Monday, February 27, 2017

The Times Explains the Immigration Facts—But Why Did It Wait Until Now?

The New York Times editorial for the paper’s February 26 edition (see below) made several telling points about enforcement measures targeting undocumented immigrants:

  • the policy was absurdly expensive under President Obama;
  • it will get dramatically more expensive if President Trump is allowed to follow through with his plans;
  • the undocumented population has actually declined since 2008, so there would be no justification for these measures even if this population really was a problem.
But why did the Times wait until now to point the policy’s drawbacks out to a wide national audience? The enforcement machinery has been growing for more than three decades, and the facts in the Times editorial have been obvious for years. The paper itself has had some excellent reporting on the policy’s economic costs, but in general the Times followed most of the mass media in looking the other way while we poured billions into programs that were as useless as they were inhumane. In 2000 the editorial board still backed the easily disproved claim that legalization of the current undocumented population would “beget more illegal immigration,” and as recently as 2013 reporter Julia Preston cited concerns that a “new wave of illegal crossings that might be spurred by a legalization program.”

We should thank the Times’ editors for finally getting a more realistic perspective out into the national consciousness. But we need to remember: we might not be dealing with the Trump phenomenon now if the Times and the other mainstream media had seriously challenged anti-immigrant propaganda in the past.—TPOI editor.

The Immigration Facts Donald Trump Doesn’t Like

By the Editorial Board, New York Times
February 25, 2017

Let’s be clear: The moral case against President Trump’s plan to uproot and expel millions of unauthorized immigrants is open-and-shut. But what about the economic cost? This is where deeply shameful collides with truly stupid.

The Migration Policy Institute reported in 2013 that the federal government spends more each year on immigration enforcement — through Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol — than on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined.[…]

Read the full editorial:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

News Update 2/25/17: New Sanctuary Groups Prepare for ICE Raids

Philadelphians train to disrupt ICE raids. Photo: Laura Benshoff/WHYY
The deportation raids earlier this month seem to have galvanized the New Sanctuary Movement. In what many consider a reprise of the 19th century’s Underground Railroad, religious institutions around the country are preparing to combat future raids by sheltering immigrants and disrupting ICE operations.--TPOI editor

Plan to Disrupt Immigration Raids Will Enlist Songs and Prayers

By Laura Benshoff, NPR Morning Edition
February 24, 2017
As one woman yells “Help! Help!” — pretending to be taken by federal immigration officers — volunteers being trained to disrupt a raid begin singing and sit down as one, blocking the officers' path.

This scene is part of a training by a nonprofit advocacy group called New Sanctuary Movement. The group hopes to leverage a long-standing policy that federal agents won't make arrests in houses of worship — to create a kind of mobile sanctuary wherever a raid is happening, through prayers and hymns.

President Trump's immigration enforcement plans are still evolving, but the ominous feeling that they've created in communities of unauthorized immigrants has spurred trainings such as this one across the country.[…]

Read the full article:

These religious leaders are creating a new underground system to shelter undocumented immigrants

By Rafi Schwartz, Fusion
February 24, 2017
Across southern California, religious leaders are hard at work creating the infrastructure for what could become a major form of resistance in the Trump-era: sheltering immigrants.

Calling themselves the “Rapid Response Team,” a grassroots network of pastors, ministers, and laypeople have begun preparing private residences to house—and if need be, protect—undocumented immigrants at risk for deportation under President Trump’s ongoing crackdown on the undocumented community.

“That’s what we need to do as a community to keep families together,” Paster Ada Valiente explained to CNN, which profiled this growing movement on Thursday.[…]

Read the full article:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

It’s 1984: ICE Raids Are--and Aren’t--a Military Operation

Today President Trump announced that his administration is “getting really bad dudes out of this country,” adding that “it’s a military operation.” Hours later Homeland Security John Kelly was in Mexico announcing that there will be “[n]o—repeat—no use of military force in immigration operations.” He also scolded the press: “At least half of you try to get that right because it continually comes up in the reporting.”

War is peace, freedom is slavery, and a military operation isn’t a military operation. Why can’t reporters “get that right”? —TPOI editor.

Trump: Removal of undocumented immigrants is ‘military operation’

By Matthew Nussbaum, Politico
February 23, 2017
President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration’s efforts to remove undocumented immigrants is a “military operation.”[…]

Read the full article:

DHS chief softens Trump's talk on immigration
Kelly says there will be 'no use of military force' in deportation actions.

