Report raids to the Migra Watch hotline 1-844-363-1423 or if in the Austin area to 512-402-4999, ICE is only allowed to detain those who have a WARRANT.
ICE raids are nothing new. Post 9/11 immigration policies are notorious for inhumane practices that criminalize refugee and asylum seekers fleeing gang ridden and impoverished countries, separate families, and commodify immigrants in for-profit detention centers. While George W. Bush’s legacy of the United States’ broken immigration system includes the incomplete 700 mile border wall, it’s Barack Obama that takes the title of Deporter-in-Chief with an estimated 2.5 million deportations during his presidency. Although the late Obama administration discontinued Secure Communities, provided deferred action from deportation for certain childhood arrivals, and prioritized criminal felony violators for deportation, the flaws inherent in the broken system enabled the current administration to expand on previous immigration policies. The executive order on border control and immigration procedures passed by the current administration on January 25, 2017 is a merely an expansion of its predecessors’ policies with clauses such as reinstating State and local law enforcement agencies to act as federal immigration officers, increase the range of criminal offenses considered as high priority for deportation, and the creation of for-profit detention centers near the border.
Yet, it’s not business as usual anymore. On February 9, 2017, days after the executive order was signed, 35 year old mother Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos was deported, sparking national protests. Lupe was taken into custody during a routine check-in with ICE, meetings she had been voluntarily doing for the past 8 years. Due to the new executive order, her charge of using false social security information, just as many undocumented people do for work, is now seen as high priority for deportation.
There have been responses of anxiety and urgency but there have also been responses of resiliency, hope, community and collective protection. -Alonzo Mendoza
Generally, because immigration is a federal issue, state and local law enforcement agencies can limit how much they reinforce federal immigration policies. Under Secure Communities, any time an undocumented immigrant came in contact with local law enforcement, whether that be during minor infractions such as a parking violation or driving without a license or calling the police for help such as a victim of domestic violence, local law enforcement would fingerprint the person, enter fingerprints into a federal database and hold the undocumented person until ICE would pick them up. Sanctuary cities were those that limited or did not engage in such practices.
The current executive order states that it will cut off federal grants to those cities that do not comply with the federal agenda. Yet, when Travis County (Austin) Sheriff Sally Hernandez declared Austin a Sanctuary city, it was not the current administration that retaliated first but the state of Texas with Governor Greg Abbott withholding grants to the city.
ICE, the Department of Homeland Security and the current administration are terrorizing communities. Rumors of raids are causing panic and anxiety within communities and the actual raids that have arrested people in grocery stores, fast food chains, and public schools are causing irreparable damage and emotional trauma, especially to young children.
But, as community activist and United We Dream organizer Alonzo Mendoza said, “There have been responses of anxiety and urgency but there have also been responses of resiliency, hope, community and collective protection. The trump regime is turning his mass deportation threats into reality but the undocumented immigrant community and allies are united to resist against this deportation machine”.
In just two days, over 40 undocumented immigrants were detained for deportation in Austin. As confirmed by Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) Friday evening, Operation Cross Check will be targeting South and Central Texas this weekend. Several community and nonprofit organizations are getting together to combat this. “We are advising people to have emergency plans ready to reduce anxiety in families and to be well prepared” says Alonzo Mendoza. It is recommended for families to know their rights at home and in the workplace in regards to ICE raids, to have an emergency plan in case a parent does get detained and to have a trustworthy immigration attorney.
#notonemore #stopdeportations #fuckice