Friday, March 24, 2017

ICE Arrests: Are Activists and Trump Opponents the Target?

Evidence is emerging that the February ICE raids and more recent detentions reveal what reporter Sam Knight calls “a pattern of deportation as retaliation.” Immigrant rights activists need to consider the most effective ways to expose and resist this maneuver by the Trump administration. Note the link below to a petition calling for the release of two Vermont activists detained last week.—TPOI editor

Source: ICE is targeting 'sanctuary cities' with raids
Administration is unhappy with local agencies that limit cooperation on detentions
One case study is Travis County, Texas

By Maria Santana, CNN
March 24, 2017
(CNN)Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been targeting so-called "sanctuary cities" with increased enforcement operations in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents, a senior US immigration official with direct knowledge of ongoing ICE actions told CNN.

A sanctuary city is a broad term applied to states, cities and/or counties that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation or involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration operations. More than 100 US jurisdictions -- among them New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- identify as such.

High-ranking ICE officials have discussed in internal meetings carrying out more raids on those locations, said the source.[…]

Read the full article:

In Trump Era, a Pattern of Deportation as Retaliation Is Emerging

By Sam Knight, The District Sentinel via Truthout
March 22, 2017
Recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions raise questions about the Trump Administration using deportation proceedings to punish political opponents -- both institutions and individuals.

Three undocumented activists in Vermont were arrested over the past week by ICE agents -- two of them, while leaving the office of an organization that advocates for immigrants' rights. In Texas, meanwhile, a federal magistrate judge on Monday confirmed that immigration agents were conducting raids in response to policy changes carried out by the county seat of Austin.

The Texas-based federal magistrate, Judge Andrew Austin, recalled how ICE officials had told him to "expect a big operation" and that it was "a result of the [Travis County] sheriff's new policy." This assertion was confirmed by the testimony of an ICE Agent named Laron Bryant.

Fifty-one people were netted in the raids. Twenty-eight of them had no criminal record whatsoever.

Read the full article:

U.S. judge: ICE said Austin raid was because of ‘sanctuary’ policy

By Tony Plohetski,  American-Statesman/KVUE News
March 20, 2017
Federal agents privately alerted two magistrate judges in late January that they would be targeting the Austin area for a major operation and that the sting was retribution for a new policy by Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that dramatically limited her cooperation with them, according to one of the judges.

The revelation — made Monday in open court by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin — conflicts with what Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told local leaders after the sweep, when ICE characterized the operation as routine and said the Austin area was not being targeted. It also provides evidence after weeks of speculation that Hernandez’s policy triggered ICE’s ire.

Read the full article:

Demand the release of detained human rights leaders Enrique and Zully!

Petition from Migrant Justice/Justicia Migrante
March 19, 2017

Sign the petition below to #FreeKike and #FreeZully

Enrique “Kike” Balcazar, is a seasoned human rights leader in Vermont. Kike has lived in the state since 2011, when he became one of the many migrant dairy workers who make Vermont’s iconic dairy industry possible....Zully Palacios is an active member of Migrant Justice. Zully has participated in Migrant Justice Assemblies, learning about the reality that dairy farmworkers face in Vermont....

On Friday, March 17, Enrique and Zully were leaving the Migrant Justice office in Burlington, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents targeted and arrested them. They are now in detention awaiting a court date. Neither has a criminal record. Their targeting appears to be political retaliation for their effective work in defending the human rights of workers and immigrants in this country.

Please sign to send the following letter to ICE Boston Field Office Director Todd Thurlow demanding the immediate release of Enrique and Zully, and calling for their deportation proceedings to be terminated!

Sign the petition:

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