By Nolan D. MccCaskill, Politico
February 23, 2017
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly softened the administration’s rhetoric on immigration Thursday, contradicting President Donald Trump’s characterization of his deportation plan as he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to repair the strained relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.[…]

Read the full article:

Photo: ICE

Protest and Urgent Action: ICE Arrests Homeless Men Outside Virginia Church

ICE claims that it’s not carrying out sweeps. The operations target specific individuals, according to the agency, and avoid “sensitive areas” like places of worship. But ICE agents reportedly arrested six homeless men on February 8 as they were leaving a church-run shelter in Alexandria, a DC suburb in Virginia. Religious organizations are protesting the arrests and asking for phone calls to ICE (888-351-4024), the Department of Homeland Security (202-282-8000), and members of Congress (202-224-3121).

ICE Agents Arrest Men Leaving Fairfax County Church Shelter

By Julie Carey, NBC4 (Washington, DC)
February 15, 2017
Some are questioning the way Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are handling arrests in Fairfax County after at least two men were arrested near a church shelter.

Oscar Ramirez said he had just left the hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Church on Russell Road in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, Virginia, when about a dozen ICE agents surround him and other Latino men.

"'Stop right there. Stop right there. Stop right there. Stay by the wall, where we can see your hands,'" the agents said, according to Ramirez.[…]

Read the full article:

Faith leaders protest ICE raid outside Church

By Peggy Fox, WUSA-9 (Washington, DC)
February 17, 2017

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA (WUSA9) - Faith leaders protested at ICE offices in Fairfax County
infuriated over news of a raid outside a church in Alexandria along the Route One corridor.

"[ICE has] no business arresting people en mass without reasonable suspicion to think that they may have committed some kind violation of the law," said Nicholas Marritz with the Legal Aid Justice Center.

A fewer dozen Faith leaders and legal advocates for immigrants are demanding answers from the federal government about the ICE raid that happened outside the Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church on February 8th.[...]

Read the full article:

URGENT ACTION from Interfaith Immigration Coalition

Call the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Customs Enforcement
Tell them to Stop ICE Raids and Respect Places of Worship

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently detained six men coming out of the hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Places of worship are considered a “sensitive location” by ICE, which means that it is not ICE policy to make arrests or other enforcement actions at or near sensitive locations, such as houses of worship, schools or hospitals. ICE’s arrests of individuals leaving the church’s ministry of shelter clearly violates that policy.[...]

Read the full action alert:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Border Patrol Out of Control: Guns Down Mexicans Inside Mexico, Invades US Citizens’ Privacy

On February 21 the Supreme Court heard arguments in Hernández v. Mesa, a suit by the parents of a
CBP victim Sergio Hernandez. Photo: AP
Mexican teenager killed by a Border Patrol agent as the unarmed boy stood on the Mexican side of the border. The U.S. government claims its agents have the right to gun down foreign civilians inside their own country if the agents happen to “feel threatened.” Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents continue to violate the privacy rights of people entering the U.S. In a recent incident, they insisted on searching the cellphone of a U.S. citizen who works for NASA; in the process they may have compromised the security of another government agency.

Two memos released on February indicate that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is working to expand the size and the powers of this obviously lawless agency. –TPOI editor.

The Border Is A Constitution-Free Zone For Agents Who Shoot And Kill. But Maybe Not For Long.
A Mexican teen’s death will force the Supreme Court to decide if there can be justice for cross-border violence.

By Roque Planas and Cristian Farias, Huffington Post
February 20, 2017
CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — María Guadalupe Güereca wanted to hold her son.

Instead, Mexican police held her back from the crime scene. So she watched him from above the canal that carries the Rio Grande between the American city of El Paso, Texas, and the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez.

Her 15-year-old son, Sergio Hernández, had been playing with a group of boys along the river, when U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesús Mesa Jr. went to apprehend them, apparently viewing them either as drug smugglers or people trying to cross the border illegally. He grabbed one of the boys on the U.S. side of the river canal, as the rest fled. Sensing that someone was throwing rocks, he turned toward Sergio, who had taken cover behind the bridge piling on the Mexican side of the river, and shot him in the face.[...]

Read the full article:

A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone

By Loren Grush, CNBC
February 12, 2017
Two weeks ago, Sidd Bikkannavar flew back into the United States after spending a few weeks abroad in South America. An employee of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Bikkannavar had been on a personal trip, pursuing his hobby of racing solar-powered cars. He had recently joined a Chilean team, and spent the last weeks of January at a race in Patagonia.

