Blockade Illustrates Why Chicago Is Not A Sanctuary City


By Organized Communities Against Deportations. Chicago, IL – Three life-size representations of statistics that show how Chicago and Mayor Emanuel have failed to live up to the claim of being a “Sanctuary” city and instead continue to uplift policies that center policing and incarceration, and fail to protect people from deportations. The role of the Chicago Police Department’s Gang database has been brought to the forefront by the case of an immigrant father from Back of the Yards, Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez, who has filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago for its role in directing immigration enforcement to his door by wrongfully claiming that he is a gang member.

Five Things ‘Safe City’ Raids Can Teach Us About New Era Of Enforcement


By Staff of Mijente – Last week Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released information that they haddetained 450 people across the country in cities and counties that have restrictions on the participation of local police in immigration enforcement, or so-called “Sanctuary” cities. Although this was not the 10K person mass raid that community members were warned about a few weeks ago, there are five elements we thought important to highlight that show us that we are in a new era of enforcement that requires us to track emerging tactics and technologies and have with solid and innovative response. And in an era where any contact with local law enforcement becomes an opportunity to detain, deport, and incarcerate, highlighting the role of local governments in creating real sanctuaries and pushing back against criminalization is key. As we figure out what those responses are, here are five things that we should be paying attention to in responding to Operation ‘Safe City’ and any that follow: This is what mass raids look like. We don’t have to wait for a 10,000 person raid to be announced in order to sound the alarm. This is what a raid and the propaganda that follows it looks like. The numbers and regions will vary, but ICE will always say the people they detained are dangerous and emphasize the stories that reinforce that narrative

Dozens Arrested After Protesters Block ICE Office In Bid To Halt Couple's Deportation

Hundreds of immigration rights activists gather on June 1, 2017 in front of the White House to denounce the immigration crackdown by the Trump Administration.  (Photo: Stephen Melkisethian/flickr/cc)

By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams – Dozens of people were arrested Monday morning for blocking the federal building housing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Hartford, Connecticut to denounce the deportation of a couple that’s lived in the U.S. for over twenty years. Meriden couple Giaconda and Franklin Ramos, who came to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1993 and have no criminal record, are scheduled to board a flight back to their home country on Sept. 29. Demonstrators sat on the ground blocking the entrances and held banners reading “Keep the Ramos family together” and “ICE stop your ethnic cleansing.” They, along with other demonstrators gathered to the side of the entrances, chanted “Not one more.” The Record Journal describes the Ramoses as “the most recent family facing separation after policy changes under the Trump administration ceased the automatic renewal of deportation stays resulting in a 60 percent increase in removal orders for residents with work tax identification cards.” As local Fox 61 explains, the couple “got their first deportation notice from ICE in 2005. Their case was then closed but come 2012, they were granted a stay of removal. However, it was this past June when their stay was denied.” Their two sons, 24-year old Jason and 17-year-old Erick, are U.S. citizens and attend Central Connecticut State University.

ICE Plans To Start Destroying Records Detailing Immigrant Sexual Abuse And Deaths In Its Custody

A man is detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents early on October 14, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: John Moore / Getty Images)

By Kali Holloway for AlterNet – The openly anti-immigrant agenda of the Trump administration has led to a drastic increase in deportations of undocumented immigrants, and a looming threat of removal for Dreamers who have spent most of their lives in the U.S. Those policies promise only to further tax the country’s immigration detention centers, where watchdog groups and detainees frequently report unsafe conditions. The dangers these detainees face are often revealed through careful reviews of records that document violations of immigrants’ human and civil rights. Now the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, better known as ICE, wants permission to destroy those records, which detail immigrant abuses ranging from sexual assaults to wrongful deaths. A press release from the ACLU indicates that ICE has submitted the new request on recordkeeping to the National Archives and Record Administration, which oversees the handling of federal records. Under the new terms, ICE would be allowed to destroy 11 types of records, “including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody,” as well as “regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities and communications from the public reporting detention abuses.”

With A Michigan City Fighting Back, DHS Pushes A Controversial Deportation Forward

Lourdes Salazar-Bautista of Ann Arbor speaks at a press conference on ICE policies in Michigan on July 8, 2017. Photo: Hunter Dyke/The Ann Arbor News

By Maryam Saleh for The Intercept – IN THE FACE of intense community opposition, immigration officials are vowing to push ahead with plans to deport a 20-year Ann Arbor, Michigan, resident. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has ordered Lourdes Salazar-Bautista, 49, to leave the country by August 2. The local community and elected officials have rallied in support of the mother of three, but ICE spokesperson Khaalid Walls told The Intercept that the agency will not back down. “In a current exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed her to remain free from custody while timely finalizing her departure plans,” Walls wrote in a statement. “ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. However, as Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention, and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.” The Mexican native says she’s not done fighting. “I’m not a threat to this country,” said Salazar-Bautista, choking back tears during a vigil at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor on Tuesday evening, broadcast on Facebook live.

