Things That Matter

Troubling Videos Show ICE Agents Arresting A Man In A Denver Courthouse

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.

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The arrest made on May 5.


READ: His Wife Had To Stop Him From Going Back To Work Since He Only Has 30 Days Before ICE Takes Him Back

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Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

Culture

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

mitocaya / Instagram

Undocumented communities are being left out of Covid relief plans. Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya in Chicago is working to help undocumented restaurant worker in the time of Covid. Abuse of undocumented workers is rampant in certain industries and Chef Dávila hopes to offer some kind of help.

Mi Tocaya is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square that wants to help the community.

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry with restaurants being hit exceptionally hard. Restaurants have been forced to close their doors for good as the virus dragged on with no decent relief plan from the federal government. As several countries financially support citizens to avoid economic disaster, the U.S. government has given citizens $1,800 total to cover 10 months of isolating and business closures.

Namely, Mi Tocaya is working to help the undocumented community.

Mi Tocaya, a family-run restaurant, is teaming up with Chicago’s Top Chefs and local non-profits Dishroulette Kitchen and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. The goal is to highlight the issues facing the undocumented community during the pandemic.

The initiative called Todos Ponen, is all about uplifting members of our community in a time of severe need. The restaurant is creating healthy Mexican family meals for those in need.

”We asked ourselves; How can we keep our doors open, provide a true service to the community, maintain and create jobs, and keep the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors. This is the answer,” Chef Dávila said in a statement. “I confidently believe The TODOS PONEN Logan Square Project addresses all of the above and can very well be easily implemented in any community. Our goal is to bring awareness to the lack of resources available to the undocumented workforce- the backbone of our industry.”

The initiative starts in February.

Mi Tocaya is offering 1000 free meals for local farmers and undocumented restaurant workers. The meals are available for pickup Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647. to make this happen, Mi Tocaya also needs your help.

The restaurant has teamed up with two nonprofits to make sure that they can scale their operation to fulfill their commitment. They are also asking for donations to make sure they can do what they can to help undocumented restaurant workers.

According to Eater LA, 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off since the pandemic started. Some restaurants have had to lay off up to 91 percent of their staff because of Covid, about 10 percent of those are undocumented. In the cities, that number is as high as 40 percent of the laid-off restaurant staff are undocumented.

“People don’t want to talk about the undocumented workforce, but they’re part of our daily routine in most restaurants,” Jackson Flores, who manages the operations of Mi Tocaya, said in a statement. “They are in the toughest position in the whole economy because they’re an invisible part of it. Restaurant worker advocacy groups have added the creation of relief funds to their agendas, but there have yet to be long-term changes in protections for undocumented workers. Without access to unemployment benefits and other government resources, this group is especially vulnerable.”

READ: Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

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

Things That Matter

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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