Bikkannavar is a seasoned international traveller — but his return home to the US this time around was anything but routine. Bikkannavar left for South America on January 15th, under the Obama Administration. He flew back from Santiago, Chile to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas on Monday, January 30th, just over a week into the Trump Administration.

Bikkannavar says he was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol and pressured to give the CBP agents his phone and access PIN.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The White House Leaves No Doubt: It Plans Mass Roundups

Photo: Bryan Cox/AP
The raids earlier this month were no fluke. Two memos released on February 21 make it clear that Donald Trump was serious when he promised to deport millions of immigrants. The memos plan for adding 10,000 agents to the bloated enforcement apparatus, for drastically expanding the number of immigrants targeted for deportation, and for rushing asylum applicants back to their home countries. The policies were bad under the Obama administration; they will be worse now.

The memos are available here (pdf) and here (pdf) .

We can expect resistance to go on growing—but how will we protect protesters from retaliation? Some 100 workers seem to have been  fired for leaving their jobs to participate in the “Day Without Immigrants” on February 16. People have tweeted calls for boycotting the employers who did this, but it’s not clear how effective boycotts would be, especially for local businesses in areas with strong support for the anti-immigrant crackdown.–TPOI editor

Trump lays groundwork for mass deportations
DHS will hire 10,000 new immigration officers and reverse a number of Obama administration policies.

By Josh Dawsey and Ted Hesson, Politico
February 21, 2017
President Donald Trump pledged during his campaign to create a deportation force. Now, he’s equipped federal immigration agents with the tools to potentially remove millions of immigrants from the country.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a pair of guidance memos Tuesday that gives federal immigration agents wide latitude to arrest, detain and deport undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants with criminal records.[...]

Read the full article:

New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions

By Ron Nixon and Michael D. Shear, New York Times
February 21, 2017
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday released a set of documents translating President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security into policy, bringing a major shift in the way the agency enforces the nation’s immigration laws.

Under the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were the priority for removal. Now, immigration agents, customs officers and border patrol agents have been directed to remove anyone convicted of any criminal offense.

That includes people convicted of fraud in any official matter before a governmental agency and people who “have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.”

Read the full article:

Day Without Immigrants: More than a hundred US employees sacked for taking part in protest
The Day Without Immigrants protest shut down businesses across the US last week, but it didn’t come without consequences for employees who decided to take part in the demonstrations

By Zlata Rodionovam, The Independent
February 21, 2017

More than a hundred workers across the US were reportedly fired for taking place in the “Day Without Immigrants” protests against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

The demonstrations, for which support was largely drummed up online, urged foreign-born workers to refuse to participate in the US economy for a day.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Grassroots Resistance Mounts in Response to ICE Raids

The Trump administration’s deportation raids in the second week of February seem to have galvanized activists. Groups around the country have responded by trying to develop action plans for resistance to the raids; an especially encouraging sign is what appears to be growing support among people who aren’t directly impacted by the threat of deportation.

The three articles below report mostly on resistance efforts in Austin, Chicago, Kansas City and Phoenix, but similar planning is undoubtedly under way in other areas. If you have information on resistance networking, please send it to us at (Be sure to indicate whether the information should be made public.) –TPOI editor
Photo: Kristi Sandord/Chicago Sun-Times
How immigration activists mobilized to thwart deportation raids last weekend
With communities on edge as crackdowns begin, grassroots groups are acting quickly to form information-sharing networks and raise awareness of legal rights

By Tom Dart and Ed Pilkington, The Guardian
February 14, 2017
The rumour began spreading around noon last Saturday: immigration officials were set to conduct raids near churches in Kansas City. Local activists immediately reacted by forming a resistance plan.

Forty-five people – attorneys, faith leaders, volunteers – showed up at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in downtown Kansas City at 6am the following morning.[...]

Read the full article:

Neighbors Joining Together to Block Trump Deportations

By Mark Brown, Chicago Sun-Times
February 17, 2017
In neighborhoods across Chicago with large immigrant populations, people are banding together to form rapid response networks to support their neighbors in the event of expected deportation raids by President Donald Trump’s administration.

In the 35th Ward on the city’s Northwest Side, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has started what he calls the Community Defense Committee.

In Rogers Park, home to an extremely diverse immigrant population, volunteer organizers have chosen to dub their effort Protect RP.

In Little Village, the Mexican capital of the Midwest, they have picked the name La Villita Se Defiende, which translates to Little Village Defends Itself.

