Denver Mayor Michael Hancock recently wrote a letter pleading with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to respect the courts and schools of Denver. The move comes after ICE agents detained people at Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse and after a raid conducted near Colorado High School Charter in March, according to The Denver Post.
This week, videos have surfaced on YouTube which show ICE agents arresting an undocumented man at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse as people plea for police officers to intervene.
CREDIT: Julie Gonzales / YouTube
On April 6, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wrote a letter that was endorsed by Denver County officials asking for ICE agents to stop the practice of arresting people at courthouses and schools. Part of the complaint in the letter is that ICE agents were referring to themselves as police officers instead of ICE agents. Hancock believes ICE strategy erodes the trust a community is supposed to have in local law enforcement.
“Identifying yourselves as ‘police’ confuses and erodes the trust between our local police and the immigrant community endangering the community at large,” the letter reads. “Again, Denver’s concerns in this regard are being increasingly expressed by city leaders and local law enforcement officials elsewhere in the United States.”
ABC7 Denver reports that the videos were posted on YouTube under the direction of Meyer Law Office, which represents several undocumented immigrants.
CREDIT: Julie Gonzales / YouTube
According to ABC 7 Denver, Meyer Law Office posted the videos to prove that ICE has no interest or intent of cooperating with local law enforcement. Attorney Hans Meyer argues ICE is showing a complete disregard for the requests made by local officials.
“We have reached a major crossroads here,” Meyer told ABC7 Denver.
CREDIT: Julie Gonzales / YouTube
Meyer added: “The mayor, the city council, they need to step up and pass substantive sanctuary policy and do it now.”
The arrest shown below was conducted at the very courthouse the Denver mayor mentioned in his letter to ICE.
CREDIT: Julie Gonzales / YouTube
According to The Denver Post, another video of a man being arrested on May 5 is raising more questions. Matthew Keller, who is an attorney for Meyer Law Office, was with the man and told The Denver Post that the ICE agents involved did not produce a warrant. Instead, they handed him a piece of paper with the contact information for their public information officer.
An ICE spokesman has defended the move to start arresting undocumented immigrants at courthouses, saying that ICE doesn’t consider them to be sensitive locations — despite what the mayor of Denver says.
CREDIT: Julie Gonzales / YouTube
“We asked them to respect sensitive locations and take measures around these sensitive areas so as not to potentially put bystanders at risk, hinder the prosecution of crimes, or compromise our police-community relationships vital to public safety,” the mayor’s spokeswoman Jenna Espinoza told The Denver Post, while confirming that ICE has not responded to the mayor yet. “We will continue to drive a clear and unwavering message to ICE that this is not the right approach and they must find another route to enforcing immigration laws.”
You can watch the videos of the arrests below: the arrest made on April 28.
According to the Pew Research Center, there are roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants that reside in the U.S. as of 2016, which includes about 700,000 people under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In total, the group represents 3.4 percent of the country’s total population. Undocumented students are a subset of this group and face various roadblocks due to their legal status, including obstacles that prevent them from receiving equal educational opportunities as U.S. citizens and legal U.S. residents.
Most universities don’t offer in-state tuition to undocumented students and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is not available for undocumented students either. For those who live in states that don’t offer in-state tuition, it means taking on huge loans and working multiple jobs to pay for tuition, or sometimes, foregoing college altogether.
Yet, there are a handful of states in the U.S. that are doing their part to help undocumented students receive some sort of financial assistance. Whether that’s legislation extending in-state tuition rates to undocumented students who meet specific requirements or receiving state financial aid, there is help.
The following U.S. states allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid.
In California, there were 200,150 students that were participating in the DACA program as of August 2018, according to the Migration Policy Institute. This means that many of those students received some kind of financial assistance when it came to their education. State law (AB 540, AB 130, and AB 131) provides undocumented students with in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid. There are 23 campus options for the California State University system and 9 campus options of the University of California (UC).
