Things That Matter

This Advocate For Undocumented Immigrants Stood Up To ICE Agents And Won

Since the election of President Donald Trump, there’s been an obvious surge in detainments by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). One element that the public has seen through countless cell phone videos of ICE making arrests is that the agents detain people without hardly any pushback. When people have tried to resist, it hasn’t ended well.

There was one video that showed a woman telling ICE agents they couldn’t enter without a warrant. ICE agents persisted. In order to help people be aware of their rights, immigration organizations host training sessions to teach exactly what they should in case ICE tries to detain anyone illegally.

A 30-year-old immigration advocate was pulled over by ICE because they wanted to detain two undocumented immigrant passengers that were in his car.

Facebook/Columbia County Sanctuary Movement

The video, which has gone viral, shows Bryan MacCormack, who is the executive director at Columbia County Sanctuary Movement in upstate New York, leaving the courthouse with two people.

MacCormack was serving as an advocate and escort for the two undocumented immigrants who left the courthouse after an appointment. As soon as they left the courthouse, ICE pulled them over. Before the agent got to the car, MacCormack asked a passenger to record because he was prepared that something like this might happen.

An ICE agent told MacCormack that they had an arrest warrant for his passengers, but he didn’t open the door.

MacCormack tells them that the document they are handing him isn’t a warrant.

Facebook/Columbia County Sanctuary Movement

“Yes they are, sir, warrant of arrest of alien,” the ICE agent can be heard saying in the video. And this is where it gets really good.

MacCormack told the agent that he knows what a warrant should look like and that it must have a judge signature, which the document did not.

“Yeah, warrant of arrest of…alien, not signed by a judge. It’s not a judicial warrant. I have no obligation to oblige by that warrant,” MacCormack told him.

The ICE agent was clearly shocked that this man knows so much about his constitutional rights.

YouTube

MacCormack later said, according to NBC News, that ICE tried to intimidate him by speaking about legal codes. In the video, MacCormack told the agent that he is studying to be a Department of Justice accredited representative. MacCormack then said to him that he was going to call his lawyer. He stayed put and didn’t allow the agents to take the passengers.

People on social media gave him so much praise for standing up to the ICE agents and knowing his rights.

YouTube

“This really isn’t about me,” MacCormack said told NBC News. “It’s about what happens when people, in general, know their rights.” He added that he was “nervous and felt fear for the safety of myself and the community members inside of my vehicle. But I was also inherently indignant at ICE’s tactics and their relentless pursuit and practice of detention, deportation and family separation.”

Watch the entire exchange below.

Click here for more information about your constitutional rights.

READ: Advocacy Groups Suing ICE For Mass Raid In Tennessee, Claiming They Violated Workers’ Constitutional Rights

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

During the 2020 election, Latinos were a massive electoral voting bloc. In fact, for the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbered the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are now 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. 

And, Latinos helped deliver the presidency to Joe Biden. So it can be expected that the community has high expectations for Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.

During a recent speech about his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden outlined his priorities once he’s sworn in on January 20th, and said he would “immediately” send an immigration bill to congress.

Joe Biden promises swift action on immigration reform as soon as he takes office.

Over the weekend, President-Elect Joe Biden promised he would take swift action when it comes to immigration reform and rolling back many of the cruel and dangerous policies put into place by the Trump administration.

“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately,” he said in a news conference on Friday.

Although he didn’t go into detail regarding the proposed legislation, he’s previously committed to ending Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations, and that he wants a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and an increase in guest worker permits to help bring undocumented agricultural workers – many of whom are now considered “essential workers” – out of the shadows.

Biden had already promised an immigration overhaul within the first 100 days of his presidency but this commitment definitely increases the pressure on him and congress to get things done.

Biden also said his justice department will investigate the policy of child separation.

During the same press conference, Biden said that his Justice Department will determine responsibility for the family separation program, which led to more than 2,600 children being taken from caregivers after crossing the U.S. southern border, and whether it was criminal.

“There will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal,” Biden said. That determination will be made by his attorney general-designate, Merrick Garland, he added.

During the campaign, Biden finally took responsibility for many of his administration’s immigration failures.

Nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief,” Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office. 

But as part of that administration, Joe Biden is also complicit. That’s why during the campaign he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the pain the duo caused.

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s immigration plan reads. 

While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.

Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.

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