Read the full article:

Blocking Deportation With Your Life: A Conversation With Arizona Activist Maria Castro

By Sarah Jaffe, Truthout
February 14, 2017
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.

Maria Castro -- a community organizer for People United for Justice and a member of Puente Arizona -- was one of the people putting her body on the line to try to prevent Garcia de Rayos's deportation. We asked her to talk about what will be necessary to prevent more families like Garcia de Rayos's from being split up.[...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, February 19, 2017

News Update 2/18/17: Fallout Continues From Previous Week’s ICE Raids

One of Trump's "bad hombres"
More than a week later, immigrant communities are still suffering from the effects of the Trump administration’s nationally coordinated arrests of some 680 immigrants. DACA recipient Daniel Ramirez Medina remains in custody; his lawyers say ICE may have altered a document. Another detainee is a transgender woman seized after she filed for a protection order—and her abuser may be the one who tipped ICE off that she’d be in court that day. Meanwhile, a pro-Trump community in Missouri finds that one of the detained “bad hombres” is a respected local restaurateur.

‘Psychological warfare’: immigrants in America held hostage by fear of raids
After a week of raids and an alarming government leak, uncertainty hangs over immigrant communities as they wait to see what Trump will do next

By Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian
February 18, 2017
Immigrant communities across the United States are in a state of fear and uncertainty after a week of immigration raids and leaks from the Trump administration that have raised the specter of a mass deportations.[…]

Lawyers for 'Dreamer' detained in Seattle allege authorities tampered with client's note

By Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times
February 18, 2017
Lawyers for a detained "Dreamer" went to court Friday seeking his immediate release and calling his arrest unconstitutional, but a federal magistrate ruled he wasn't empowered to free the man without giving an immigration judge a "first crack."[...]

Read the full article:

Customs arrest in courthouse sends “horrible” message, official says

By CBS/Associated Press
February 17, 2017
EL PASO, Texas -- Local Texas officials said a review of courthouse security footage shows federal immigration agents detained a transgender woman seeking a protective order for alleged domestic violence while she was inside the courthouse.[...]

Read the full article:

Friends, family rally behind West Frankfort restaurant manager detained by ICE

By Molly Parker, The Southern
February 18, 2017

WEST FRANKFORT — For more than a week, a popular West Frankfort businessman and community leader has been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a detention facility in Montgomery City, Missouri, as his neighbors, family and friends work to bring him home.

Carlos Hernandez Pacheco, 38, from Mexico, was arrested at his home in West Frankfort on Feb. 9 and has since been held in the Montgomery County Jail, which is also an ICE detention facility about an hour west of St. Louis.[…]

Read the full article:

Memos signed by DHS secretary describe sweeping new guidelines for deporting illegal immigrants

So much for claims that Trump's deportations only target “bad hombres.”—TPOI editor

By David Nakamura, Washington Post
February 18, 2017

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border.

In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.

The new directives would supersede nearly all of those issued under previous administrations, Kelly said, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Update: White House Denies Plan to Militarize Raids—Do We Believe It?

“That is 100% not true. It is false,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told the media pool aboard Air Force One today, the Associated Press says in an update to an earlier report that the administration is considering a plan to employ up to 100,000 National Guard troops in sweeps of unauthorized immigrants. “There is no effort at all to round up, to utilize the National Guard to round up illegal immigrants,” Spicer went on, but “he couldn’t deny altogether that the subject had ever been discussed in the administration,” according to AP.

Later in the morning a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson told Vox that the memo was an early draft that was never “seriously considered.” Vox also published the full text of the memo, which Vox reporter Dara Lind said was “still under consideration in some form.”

It’s worth noting that the Department of Homeland Security, which enforces immigration laws, is now headed by retired general John Kelly. It could be significant that the last general to head the immigration enforcement apparatus was Joseph Swing, the architect of “Operation Wetback.”

Is Trump planning a rerun of "Operation Wetback"?

News Alert: Trump Weighs Mobilizing National Guard for Immigration Roundups

By Garance Burke, AP via Bloomberg
February 17, 2017

(AP) -- The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Even the Pentagon Gets Hit by a “Day Without Immigrants”

A nationwide February 16 walkout by immigrants had mixed results. The protesta response to the Trump administration’s ban on visits from seven majority-Muslim countries and to last week’s arrests of some 680 immigrant in sweeps around the U.S.was organized virtually overnight, mostly by personal contact and through social media; no national organization called for it. Some areas of the country seemed to be unaffected, and the nation didn’t grind to a halt. But the grassroots protests were quite effective in many places, closing various restaurants and grocery stores in a number of cities and nearly emptying some classrooms.