IWW Miners Of Jerome & Bisbee Loaded Into Cattle Cars & Deported From State Of Arizona


By Janet Raye for We Never Forget – The above photograph shows more than 1000 working class men, mostly members of the Metal Mine Workers Industrial Union of the Industrial Workers of the World, being loaded into cattle cars in Bisbee, Arizona, July 12th, for the purpose of being deported from the state of Arizona. The men were force to stand in manure and left without food and water for hours until they were hauled across the state line and into New Mexico. More than 1000 men were left stranded in the desert near Hermanas, New Mexico. The sixty-seven men deported from Jerome were taken across the state line and left at Needles, California.

60 Days Of Deportations And Detainments Under Trump

Fatima Avelica, 13, daughter of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, attends a rally for his release outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices March 13, 2017, in Los Angeles. Her father is mentioned in the Slate piece. 
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

By Yessenia Funes for Color Lines – Tactics once reserved for violent criminals are now targeting undocumented youth and parents. In a cover story published today (June 16), Slate lays out 60 scenes from life as an undocumented immigrant in President Donald Trump’s America, pulled from the Columbia Journalism School’s Global Migration Project. Slate starts with February 20, the day the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two memos on immigration enforcement. The following day, 25-year-old Edwin Romero, an undocumented youth who would have qualified for citizenship under the proposed (and failed) DREAM Act, was arrested for a traffic violation but, ultimately held overnight in jail on an “immigration hold.” Then, in March, there was a teacher in Honolulu who wrote a staff-wide email that he wouldn’t teach any undocumented student. The examples go on and on—up until April 20, exactly 60 days after the DHS memos. As Slate points out, fewer than 9 percent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees have been connected to violent crime.

Immigration Court Spotlights The ‘Legal Hell’ Of The U.S. Deportation System

Officers from the Department of Homeland Security stand guard at a federal immigration court in Los Angeles in March as people outside protest the arrest and ordered deportation of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an immigrant detained while dropping his daughter off at school. (Michael Balsamo / AP)

By Bill Boyarsky for Truth Dig – I spent four days in immigration court recently as I began reporting on how President Trump’s nativist immigration policy, favoring native-born Americans, is reaching down to the street level. Contempt for immigrants was at the heart of his presidential campaign, and it remains a cornerstone of his domestic policy, whether the immigrants are from Muslim countries or are from Mexico and Central America. The United States is a nation of immigrants, founded and shaped by them, an idea so ingrained in the national psyche that it is almost a cliche. So is opposition to them, from the 19th century and the Know Nothing Party to Donald Trump. But the immigrants—Germans, Asians, Irish, Italians, Jews and many others—survived and prospered. “The migration of foreign peoples to the United States has been one of the most significant transformation processes in American history,” Erika Lee writes in her review of Roger Daniels’ book “Guarding the Golden Door.” Personally, I root for the immigrants. I see them as America’s future, a feeling reinforced most recently while I watched journalism students, children or grandchildren of immigrants, from Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles’ heavily Latino Boyle Heights. They were learning the best way of using their mobile phones to cover their community and transmit the news stories they dig up.

Women In California’s Largest Immigrant Prison Hold Hunger Strike

Getty Images News John Moore

By Victoria Law for Waging Nonviolence – On June 14, 33 women who have been detained and incarcerated by ICE in California’s Adelanto Detention Facility launched a hunger strike. They were protesting the poor conditions at the facility as well as the policies that were keeping them away from their children and loved ones. The Adelanto Detention Facility, with a capacity of 1,940, is the largest private immigration detention facility in the United States. Run by the GEO Group, ICE pays $111 per person per day for the first 975 detainees, thus guaranteeing GEO a minimum of $40 million each year. If more than 975 people are detained inside Adelanto, the daily rate drops to less than $50 per day. Immigrant rights organizations, such as Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, or CIVIC, and Detention Watch Network, have sharply criticized Adelanto for its widespread and systemic abuses towards immigrants in custody. Since March 2017, three people have died at Adelanto. Others have reported medical neglect and, on at least one occasion, being punished for seeking medical care. Norma Gutierrez, one of the women on hunger strike has suffered multiple strokes during her incarceration at Adelanto. Instead of receiving proper medical care, she was placed in solitary confinement.

