Friday, January 19, 2018

Inside ICE’s Police State

More and more evidence is accumulating: ICE is using its policing powers in an effort to shut down resistance to the immigration system. So far, the effort seems to be backfiring. As the repression intensifies, the resistance seems to keep on growing. One example: nearly 600 people turned out in the cold at Washington Square on MLK Day for a Jericho walk sponsored by the New Sanctuary Coalition; this came four days after ICE detained the organization’s executive director, Ravi Ragbir. We can expect still more grassroots activism as political class inaction continues in DC.—TPOI editor

I Stood Up to ICE, and Now They’re Trying to Deport Me
With the letter delivered to my house, ICE has officially made the leap from a law enforcement agency to a political repression agency.
Photo courtesy of Maru Mora Villalpando
By Maru Mora Villalpando, Yes! Magazine
January 17, 2018
When I imagined U.S. immigration authorities coming for me, I never thought it would be by certified mail. And yet this is how it happened—a few days before Christmas, a knock on my door led to the delivery of a letter, informing me that I was being placed in deportation proceedings.

My daughter, who opened the letter, started to cry. I immediately saw this for what it was: their way of trying to intimidate me. I felt a mix of emotions, but mostly I felt angry.[…]

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No Sanctuary: As ICE Targets Immigrant Rights Activists for Deportation, Suspicious Vehicles Outside Churches Stoke Surveillance Fears

By Nick Pinto, The Intercept
January 19, 2018
When word came down from the upper floors of Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was taking custody of Ravidath Ragbir and intended to deport him, hundreds of his supporters, standing outside on the cold sidewalk, raised up their hands to the monolithic building and screamed.

Ragbir had entered the building willingly, on his own steam, accompanied by his wife and family, his legal team, and a handful of elected officials. Now, his friends outside learned, Ravi — as everyone knows him — wouldn’t be coming back to them. They had planned for this possibility even as they hoped it wouldn’t come, but the plans soon gave way to a spontaneous gesture of resistance. As the ambulance carrying a handcuffed Ragbir — he had briefly fainted when he was taken into custody — pulled out of the Federal Plaza garage, supporters attempted to stop its progress. Friends, colleagues, clergy, and city council members put their bodies in front of the vehicle, blocking it with their lives.[…]

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