Even the Pentagon was affected: its employees had to do without the complex’s Sbarro, Starbucks, Coffee Cart, Taco Bell, Qdoba, Burger King and Freshens food concessions.

In New York City the protests included a decision to stay out by many workers at B & H Photo; the largely immigrant workforce at the company’s warehouses had voted to unionize in 2015. At the end of the day hundreds of immigrants and supporters joined a three-hour protest outside the ICE processing center in Lower Manhattan to demand freedom for detained DACA recipient Daniel Ramirez Medina. It was hard to estimate the crowd size: people streamed in and out of the protest area, where they had to endure a cold and windy evening. At any given time some 400 or 500 people were present, but the total number over the three hours was probably at least twice that. –TPOI editor.

Newark students protest. Photo: Christopher Occhicone/New York Times
U.S. Gets a Taste of Life Without Immigrants in Nationwide Protests
Businesses ground to a halt across the country as marchers and strikers opposed Trump’s crackdown.

By Roque Planas and Carolina Moreno, Huffington Post
February 16, 2017

AUSTIN ― Immigrants across the country stayed away from work, missed school or avoided making purchases on Thursday in support of a grassroots movement aiming to show the country what “a day without immigrants” looks like.

In an effort to combat President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, restaurants and other businesses closed their doors in Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Detroit, New York City, Washington D.C., Charlotte and other cities ― either in support of the immigrant community or because too few employees turned up to work.[...]

Read the full article:

On a ‘Day Without Immigrants,’ Workers Show Their Presence by Staying Home 
“It’s like the Arab Spring,” said Manuel Castro, the executive director of NICE, short for New Immigrant Community Empowerment

By Liz Robbins and Annie Correal, New York Times
February 16, 2017

It first spread on social media, rippling through immigrant communities like the opposite of fear and rumor: a call to boycott. In the New York region and around the country, many cooks, carpenters, plumbers and grocery store owners decided to answer it and not work on Thursday as part of a national “day without immigrants” in protest of the Trump administration’s policies toward them.

The protest called for immigrants, whether naturalized citizens or undocumented, to stay home from work or school, close their businesses and abstain from shopping. People planned for it in restaurant staff meetings, on construction sites and on commuter buses, but the movement spread mostly on Facebook and via WhatsApp, the messaging service. No national group organized the action.[…]

Read the full article:

News Update 2/16/17: Free Daniel Petition, NYC Protest, a Day Without Immigrants

Last week’s ICE raids swept up at least one immigrant supposed to be protected by Obama’s DACA program. Government officials are still holding  Daniel Ramirez Medina, claiming he is an admitted gang member and therefore subject to deportation; his lawyers deny that the young man has gang affiliations. Immigrant rights activists are encouraging supporters to sign an online petition and to participate in protests, including one today in New York City.

Meanwhile, the ICE raids continue to spark more organizing and protests, including what appears to be a spontaneous “Day Without Immigrants.”

Petition to Free Daniel Ramirez Medina (From United We Dream)

In Seattle, a father named Daniel Ramirez Medina has been detained by ICE agents for days. Daniel has DACA and is authorized to work in the US.
If Daniel, a father to a three-year-old son who has been here since he was seven, isn’t safe we are all at risk for deportation.
Daniel is only one of hundreds of immigrants who have been invaded by ICE at their homes and workplaces and could be deported, regardless of their status. ICE has deported mothers who have lived here for over 20 years. ICE has demanded papers from U.S. citizens.
Secretary Kelly needs to release Daniel NOW and declare DACA recipients safe.
New York Rally to #FreeDaniel and Stop ICE Raids

The Trump administration has continuously attacked immigrant communities. This past week there have been hundreds of arrests by ICE, spreading fear and panic throughout our communities all over the country. Most recently, Daniel Ramirez Medina was taken into custody despite being a DACA recipient. This Thursday at 5 pm we rally in front of the Department of Homeland Security Building to demand that ICE #FreeDaniel and stop #ICERaids operations and arrests that are targeting everyone and tearing families falling apart.

When: Thursday, February 16th, 2017 at 5 PM
Where: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Varick Street Federal Building)
201 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014

This will be a legal, peaceful and nonviolent demonstration. Participating organizations include: Make the Road NY, United We Dream, New York Communities For Change, New York Immigration Coalition, Working Families Party, Taxi Workers Alliance, 32BJ.

