• Stop the Deportation of Nigerien Opposition Activist
    Ali Marounfa (also known as Ali Tera), was born in Niger, West Africa and has lived in the United States for the past thirty years. Ali, 58, has two teenage daughters who are US citizens. A political activist with the Moden Fa Lumana part and the past president of the Niger Association in North Carolina who has publicly denounced corruption in the governing administration, he has been held in Stewart Detention Center in Georgia since June 2017, reportedly detained at the request of the government of President Mahamadou Issoufou, who currently hosts US military bases in Niger. He is not a criminal or a terrorist. Ali has been ordered deported by April 4, 2019. In addition to cruelly separating his family to pay back a Trump foreign policy ally, Ali's family fears his deportation would result in his imprisonment and torture. According to Amnesty International, other members of Moden Fa Lumana have received prison terms for criticizing the government on social media: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/niger/report-niger/ Sen. Tillis has intervened to demand that ICE support other political activists like Liu Xia of China (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1587/cosponsors?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22section+245+of+the+Immigration+and+Nationality+Act%5C%22+and+%5C%22for+the+relief+of%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=23). He should act now to stop this politically motivated family separation.
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  • Lightfoot Should Reject Anti-Immigrant Endorsement
    Chicago Mayoral Candidate Lori Lightfoot has said she is a progressive, pro-immigrant candidate, and has committed to moving forward some pro-immigrant reforms. However, the presence of two Aldermen from Chicago’s most conservative Aldermen at a recent Lori Lightfoot endorsement caused the immigrant community concern. Alderman Sposato recently condemned Chicago’s status as a sanctuary city, stating that elected officials should ignore the immigrant community and work closely with ICE to deport Chicago residents. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk0WsYfQLTo Alderman Napolitano is the only Republican in City Council and held a press conference the day after the city created IDs that were inclusive of Chicago’s immigrant residents. To show that she stands with the immigrant community Candidate Lori Lightfoot should denounce these anti-immigrant stances and reject any possible endorsements.
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  • Latinx Representatives - Stand Strong Against ICE and Trump’s Wall!
    Members of Congress who are at the table of negotiations to present to President Trump are paying attention to where the Congressional Hispanic Caucus stands. As Latinx communities who are represented by them in Washington D.C., we must let them know that they should not negotiate away our rights -- or the rights of any member of our community -- in our name. We all bore witness and directly experienced the ways in which this manufactured emergency has pitted average Americans against each other - from those living paycheck to paycheck to those who are living in fear of detention and deportation. Families and entire communities suffered while the Trump administration blamed the shutdown on migrants and the supposed border crisis. We call on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to reject any negotiations that are premised on the insidious falsehood promulgated by President Trump that the American people are willing to put our values, our livelihoods, and our democracy at stake under his threats.
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  • Join DMSC to tell ICE: Release the El Paso Hunger Strikers
    On December 27th, Sikh asylum seekers started a hunger strike to protest the discrimination, verbal abuse, lack of language access, and prolonged detention they have faced at the hands of ICE. The hunger strikers were joined shortly after by more Sikh and Cuban asylum seekers who have faced similar discrimination and lengthy detention. ICE has taken the extreme step of force-feeding nine hunger strikers through plastic nasal tubes, a painful and inhumane process. When asked if those being force-fed were being treated well by medical staff, one man simply responded: "they don't care". ICE has a history of cruelty and discrimination. This is only one of several hunger strikes happening across the country, which speaks to a pervasive problem with this government institution. While immediate relief for all hunger strikers is key, the only acceptable permanent solution is for the government to abolish the immigrant detention system, cease the criminalization of migrants, and provide safe and fair opportunities for immigration. Asylum-seekers should not have to endanger their own health and expose themselves to retaliation from ICE in order to make progress in their cases. We call on civil society to ask that ICE stop torturing asylum seekers and instead do the work of considering their claims in a legal hearing.
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  • #FreeJuliet
    Baby Juliet was separated from her dad on December 28th after crossing the border at Calexico, and has been in detention ever since. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), charged with processing immigrant and refugee minors, refuses to release her from an undisclosed shelter in San Antonio, Texas. Juliet was ripped from her father's arms six months after the Trump administration signed an executive order to end the family separation policy, and a federal judge ordered for children to be reunited. The total number of children separated from a parent or guardian is unknown, according to a January 2019 report from the U.S. Office of the Attorney General. Baby Juliet is now among the countless children who have been separated from their families for no other reason than the current administration’s extremist agenda to criminalize and punish migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. We cannot be silent as this administration continues inflicting violence and terror on communities seeking refuge in the United States. We demand that the U.S. Government stop separating families once and for all! #FreeJuliet #FreeOurFuture
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  • Tell Amazon: Stop Powering ICE!
