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Trump’s Deportation Force Hits U.S. Communities; Advocates Decry Raids, Family Separation

 

A recording of today’s event is available here

In recent days, multiple communities have been targeted with deportation raids and a new Trump Administration policy that treats all undocumented immigrants as priorities for deportation, regardless of their roots and ties to the United States. On a telephonic press call today, immigration advocates and lawyers provided updates on the Deportation Force’s actions and the pro-immigrant movement’s response. A recording of today’s event is available here.

Sulma Arias, Field Director of Center for Community Change / FIRM, said, “Trump’s executive order vastly expanded the group of immigrants considered priorities for deportation, including those without criminal records.  It’s a horrific overreach that will separate families, destroy lives and undermine the American dream for US citizen children and immigrants alike.

Most of these people are not a threat.  Those with no convictions are being picked up.  Most are for minor crimes.  The deportation punishment is mean and vindictive and un-American.  It’s especially immoral because it serves no purpose other than for Trump to fulfill his racist promises to his base.”

Natalia Aristizabal, Lead Organizer of Make the Road New York, said, “Forty New Yorkers and their families were terrorized by ICE raids this weekend. In Staten Island alone, five families—four with US citizen children—were separated. Make no mistake about it: the agenda of Trump and ICE is to separate immigrant families. The President has tried to scapegoat and attack immigrants since the first day of his campaign, and these actions are an extension of that skewed and offensive way of seeing the world. But immigrants will not be forced back into the shadows. We are working hard to make sure that members of our community know their rights, and we are organizing in our neighborhoods to build the strongest possible networks of resistance.”

Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director of National Immigration Law Center, said, “We’ve seen this before from the Trump Administration: like with the Muslim and refugee ban, the executive order guiding deportation priorities exhibits the dangerous combination of malevolence and ignorance, creating a situation in which rogue ICE agents can detain and arrest anyone they determine to be deportable, regardless of that person’s longstanding ties to our communities.”

Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director & Co-Founder of United We Dream, said, “I must say that, despite all the fear, we’ve seen our communities taking a stand with a determination to protect our families, our homes and our values. It is the same courage and resilience which propelled us to come to this country in the first place.  We have seen allies – over 20,000 non-immigrants so far – register with the #HereToStay Network to defend immigrants.  As someone who has undocumented parents and a brother who has DACA, I want to make it very clear that we are all under attack, and so there is no sitting on the sidelines. We call on Secretary Kelly to rein in his out of control agents and we call on local elected officials to create policies to protect all people targeted by the Trump regime.”

WatAngelica Salas, Executive Director of CHIRLA, said, “Around 11:00 pm on February 9th, ICE activities began being reported in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. While it is true that ICE enforces the law every day, to justify this as ordinary and routine is insulting to us. They are attacking our families and targeting everyone who is undocumented.  On Friday, ICE admitted that they arrested 160 individuals in a five day sweep throughout 55 communities. Many of the 160 detained were non-violent offenders who were quickly deported before speaking with their loved ones. Let us not be fooled by the Trump Administration’s false depictions of immigrants. These deportation sweeps are creating great harm in our communities and separating families. It must stop.”