Daniel Ramirez Medina: what we know about the DREAMer detained by immigration agents
Is Ramirez's arrest a mistake, or an omen? 750,000 immigrants’ lives depend on the answer.
By Dara Lind, Vox
February 15, 2017

President Trump has said that any unauthorized immigrant in the US should be deportable. But he has also said that the 750,000 immigrants who’ve been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — which grants two-year protection from deportation and work permits to young adults who came to the US as children — are “terrific” people who shouldn’t worry about their futures.

Those two positions always conflicted. And while the Trump administration is still delaying a decision on what to do with the “DREAMers” who’ve received DACA protections, it looks like the crisis is coming to a head. […]

Read the full article:

After Nationwide ICE Raids, 50,000 People in Milwaukee Rose up to Say the Arrests Were Wrong
By Oliver Ortega, The Progressive
February 14, 2017 
Photo: The Progressive
As seventeen-year-old Daniel Gutierrez Ayala marched in Milwaukee on Monday, he thought about the fate of his undocumented parents in Trump’s America. He thought about his own tenuous future as a recipient of President Obama’s deferred action program, and his dream of one day becoming a lawyer who fights for the immigrant community.

As he walked, the high school senior took comfort in the fact that he was not alone. Tens of thousands walked with him—day laborers and business owners who closed shop for the day, schoolchildren and working parents who had taken the morning off, teachers and office workers, activists of all colors and creeds, all eager to partake in one of the largest single manifestations for immigrant rights since President Donald Trump took office.[…]

Read the full article:

Day Without Immigrants to Hit Washington in the Stomach
By Richard Pérez-Peña and Katie Rogers, New York Times
February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — In a city where expense account meals are a central part of power players’ lives, some of Washington’s best-known restaurants will close their doors on Thursday in solidarity with a national campaign to draw attention to the power and plight of immigrants.

The campaign, spread on social media and messaging apps, has called for a “day without immigrants.” It asks foreign-born people nationwide, regardless of legal status, not to go to work or go shopping in a demonstration of the importance of their labor and consumer spending to the United States’ economy.[…]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What Can We Do to Resist the ICE Raids?

Last week’s arrests of some 680 immigrants are almost certainly the beginning of a large and well-publicized Trump administration assault on the country’s more than 11 million undocumented people. The raids have sparked a number of local protests, but what are the plans for building long-term resistance?

Below we’re listing two national organizations that are asking people to pledge their support for targeted immigrants. There will undoubtedly be many more efforts like these, both nationally and locally. If you have information on additional plans to resist the raids, please contact us at —TPOI editor

 #HereToStay Network (United We Dream)

[United We Dream describes itself as “the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation” with a network “of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states.”]

I am ready to support immigrants at risk of deportation by the Trump regime.

I pledge to physically show up for immigrants in my community when they need me.

We are getting reports from dozens of cities that Trump regime agents are raiding homes to deport immigrants and their families.

If you chanted “Immigrants are welcome here,” at a protest - it’s time to show up.

If you flooded the airport to fight for refugees - it’s time to show up.

If you hit the streets when Trump announced his immigration orders - it’s time to show up.

The #HereToStay Network is a group of people ready to fight for immigrants at risk of deportation. When Trump agents show up to raid immigrants’ homes and workplaces, we'll need you to show up.

Sign up here:

Keep Immigrant Families Together (Our Revolution)

[Our Revolution is a U.S. political action organization that developed out of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. The organization says its mission is to educate voters about issues, get people involved in the political process, and work to organize and elect progressive candidates.]

Let us know we can count on you to protect victims of ICE raids in your community
Donald Trump’s attack on immigrants has taken a frightening turn. Families and communities across America are being torn apart by Trump’s xenophobic raids. This is not who we are. The raids must stop.

Demand decency and justice for the undocumented community. Sign up below and pledge to take action locally to protect immigrant families and stop the raids.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

No, Trump’s Immigration Raids Aren’t Just Business as Usual

According to ICE officials, immigration advocates have circulated “false, dangerous and irresponsible” reports about last week’s nationally coordinated raids, which the officials now say netted some 680 arrests. “These reports create mass panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger,’ ICE charges, claiming the massive operation was simply business as usual, no different from raids carried out under the Obama administration. The Trump-linked rightwing newsite echoed this line and dismissed reports to the contrary as “fake news.”

It’s true that the new “surge” carries on procedures the early Obama administration followed, but there are significant differences—basically, that the Trump administration has broadened the categories of people who could be targeted and, more importantly, that an escalation of these actions is in fact precisely what the president promised as a candidate and continues to promise now. Below we link to two articles analyzing these differences.