The average cost of in-state tuition and fees: $9,680
2. New Mexico
New Mexico is doing it’s part when it comes to helping undocumented students pursue higher education. The state offers in-state tuition and financial aid to undocumented students through SB 582. The state also has one of the lowest costs when it comes to in-state tuition and fees.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $6,920
Back in April 2013, Oregon adopted a state policy, HB 2787, granting in-state tuition to undocumented students. This has opened up countless opportunities for many who are pursuing college.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $10,360
Minnesota offers in-state tuition and state financial aid to undocumented students through the MN Dream Act. This includes over two dozen colleges and universities offer in-state tuition to all students, regardless of status, residence, or MN Dream Act eligibility.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $11,300
The Lone-Star State is certainly the biggest state in the country and is also one a huge resource when it comes to assisting aspiring colleges students. In Texas, undocumented students may qualify for Texas State Financial Aid. The state in 2001 became the first in the nation to allow undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition to public universities. They only need to have lived in Texas for the three years before they graduated from high school.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $9,840
Undocumented students are eligible to receive in-state tuition as of 2003 via HB 1079. In 2014, the state also enacted the Washington State DREAM Act into law, making undocumented students eligible for state financial aid.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $9,480
7. New Jersey
In 2013, New Jersey gave in-state tuition benefits to undocumented immigrants. Last year, undocumented students were finally able to apply for state financial aid after Gov. Phil Murphy signed bill NJ S 699 (18R) opening up state funds for undocumented immigrants going to college.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $13,870
The following states allow for in-state tuition rates for undocumented students
(This includes the previous 6 mentioned states that allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid)
In 2013, state lawmakers in Colorado created SB 13-033 which allows undocumented children to follow their American dreams. They allowed them to pay the significantly cheaper in-state tuition to go to state colleges instead of higher out-of-state prices.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $10,800
In 2011, the Connecticut General Assembly approved a law which offers undocumented students residing in Connecticut in-state tuition benefits at the state’s public colleges. HB 8644 not only allows for undocumented students to pay in-state tuition for college, but it also states that students only have to attend two years of high school in the state to be eligible.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $12,390
Former Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 851 into law in 2014. The measure allows undocumented students who spent three consecutive years in a Florida high school and applied to an educational institution within 24 months of graduating to apply for and out-of-state tuition waiver.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $6,360
Undocumented students in Illinois are eligible for in-state tuition and private scholarships through Public Act 093-007 (In-State Tuition) and SB 2185 (Illinois DREAM Act). Students can also access the state’s Monetary Award Program, aka MAP grants.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $13,620
In 2018, HB 2145 gave undocumented students in Kansas access to in-state tuition. To qualify, students must have attended a Kansas high school for three or more years.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $9,230
In Maryland, things are a bit different compared to other states when it comes to financial assistance. Undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition under SB 167, however, they must attend a community college before qualifying for in-state tuition at a public university.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $9,580
The state has provided in-state tuition to undocumented students for the last 13 years. LB 239 states that undocumented students must have attended high school for at least three years before graduating high school or receiving a GED.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $8,270
Utah gave undocumented students access to in-state tuition back in 2002. HB 144 states that people are eligible for in-state tuition if they attend high school in Utah for three or more years and must file or be willing to file when able an application for residency.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $6,790
9. New York
Through the Dream Act, undocumented students who meet the Tuition Assistance Program requirements, currently received access to state financial aid. Previously, New York had allowed all high school students who graduated from a New York high school an opportunity to receive in-state tuition at two local colleges, City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY).
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $7,940
HB 1804 made it possible for undocumented students in the state can receive in-state tuition if they graduated from a private or public Oklahoma high school and were accepted to a school in Oklahoma’s state university system.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $8,460
11. Rhode Island
While it might be the smallest state in the country, it’s still doing its part to help undocumented college students by offering in-state tuition. The Board of Governors for Higher Education voted unanimously to give undocumented students in-state tuition if they graduated from a Rhode Island high school and sign an affidavit saying they will apply for legal residency when eligible.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $12,230
Virginia still has work to do but, currently, students on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are eligible for in-state tuition. However, there are people fighting to expand that benefit to all undocumented residents of the state.