Judge Halts Deportation Of More Than 1,000 Iraqi Nationals From US

A protester demonstrates against the arrest of dozens of Iraqi Christians in south-eastern Michigan by US immigration officials. Photograph: Todd McInturf/AP

By Amanda Holpuch for The Guardian – More than 1,400 Iraqi nationals in the US have been protected from deportation for the next two weeks, because of an order issued late on Monday by a federal district judge. Judge Mark Goldsmith temporarily halted deportations while he considers a class-action lawsuit representing 114 Iraqis who were arrested in the Detroit area earlier this month. Attorneys say the defendants, most of whom are members of the Chaldean minority, could face persecution or death if returned to their country of birth. Islamic State and other jihadist groups have targeted Christians, including Chaldeans, and Shia Muslims in Iraq. Goldsmith said on Monday that given evidence provided about the “extraordinarily grave consequences” detainees could face if returned to Iraq, he would extend an existing halt on deportations to all 1,444 Iraqi nationals who are subject to orders of removal. “Such harm far outweighs any interest the government may have in proceeding with the removals immediately,” Goldsmith said. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) conducted a series of raids on Iraqi communities following negotiations between the US and Iraq, which resulted in Iraq agreeing, for the first time in several years, to provide travel documents to people the US attempted to deport.

‘Reign Of Terror’: ICE Chief Says Immigrants Should Be Looking Over Their Shoulders

"More evidence the administration is methodically building a deportation force," wrote Ali Noorani, an immigrant rights advocate. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

By Jake Johnson for Common Dreams – The remarks came during a House Appropriations Committee hearing, in which Homan asked for more than a billion dollars to expand ICE’s capacity to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Immigration arrests are “already up sharply since President Trump took office,” the Washington Post noted, and they “could rise dramatically next year” if Homan’s requests are fulfilled. “Part of that increase,” added Buzzfeed’s Salvador Hernandez, “is due…to what many have seen as a shift in the agency to not just focus on immigrants with violent criminal histories, but minor crimes as well. Attorneys have also pointed to undocumented immigrants who have been detained without any criminal history, or minor convictions.” Last week, Reuters reported that not only is the Trump administration rounding up undocumented immigrants at a staggering clip, it is also “reopen[ing] the cases of hundreds of illegal immigrants who…had been given a reprieve from deportation” by the Obama administration.

Fire And ICE: The Return Of Workplace Immigration Raids

Erik McGregor/Sipa via AP Images

By David Bacon for The American Prospect – Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political, and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece. At the end of February immigration agents descended on a handful of Japanese and Chinese restaurants in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi, and in nearby Meridian. Fifty-five immigrant cooks, dishwashers, servers and bussers were loaded into vans and taken to a detention center about 160 miles away in Jena, Louisiana. Their arrests and subsequent treatment did more than provoke outrage among Jackson’s immigrant rights activists. Labor advocates in California also took note of the incident, fearing that it marked the beginning of a new wave of immigrant raids and enforcement actions in workplaces. In response, California legislators have written a bill providing legal protections for workers, to keep the Mississippi experience from being duplicated in the Golden State. Once the Mississippi restaurant workers had been arrested, they essentially fell off the radar screen for several days. Jackson lawyer Jeremy Litton, who represented three Guatemalan workers picked up in the raid, could not get the government to schedule hearing dates for them.

Making Sense Of The Deportation Debate

Flickr/ thekirbster

By Aviva Chomsky for Tom Dispatch – Ever since he rode a Trump Tower escalator into the presidential race in June 2015 and swore to build his “great wall” and stop Mexican “rapists” from entering the country, undocumented immigrants have been the focus of Donald Trump’s ire. Now that he’s in the Oval Office, the news has been grim. A drumbeat of frightening headlines and panicked social media posts have highlighted his incendiary language, his plans and executive orders when it comes to immigrants, and the early acts of the Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when it comes to round-ups and deportations. The temperature has soared on the deportation debate, so if you think we’re in a completely unprecedented moment when it comes to immigration and immigrants, you’re in good company. Trump has repeatedly claimed that immigrants, especially undocumented ones, are flooding the United States, causing crime waves, and depleting social service budgets. Never mind that the number of such immigrants has been in steady decline since 2008, that immigrant crime rates are lower than citizen crime rates…

Not Only Latinos, African Blacks Facing Mass Deportation

Wikimedia Common

By David Love for Atlanta Black Star – Although often not covered in the media, the African immigrant community is facing mass deportations in the era of Donald Trump. While the immigration debate in the U.S. is often framed in terms of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America on the one hand and the infamous Muslim travel ban on the other, the issue is more complicated. As the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency conducts its sweeps on immigrant communities, African people are among those who are being detained and deported. While deportations were in no short supply under the Obama administration, these deportations are expected to soar under Trump, whose immigration ban on six Muslim nations includes three African nations — Libya, Somalia and Sudan…

Children As Young As 3 Detained 500 Days And Counting In Disgraceful Immigrant Prisons

Maria Sotomayor

By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – For more than 600 days and two Christmas holidays, Marlene and her seven-year-old son Antonio have languished in indefinite detention at Pennsylvania’s “Berks Family Residential Center,” a glorified term for an immigrant prison. Her child has been granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), which the U.S. government says is supposed to “help foreign children in the United States who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected.” But instead of sanctuary, or even a fair hearing, Marlene and her son face open-ended incarceration and “expedited removal” orders, compounding the trauma they endured when they were forced to flee their home in El Salvador under threat of gang violence.