Some people on the left have also stressed Obama’s record as “deporter in chief.” Why didn’t Obama’s raids attract the same level reporting from the media and of protests from progressives? The criticism is justified—there certainly should have been more coverage of Obama-era raids and more resistance to them—but that’s hardly a reason not to report on and protest Trump’s actions now. –TPOI editor.

Trump just getting started with immigration raids
The president granted himself sweeping authority to step up deportations, and he's poised to use it.

By Seung Min Kim and Ted Hesson, Politico
February 14, 2017

The arrests of hundreds of immigrants last week marked the first large-scale raid under the Trump administration — and the crackdown was, by all indications, just the start of much more to come.

The expansive executive order signed last month by President Donald Trump allows a significantly broader population of immigrants to be picked up for deportation. And Trump has signaled he has every intention of using that authority to carry out his campaign pledge to deport millions of foreigners from the United States.

Immigration advocates say the stepped-up enforcement amounts to a new deportation dragnet that’s ensnaring otherwise law-abiding immigrants.[...]

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The first immigration raids of the Trump era, explained
Both fairly standard and newly terrifying.

By Dara Lind, Vox
February 14, 2017

In North Carolina, a husband left his house to start a car, only to be handcuffed by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. In Los Angeles, a man was arrested at the Walmart where he worked. In Garden City, Kansas, whole apartments of people were fingerprinted and taken into custody.

They’re three of the more than 680 people that ICE agents around the country — from the Midwest to the Southeast, California to New York — have arrested in the past week. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, in a statement Monday, calls it “a series of targeted enforcement operations,” and maintains it’s no different from what ICE has done “for many years.” Critics call it a series of nationwide raids — and claim it’s the first step toward President Donald Trump fulfilling his promise to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants.

The reality is somewhere in the middle. Nothing that ICE did last week was unprecedented. But it feels different with President Trump in the White House — and that’s something that ICE agents and immigrants alike know all too well.[...]

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Monday, February 13, 2017

More Resources for Defense Against ICE Raids: The Stop ICE Toolkit

The New York-based Immigrant Defense Project is providing a "Stop ICE Toolkit," which the group says "offers social justice advocates, lawyers, and community members critical information and analysis of our country’s massive detention and deportation system, as well as straightforward guidance on how to prepare for the ICE raids."

Immigration Defense Project resources include:
  • Definitive information on who ICE targets for deportation, priority locations for ICE activity, and common ICE arrest tactics and strategies.
  • Recommendations for immigrants and advocates on emergency preparedness for those at risk of deportation, individual rights during ICE encounters, and potential legal and community challenges to ICE raids.
  • Key takeaways from years of critical research and experience with the mechanics of the world’s largest detention and deportation apparatus — including an initial forecast of what we may see under a Trump administration.
  • Select internal DHS/ICE enforcement memos and training documents secured through a pending FOIA litigation — as well as summaries of raids reported to IDP, organized by common ICE tactics and ruses.
Coming soon:
  • An online interactive map of the raids reported to IDP in the New York City area.
  • An online directory of FOIA documents from Immigrant Defense Project et al. v. ICE et al.
  • A web-based version of the toolkit.
  • Ongoing updates and more resources on emergency preparedness.
Access the Immigration Defense Project resources here:
Also see the "know your rights" materials from United We Dream:

600 Immigrants Swept Up Last Week—Is This "Routine"?

The total for last week's deportation sweep was more than 600, affecting a least 11 states. Immigration officials claim that the arrests were "routine," but President Trump’s recent tweet gives a different picture. "The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise,” he writes. “Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” Meanwhile, analysis of Trump's January 25 executive order on deportation shows that his "illegal criminals" and "bad hombres" could include as many as 8 million undocumented immigrants, more than three quarters of the unauthorized population.--TPOI editor.

Immigration Agents Arrest 600 People Across U.S. in One Week

By Liz Robbins and Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times
February 12, 2017

Federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people across at least 11 states last week, detaining 40 people in the New York City area, law enforcement officials said on Sunday.

It remained unclear whether the actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were part of continuing operations to round up illegal immigrants with criminal convictions or a ramping-up of deportations by the Trump administration.[...]

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The Future of Deportations Under Trump
The administration's new policies expand who is eligible for deportation, and an Arizona mother who has lived in the country for 21 years may be its first example.

