Instagram

His tale is one that so many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. experience. They leave friends and family behind in an attempt to better the lives of those they are leaving behind. Many will never see their family again and have to miss major moments, like funerals, to sacrifice it all to help their family.

Watch the full trailer below.

READ: Say Their Names: The People Who Have Died In US Immigration Custody In 2019