    New research shows that Amazon is helping ICE track, detain, and deport immigrants -- in a big way. We've known that Amazon's servers host Palantir, the company that provides ICE with “mission-critical services,” such as its case management software, and we've been pressuring Amazon to drop Palantir. But it turns out Amazon's role in the deportation machine goes deeper than that. Through intense lobbying of policymakers and law enforcement officials, Amazon and Palantir have secured a role as the backbone for the federal government’s immigration and law enforcement dragnet, allowing them to pursue multi-billion dollar government contracts in various agencies at every single level of law enforcement. These systems are new, and dangerous in new ways. They are accumulating unprecedented amounts of data (everything from facial scans to social media content), and exchanging information among city, state, and regional law enforcement systems, as well as some foreign governments, for the purpose of finding, deporting, and detaining immigrants. DHS and many other law enforcement agencies are spending billions of taxpayer dollars on these tech systems -- and Amazon, Palantir and other tech companies are pushing them to go further. It's time to hold Amazon accountable for its outsized share in building the deportation machine, and demand that they stop. It won't be easy -- Amazon makes billions from these contracts. But the company also depends on consumers -- including millions of Latinx people -- and has to worry about protecting its brand. Recently, the company was forced to raise its minimum wage to $15/hour, which wouldn't have happened without a major campaign demanding it. We can force Amazon to stop helping DHS and ICE target immigrants, if enough of us call them out, stay engaged, and keep the pressure on.
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  • Save the Cardona/Dunoyer family from deportation
    For 17 years the Cardona/Dunoyer family have lived in the United States after fleeing from their home country due to threats from Columbian guerilla groups. As of March 2017, Consuelo Cardona, Roberto Dunoyer, along with their sons Pablo (age 19), and Camilo (age 16) became the beneficiaries of a private immigration bill, HR 1490. It remains pending as of today. The family has no criminal record. Camilo Dunoyer recently graduated high school and is attending community college in San Diego. Pablo Dunoyer is scheduled to graduate college with his Associate's Degree and has been accepted to the University of San Diego to continue his education. If they are deported they will lose everything that they have worked hard for and their lives will be at risk.
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  • Chicago's Latino Alderman Raymond Lopez Takes Money from Detention Centers for Immigrants
    Lopez has been a staunch supporter of criminalization of immigrants and communities of color, consistently advocating in favor of increasing policing, increasing jail time, and opposing changes to Chicago's Sanctuary city policy, the Welcoming City Ordinance. Today it was revealed that for several years he has been taking thousands of dollars from GEO group, the private corporation that owns immigrant detention centers around the country, including where parents of the children separated at the border are housed. Lopez is the Alderman for Chicago's 15th ward, a mixed ward with many Latinx and Black residents, who are constantly over-policed and criminalized. His ward is also the site of several immigration raids targeting residents based on the faulty Chicago Gang Database.
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  • Chicago City Council Can #AbolishICE By Stopping All Collaboration with ICE Agents
    Around the country communities and elected officials are calling for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that conducts immigration raids violating people's civil and human rights. As we continue this fight at the federal level, there are clear policies that could be passed in our city to take away the hold that ICE has on immigrant communities and abolish it from our city. The Welcoming City Ordinance, the ordinance that delineates how Chicago interacts with ICE, still allows for communication and collaboration in a set of broad cases - when people have been accused of a felony (regardless of whether they have been convicted), when someone has been convicted of any felony at any point in their life, and when someone has been added to Chicago's flawed gang database. These carveouts are not a matter of public safety, rather of politics. In addition, the Chicago Gang Database, which contains the names of 128,000 adults who are mostly Black and some Latinx, is consistently shared with federal agencies, including ICE, leading to immigration raids in the homes of people whose names are on the list. If Chicago elected officials are serious about the call to #AbolishICE, they must first commit to take action on local policies that address the city's relationship to ICE and policing of immigrant communities and communities of color.
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  • Tell Microsoft: Stop Supporting ICE!
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement exists to target, imprison, and deport immigrants, and they rely on tech companies like Microsoft to carry out their campaigns of state-sanctioned violence and terror. Microsoft has a $19.4 million contract with ICE to provide cloud services through Azure. Recently Microsoft's CEO has tried to downplay this relationship, saying they have no direct involvement "on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border." But the truth is, the tech services Microsoft provides are helping ICE carry out massive abuses against our communities not only at the border, but across the entire country. As long as companies like Microsoft provide support for ICE, they are complicit in state-sanctioned violence against our communities, families, and children.
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  • No Fences, No Cages -- Revoke GEO's business license to operate the NWDC!