The average 2017-18 cost of in-state tuition and fees: $12,820
At this point, we sound like a broken record talking about the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the traumatizing effects such policies have on migrants traveling to the U.S. seeking a better life. Every week brings either gun violence against communities of color (made easier under the influence of Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric against these same communities), more cases of ICE raids throughout the country, and even more cases of families being separated at the border.
The most inhumane part of all of this continues to be the ways the Trump administration completely disregards children.
Guatemalan mother Maria Domingo-Garcia has been in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for nearly a week.
She’s the mother of three and has been separated from her 4-month old daughter who she still breastfeeds. Maria Domingo-Garcia ended up in detention since being picked up during an ICE raid at Koch Foods in Morton, Mississippi. She was among the 680 undocumented immigrants that were detained earlier this month.
According to CNN, Domingo-Garcia is being held at a facility in Jena, Louisiana. The facility is nearly 200 miles from Morton. The Mississippi Clarion Ledger, who first reported the story, followed the 4-month-old baby’s father new journey in having to raise his three young children on his own, after Domingo-Garcia’s detention. However, he’s still facing his own deportation proceedings with his next court date set for 2021.
Now, the 4-month-old baby girl is left without her breastfeeding mother. According to CNN, when a woman is breastfeeding, the body continues to produce milk and if the milk isn’t “expressed” then it could cause pain and swelling.
According to an ICE spokesman, all detainees receive a “medical screening upon intake” and if a woman says that she’s breastfeeding or nursing, she may be released.
However, ICE is reportedly saying that Domingo-Garcia answered “no” when she was asked this question.
But Domingo-Garcia’s attorney’s (Ray Ybarra Maldonado and Juliana Manzanarez with Justice For Our Neighbors) are saying that “ICE is, once again, lying. She said nobody’s asked her—not even one time—if she’s been breastfeeding.”
Dalila Reynoso, an advocate with Justice For Our Neighbors and the two attorney’s are working with the family’s immigration case. “They hope the circumstances — the age of the infant, the breastfeeding and the woman’s lack of a criminal history — could convince immigration officials to let her out on bond quickly,” according to the Clarion Ledger.
Many on social media took to condemn ICE and the administration for keeping this mother away from her month-old daughter and other children.
“The Trump administration is keeping a mother from her four-month-old baby, who is still breastfeeding, and two other children after the ICE raids in Mississippi,” one tweet read.
2020 Democratic Presidential nominee Kamala Harris also tweeted about the abuse of human rights by our own government.
“When will it end?” the California senator tweeted.
Of course, it didn’t take long for Ivanka Trump to share a social post that was severely ill-timed and out-of-touch.
The daughter of the president posted a photo of herself with her kids on the same week the news broke. Editor-in-chief of Rewire News, Jodi Jacobson, was quick to remind her of the mother being detained in ICE custody away from her children. Ivanka’s tweet could have been a coincidence but an ill-timed one at that.
Twitter user Juan Escalante shared the story, adding that while she’s in her father’s care—her father is fighting his own deportation as he continues to raise the rest of his children without their mother.
According to Domingo-Garcia’s attorney’s, the mother is devastated knowing she can’t properly care for or nurture her daughter.
Domingo-Garcia, originally from Guatemala, has lived in the U.S. for over 11 years. Aside from her 4-month-old baby girl, she has two songs, ages 3 and 11.
Her lawyers told CNN that the mother is “feeling the effects of having to suddenly stop breastfeeding.” The lawyer’s report, after visiting her in detention, that she’s “really depressed” and in pain from not being able to pump or breastfeed her baby girl.
While her 4-month-old daughter and 3-year-old son might not fully grasp what’s happening to their mother right now, her 11-year-old son is a lot more aware and understands that his mother is gone. According to Domingo-Garcia’s lawyer’s, the 11-year-old son has said, “I want my mom back home. I don’t understand why they’re keeping her. She didn’t do anything wrong. We need her here.”
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!