Saturday, February 11, 2017

Deportations Surge—and So Does the Resistance

New York City Rally on February 11. Photo: Newsday
ICE spokespeople deny it, but this week the Trump administration appears to have started implementation of its January 25 executive order’s promised “removal of aliens who have no right to be in the United States.”

As of February 10, ICE has:
  • Arrested 161 immigrants in an operation in southern California. ICE claims that about 75 percent of the detainees had prior felony convictions.
  • Deported an undocumented woman when she appeared at the ICE office in Phoenix, Arizona for a routine interview; her deportation had been stayed for four years.
  • Arrested more than a dozen immigrants in Austin, Texas, reportedly using traffic stops, visits to homes, and patrols around a grocery store.
  • Rounded up 26 immigrants in the Savannah, Georgia, metro area.
Immigration officials say agents also raided homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.

But the increase in operations by ICE was quickly met with protests: 
  • Seven people were arrested as about 200 protesters gathered at the Phoenix ICE offices on February 8 in an attempt to block ICE vans and buses.
  • Protesters in downtown Los Angeles closed Aliso Street to traffic for about two hours on February 9, chanting “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
  • Protesters gathered on February 10 at a corner in Austin where a man had been detained by ICE agents earlier in the day.
  • New York Communities for Change reported that more than 1,000 people joined a protest march in Manhattan the evening of February 10, and at least 500 rallied in Washington Square the afternoon of February 11.
Even the liberal New York Times spoke out, running an editorial noting that the removal of Guadalupe García de Rayos, the woman deported from Arizona, didn’t support Trump’s claim that “bad dudes” would be the ones targeted. Meanwhile, activist groups are making preparations for a more sustained defense of immigrants threatened by the deportation policy. A February 10 tweet from United We Dream featuring “know your rights” information for immigrants had been retweeted more than 8,400 times as of late afternoon the next day.

A December article by Politics of Immigration co-author David Wilson discusses reasons why the Trump administration would focus on large-scale deportations and ways we could act to oppose Trump’s Deportation Machine.”

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