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…
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.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The war on the homeless has turned into a war on migrants and non-profits are readily offering their services. London nonprofits are collaborating with immigration authorities that collect intelligence and conduct raids to detain and deport hundreds of homeless people, and are even lobbying for harsher policies, according to a report published Tuesday. At least three organizations with the shared goal of ending homelessness and connecting the vulnerable to appropriate resources — St. Mungo’s, Thames Reach, and Change, Grow, Live — regularly conduct joint operations with the Home Office “Immigration Compliance and Enforcement” and “through a creeping process of changes they are being turned into informers,” Corporate Watch found in its investigation.
By Jacinta Gonzalez for Mijente – As many community members start to plan out emergency response teams and community defense, there is a need to think out short and long term organizing strategies that we can use so that we do not fall into patterns of solely doing individual deportation cases, press and mobilizing work, but are also thinking about long-term power building. While enforcement under the new regime represents an expansion and escalation, it is built upon past practices that can provide us with key lessons now. In 2013, the New Orleans community was facing an increasing ICE presence in immigrant neighborhoods including raids
By Sarah Jaffee for Truth Out – Last week, on February 8, Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos went to her yearly check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Phoenix, Arizona, something she has done every year since 2008, when she was arrested in a raid by notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio and convicted of using a fake Social Security number to work (and pay Social Security taxes that she would never be able to collect). This time, instead of being sent home to her family, she was loaded into a van and deported to Mexico, despite a group of her friends and family and supporters placing their bodies in the way of the van. Her 14-year-old daughter had to pack her things for her; she, along with her brother and father, would be staying behind.
By Spencer Woodman for The Verge – Beginning last April, and picking up in the weeks following the November election, dozens of detainees at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in rural Georgia went on hunger strike in protest of their detention. The private prison corporation that runs the facility, CoreCivic — formerly Corrections Corporation of America — responded swiftly to the expanding demonstration: as immigrant detainees refused to eat, CoreCivic staff began immediately locking them in solitary confinement for their participation in the non-violent protest. According to ICE detainment logs obtained by The Verge through a Freedom of Information Act request, more than two dozen detainees were put in solitary confinement for hunger striking — some simply for declaring they would refuse to eat, even if they hadn’t yet skipped a meal. The logs also show that CoreCivic may have attempted to gather information on hunger strike organizers through cultivating detainee informants, who were later locked in solitary confinement themselves for protection.
By Kyung Lah, Alberto Moya and Mallory Simon for CNN – Los Angeles (CNN)A hammer pounds away in the living room of a middle class home. A sanding machine smoothes the grain of the wood floor in the dining room. But this home Pastor Ada Valiente is showing off in Los Angeles, with its refurbished floors, is no ordinary home. “It would be three families we host here,” Valiente says. By “host,” she means provide refuge to people who may be sought by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. The families staying here would be undocumented immigrants, fearing an ICE raid and possible deportation. The purchase of this home is part of a network formed by Los Angeles religious leaders across faiths in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.
By Staff of ACLU – LOS ANGELES – The ACLU Foundation of Southern California and a coalition of advocacy groups today sent a letter to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, Mayor Eric Garcetti and city council members, demanding that they take steps to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from impersonating police officers to gain access to homes and businesses in Los Angeles. The deception critically endangers LAPD policies that seek to assure immigrant community members they can report crimes and assist police investigations without fear of deportation. These policies have been vital in furthering public safety. ICE permits its agents to misrepresent themselves as police officers, probation officers, religious workers and other officials to gain community members’ permission to enter homes without warrants. The ruse has also been used to get individuals to volunteer information they might not otherwise divulge.
By Kerry Cardoza for Truth Out – “Everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday, confirming the assault that the Trump administration is waging against undocumented people in the US. Earlier that day, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had shed light on how immigration laws might be enforced under Trump by issuing two new memos on the topic. Immigrant communities have been on high alert since Monday, February 6, when US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began what they called a “national targeted fugitive operation enforcement effort.” By week’s end, 680 immigrants across the country had been rounded up for deportation. Grassroots organizations across the country were quick to react, providing legal support and community education, and taking to the streets to call out the government’s targeted attacks.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – New Homeland Security guidelines constitute a sweeping rewrite of Obama-era policies on immigration. The Trump administration on Tuesday issued new guidelines that constitute a “sweeping rewrite” of Obama-era policies on immigration, greatly expanding the number of individuals that can be forcibly deported and further emboldening the current crackdown. The memoranda on implementation (pdf) and enforcement (pdf) of President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration, which were dated Monday and published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), were leaked to news agencies over the holiday weekend and sparked wide concern among immigrants and civil liberties organizations. The official guidelines, signed by DHS Secretary John Kelly, “expand raids and the definition of criminal aliens, while diminishing sanctuary areas and enlisting local law enforcement to execute federal immigration policy,” The Hill reported.
David Iaconangelo for The Christian Science Monitor – FEBRUARY 11, 2017 —A group of prominent Mexican officials, legislators, and other political figures wants Mexico to resist President Trump’s deportation plans by assigning lawyers to fight cases in US immigration court, utilizing tough legal tactics that could jam up the workings of an already backlogged system. Monarca, as the group is named – after the monarch butterfly that travels freely between Mexico and the United States – is meeting with immigrant-rights groups in Phoenix on Saturday to discuss details of the plan. They also hope to meet with the city’s mayor and Sen. Jeff Flake (R) of Arizona, long active in talks for a comprehensive immigration reform, according to the Wall Street Journal. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who hasn’t taken a position on the plan, says his administration will take steps to defend its citizens living in the US, including allocating $50 million to help undocumented immigrants facing deportation.
By Nikhil Agarwal for AP – Millions of people living in the United States illegally could be targeted for deportation – including people simply arrested for traffic violations – under a sweeping rewrite of immigration enforcement policies announced Tuesday by the Trump administration. Any immigrant who is in the country illegally and is charged or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority, according to Homeland Security Department memos signed by Secretary John Kelly. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor offenses – or simply having crossed the border illegally. The Trump administration memos replace more narrow guidance focusing on immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes, are considered threats to national security or are recent border crossers.
By Mark Brown for Chicago Sun Times -In neighborhoods across Chicago with large immigrant populations, people are banding together to form rapid response networks to support their neighbors in the event of expected deportation raids by President Donald Trump’s administration. In the 35th Ward on the city’s Northwest Side, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has started what he calls the Community Defense Committee. In Rogers Park, home to an extremely diverse immigrant population, volunteer organizers have chosen to dub their effort Protect RP. In Little Village, the Mexican capital of the Midwest, they have picked the name La Villita Se Defiende, which translates to Little Village Defends Itself. As with the different names, each group seems to be charting its own tactical approach, but the overarching goal is the same: to protect undocumented immigrants by resisting efforts to deport them.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group. Hundreds of people showed up at the White House on Feb. 11 to denounce the Trump administration’s series of raids in recent days that targeted undocumented immigrants across the country, including in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Among the hundreds of people arrested in the raids were many with no criminal records. As part of President Donald Trump’s shock-and-awe policy strategy during his first three weeks in office, the raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are creating uncertainty and fear in immigrant communities. Through traffic checkpoints and raids on people’s homes and workplaces, ICE agents, in collaboration with local police forces in some cases, have detained hundreds of people, including 200 immigrants in Georgia, 160 in Los Angeles and 44 in Austin, Texas.