    On July 6th, 2018, Mayor Woodards stated, “I vow that I will continue to fight for the health, safety and success of immigrants and refugees.” At the same time, the City of Tacoma is building a fence to prevent activists from calling attention to human rights abuses at the NWDC. The fence is merely a symptom of the disease of detention and deportation that the city facilitates. This reveals the contradiction in Tacoma City government. How can Tacoma call itself a “Welcoming City” with people who fight for the health and safety of immigrants when city government fails to enforce health and safety regulations at the detention center? We say that it cannot. Amid long-term issues regarding a lack of nutritious food, clean clothes and drinkable water, the NWDC is right now experiencing a health crisis -- a chickenpox outbreak. GEO Group’s failure to manage the health and safety of the people there is currently on display, as even US Representative Derek Kilmer was unable to visit to investigate conditions due to health concerns in June 2018. El 6 de julio la Alcaldesa Woodwards dijo “Me comprometo a seguir luchando por la salud, seguridad y éxito de inmigrantes y refugiados.” Al mismo tiempo la Ciudad de Tacoma está construyendo una barda para prevenir que lxs activistas sigan llamando la atención a los abusos a los derechos humanos en NWDC. La barda es sólo un síntoma de la enfermedad de la detención y deportación que la ciudad permite. ¿Cómo puede Tacoma autodenominarse una “Ciudad Acogedora” con la gente quien lucha por la salud y seguridad de inmigrantes, cuando el gobierno de la ciudad fracasa en enforzar las regulaciones de salud y seguridad en el centro de detención? Nosotrxs decimos que no puede. Entre varios preocupaciones que han ocurrido por mucho tiempo con respecto a la falta de comida nutritiva, ropa limpia y agua potable, en el NWDC hay una crisis de salud - un brote de varicela. Es obvio que el Geo Group ha fracasado en manejar la salud y la seguridad de la gente, como el representante Derek Kilmer no lo dejaron entrar a investigar las condiciones debido a las preocupaciones de salud en junio del presente año.
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  • Calling All Latinx Therapists Into Action to Abolish ICE
    For the past two months our Latinx migrant community has experienced tremendous amounts of physical and emotional trauma. Thousands of migrants have arrived at the U.S. border after traveling through several countries to ask for asylum, only to be denied entry. They find themselves in despair and limbo, overwhelmed by the thought of the long treacherous journey back home. For the thousands who have been able to enter, they have been captured and imprisoned. Unjustly criminalized, they face charges that will forever impact their ability to live in the U.S. free from fear and persecution. Their children have been forcibly taken from them and incarcerated in migrant prisons across the country. We have yet to understand the emotional and physical toll of this latest assault on our community. For over twenty years, migrant adults have been mandatorily detained with countless accounts of abuse and death, including the detention of entire families (American Civil Liberties Union, 2016). This crisis, though not new, has taken a new form of brutality—to incarcerate children and youth by the thousands. For years, unaccompanied minors have been incarcerated for months at a time. Few in the U.S. are aware that a growing number of migrant youth are being locked up in detention, accused of gang affiliation. We are deeply concerned to learn that medical staff, including mental health professionals, are being used as tools of the state to further control and oppress these children and youth (Nilsen, 2018). The Trump administration continues to fund and funnel children newly separated from their parents to Shiloh Treatment Center in Texas. Shiloh was recently sued by the Center for Constitutional and Human Rights for administering a cocktail of psychotropic medications, including antipsychotics with limited FDA approval. It has been found that these drugs have had severe effects on the bodies of the unaccompanied minors being held in these detention centers (Reuters, 2018.) Migrant youth and children are suffering detained across the country. At the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Virginia, youth as young as 14 years old say they were beaten while handcuffed and left shivering naked in solitary confinement (AP, 2018). Recent victims of the current zero-tolerance policy are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Doctors throughout the state of New York who have treated migrant children say many of them have begun to hear voices after being separated from their parents and detained. Additionally, a recent investigation showed that therapy notes of counselors working with detained children are being used in court to further criminalize and incarcerate them (Nilsen, Vox). We denounce this unethical practice by the Trump Administration. As Latinx mental health practitioners, we will not to be used as tools of oppression nor will we sit idle as our communities are caged, abused and traumatized. The photo and video images of children crying, standing by U.S. Border Patrol Officers and their mothers as well as the audio of dozens of children screaming in tears asking desperately for their parents, has created tremendous grief and anxiety among Latinx living in this country. The levels of dehumanization and violence we are exposed to on a daily basis can cause secondary trauma at a mass collective scale. Millions of people in our communities are migrants who are undocumented. Many of us have lived in fear for years. Many of us have suffered abuse at the hands of police and ICE agents. Many of us have been in deportation proceedings or have served time inside migrant prisons. These images in the media are haunting reminders wreaking havoc on our nervous systems. American Civil Liberties Union, D. W. (2016, February). detentionwatchnetwork.org. Retrieved from www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/default/files/reports/fatal%20Neglect%20ACLU-DWN-NIJC-pdf AP. (2018, June 21). www.cnbc.com. Retrieved from cnbc.com: www.cnbc.com/2018/06/21/young-immigrants-detained-in-virginia-center-allege-abuse.html Nilsen, E. (n.d.). Vox. (K. w. them., Ed.) Retrieved from Vox.com: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/18/17449150/family-separation-policy-immigration-dhs.orr-health-records-undocumented-kids Reuters. (June, 21 2018). NBC News. Retrieved from nbcnews.com: https://nbcnews.com/health/kids/u-s-centers-force-migrant-children-take-drugs-lawsuit-n885386
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