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 Sarah Jaffe for Truth Out – Across the country last week, immigrants went on strike to demonstrate what the country would be like if Donald Trump actually followed through on his promised deportations. The Day Without Immigrants actions kicked off in Wisconsin on Monday, February 13, where Voces De La Frontera and partner organizations held a Day Without Latinos, Immigrants and Refugees to protest Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke’s plans to collaborate with the Trump administration to deport people. We spoke with German Sanchez, one of the workers who went on strike that day. In addition to being a farmworker, Sanchez also volunteers with Voces De La Frontera Milwaukee, United for a Better Future from Fox Cities, and ESTHER (an interfaith social justice group in Wisconsin).
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 Renee Feltz for The indypendent. On March 9, Trinidadian immigrant Ravi Ragbir is scheduled to appear for his annual check-in with a deportation officer at the federal building in lower Manhattan. “I will go in,” he says. “Even though I suspect this may be the day I won’t be coming out.” No matter what happens, he will not go alone. “You can easily disappear,” he notes.” So it’s best to have people witness.” Ragbir knows the power of accompaniment. As executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC, he has worked to connect members of 30 congregations, faith communities and other groups with hundreds of undocumented immigrants seeking refuge and support.
By Roger D. Harris for Counterpunch. Resisting the inherent racism, sexism, and reactionary nationalism, which is institutionalized in the capitalist order and personified by its current CEO, is essential. But these defensive actions can and should be carried to a higher political level of not just resisting what we are against but also organizing for what we are for. The ruling elites are in a fight over the commanding positions of power such as the composition of the National Security Council. They are scrapping over how best – not whether – to dominate the world and subjugate working people. These fissures within the ruling circles are opportunities for us to go outside the binary choice of one ruling class faction or the other. Our opportunity is to promote a progressive alternative, which extends beyond just ameliorating the worst excesses of capitalism to one that positively promotes a new order.
By Anne Meador for DC Media Group – Immigrant workers around the country on February 16 flexed their economic muscle with a strike called “Un Dia Sin Inmigrante,” or “A Day Without Immigrants.” Planned at a three-day conference in Boston on February 10, the series of boycotts and strikes are intended to gain leverage for foreign-born immigrants, visa holders and undocumented immigrants at a time when migrant communities are scapegoated and discriminated against. Recently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids have swept through cities, detaining and deporting many people who allegedly lack proper documentation to reside in the U.S. “Now more than ever, it is important for the immigrant rights movement to have an offensive strategy,” said Maria Fernanda Cabello, a spokesperson for Movimiento Cosecha, in a press release.
By Carlos E. Rojas Rodriguez for Movimiento Cosecha. Movimiento Cosecha endorses, but did not organize the national “Day Without Immigrants” taking place today across the country. As far as we know, it was not coordinated by any organized group, but spread rapidly and organically through Whatsapp and social networks. It is important to understand the moment we are in, this is not the first time the immigrant community organizes itself organically around the idea of a Day Without Immigrants. Movimiento Cosecha has spent the past year training thousands of immigrant students and workers in a strategy that builds up to a Week Without Immigrants. This past weekend, 350 Immigrants from across the country came together for a National Assembly, and to formally inaugurate Movimiento Cosecha’s May Day campaign, launching decentralized preparations for a one-day national “Day Without Immigrants” strike on May 1st, 2017
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.
By Carlos Rojas for Cosecha – Boston, MA – On Friday, February 10th, hundreds of immigrant workers, parents, and youth from across the country will gather in Boston for a 3-day national assembly. The goal is to plan a series of migrant-led boycotts and strikes under the theme “Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes” (A Day Without Immigrants). Cosecha announced the first national day of boycotts and strikes on May Day (5/1/17) and will continue building towards a 7-day strike. Through boycotts and strikes, Cosecha seeks to demonstrate to the American public that this country cannot operate without its workforce, which is primarily composed of immigrants and poor people.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Protests at airports across the country sprung up like a brush fire in reaction to Donald Trump ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries. And, courts in multiple states issued emergency orders initially to stop deportations but ultimately to block detentions of people traveling to the United States from this countries. Courts issued rulings in New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington State. Now, there is a nationwide stay preventing deportations and detentions. This morning Donald Trump tweeted that “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world — a horrible mess!” Before noon, the White House changed its tune reversing itself and saying green card holders will not be barred but added confusion saying border agents would have “discretionary authority” to detain people and that there would be increased scrutiny of everyone, including US citizens, coming from the seven countries.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking immigration from specified Muslim-dominated countries took hold and impacted people almost immediately. The order includes people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and bans citizens of these seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days. President Trump’s Muslim ban excludes countries linked to his international business empire, i.e. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey, where Trump holds multi-million dollar licensing and development deals. The order prevents entry of any refugees to the U.S. for four months. There was an immediate reaction to the ban. People were at airports to support those being held at airports when they came off of an airplane. In addition, lawsuits were being filed to support them and overturn the Trump ban.
By Staff of UCLA Labor Center – Undocumented youth are concentrated in service sectors, such as food and retail, construction, administrative work, and waste management. Undocumented young workers are 50% more likely to be “front-line” workers. Front-line jobs are low-wage, entry-level jobs, such as the floor positions in retail stores, counter staff at a fast food restaurant, and nonsupervisory positions at the construction site. Undocumented youth earn 28% less than other youth and earn less than what is needed to live in the area. Undocumented youth are diverse and a core part of the Silicon Valley community.
By Aaron Reichlin-Melnick for Immigration Impact – A federal judge ordered the Border Patrol to immediately cease its practice of refusing to provide basic amenities to people detained in Border Patrol holding cells in Tucson, Arizona. The judge cited evidence that shows that detainees are kept in freezing holding cells—often called “hieleras” or “iceboxes” —for days without any access to showers or basic hygiene and are forced to sleep on cold concrete floors with only a thin Mylar sheet. On November 18, Judge David C. Bury ordered the Border Patrol to immediately begin providing any detainee held for more than 12 hours with a mattress…