By J. Weston Phippen, The Atlantic
February 10, 2017

The deportation of Guadalupe García de Rayos in Phoenix, Arizona, may be giving the undocumented population in the U.S. its first sense of what the next four years will feel like. Rayos is a 35-year-old mother of two who has lived in the U.S. for 21 years. In 2008, local deputies caught her using a fake social security number after they raided her work, and since then she has been required by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to show up at regular interviews. Every year she’s talked to an agent, then been released back to her family in the U.S. But Wednesday Rayos was arrested, and on Thursday agents put her in a van to be deported back to Mexico.

In January, President Trump signed an executive order that vastly expands who the U.S. considers a deportation priority. The order received little immediate media attention at the time of signing, likely because of the many other controversial orders the president released simultaneously. The order is full of vague language, and interpreting it has left a lot of questions as to what’s in store for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. [...]

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

ICE Arrests 40 New Yorkers in "Raids on Our Communities"

ICE Confirms 40 Immigration Arrests In NYC Area Last Week
Photo: The Gothamist

By Emma Whitford, The Gothamist
February 12, 2017

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has conducted dozens of operations in the metropolitan area in the last week and arrested approximately 40 people, according to a leaked ICE memo acquired and published by the New York Immigration Coalition. The leak comes on the heels of reports Saturday night that ICE had arrested and detained five men of Mexican nationality in Staten Island.

Reports of ICE activity in the five boroughs also follow a week of heightened tension among immigrant communities and activists, with confirmation of raids and targeted arrests in at least six states including California, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Illinois. Advocates based in Hudson, New York also confirmed at least four people detained by ICE this month. While ICE has issued statements describing the arrests as "routine," advocates say they are troubled by the pace and scale of ICE operations, which they believe may indicate President Donald Trump is firing up the deportation machine.

One of Trump's recent executive orders targets for deportation any non-citizen with an arrest on his or her record. A recent analysis from the Los Angeles Times estimates that as many as 8 million people could be considered a deportation priority under Trump.[...]

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Make the Road New York Denounces ICE Raids 


Contact (English & Spanish): Deborah Axt,, 347-432-6254
Daniel Altschuler,, 917-494-5922

New Yorkers will not be tricked by attempts to portray targeted immigrants as criminals

New York, NY (2/12/17) - In response to the fact sheet that the Department of Homeland Security released yesterday announcing that "approximately 40 foreign nationals were arrested this week in the five boroughs of New York City and the surrounding areas areas during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens," Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization's 20,000 members:

"Make the Road New York denounces these raids on our communities, which are designed to destroy families and spread panic and insecurity, weakening our city and the nation as a whole."[...]

Read full statement:

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.”

URGENT: Share these know your rights materials for immigration raids

From United We Dream
February 11, 2017

In the past 72 hours, the Trump administration has begun a nationwide assault on immigrants and their families.

Reports of ICE (immigration) raids at grocery stores, food trucks, people's homes and at workplaces are coming in from Los Angeles to Atlanta and many communities in between. In this moment, it is more important than ever to ensure families know their rights if ICE agents come to their door.

Here are some simple things you can do right now to make sure you and immigrants in your communities know what to do if you see agents in your city:

Share our Know Your Rights graphic on Facebook.
Retweet us to share the graphic on Twitter.
Visit our Here to Stay website for more resources.
Sign up for SMS alerts by texting HERETOSTAY to 877877

Forward the below information to anyone you know who might be targeted by Trump's anti-immigrant agenda.

It's more important than ever for all of us to be in solidarity with each other because we know that our liberation is bound to each other. We must not be afraid, we must remain united and we must fight back!

What to Do if ICE (immigration) Comes to Your Door

As Trump continues to push his anti-immigrant agenda we want to make sure you Know your rights! Here are some steps to follow in the case ICE (immigration) comes to your door.

Do NOT open your door
Remain silent
Do NOT sign anything
Report and Record ( call our hotline 1-844-363-1423)
Fight back

Como el President Trump quiere aterrorizar a la comunidad inmigrante, queremos asegurarnos de que conozca sus derechos. Aquí hay algunos pasos para seguir en el caso de ICE (mejor conocida como la Migra) venga a su puerta.

No abra la puerta
Guarda silencio
No firme nada
Reporta y graba ( nuestra línea de ayuda 1-844-363-1423)
Haz un plan y pelea
Nuestros voluntarios de la línea de ayuda Migra Watch están listos para defender a nuestra comunidad de la Migra. Reporta actividad en tu ciudad! Llámanos al 1-844-363-1423