Nada Seguro Sobre La Operación “Ciudad Segura”

Operación “Ciudad Segura”: Una represalia federal en contra ciudades y comunidades que niegan cooperar con una administración de la supremacía blanca

El 12 de septiembre, 2017 Juntos, junto a más de 30 organizaciones locales y nueve individuos, incluyendo las concejales, María Quiñones-Sánchez y Helen Gym, y la directora de Juntos, Erika Almiron, presentaron un Acto de Libertad de Información (FOIA) a la oficina de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas en Filadelfia (ICE), en respuesta a informes de que una redada a nivel nacional masiva conocida como “Operación Mega” sería desatada contra las comunidades inmigrantes con el objetivo de detener a más de 8,000 personas antes del final del año fiscal de ICE en el 30 de septiembre. No mucho después, ICE anunció públicamente que estarían posponiendo Operación Mega sin indicación de cuándo y procedió a negar la solicitud de la FOIA en las oficinas locales de Filadelfia.

Esta falta de transparencia al público demuestra que nunca se puede confiar en cualquier sentimiento de seguridad que nos ofrezca ICE. Sólo once días después que presentamos la solicitud de FOIA, las autoridades de Inmigración (ICE) demostraron una vez más que son una agencia deshonesta y malvada con el lanzamiento de “Operación Ciudad Segura,” un operativo masivo que se enfoca en los “Ciudades Santuarios,” cómo Filadelfia. La Operación Ciudad Segura solo puede describirse como una represalia deliberada en contra las ciudades y comunidades que niegan cooperar con una administración racista y xenófobo que viola los derechos de la gente. Filadelfia ha soportado lo peor de esta represalia por haber tenido la mayor cantidad de personas desaparecidas: en total, 107 personas fueron recogidas por ICE a lo largo de cuatro días, más que cualquiera otra oficina de ICE del país.

La ironía de que esta operación se nombra “Operación Ciudad Segura” no pasa desapercibida por las víctimas de estas redadas. Una familia local reportó que agentes de ICE entraron a su casa, blandiendo armas en frente de varios niños, interrogando a una menor de edad sin el permiso de los padres, y procedieron a tomar las huellas dactilares de cada persona en la casa. Algunas personas quienes fueron esposados y removidos se describieron como “daños colaterales.” Esto significa que no tenían ninguna razón de ser detenidos aparte de que son inmigrantes y víctimas de una agencia y clima política que aterroriza y desgarra a las familias, utilizando tácticas recordativas al Gestapo en nombre de la seguridad pública.

Erika Almirón, Directora Ejecutiva de Juntos, dijo: “La seguridad pública significa que todos están a salvo de los manos de la máquina de la criminalización de Trump; esta no puede ser definida por agentes de ICE quienes derriban a las puertas de nuestras casas con armas y llevan a la gente en frente de sus propios hijos. Es por esto que necesitamos expandir las  pólizas de ciudades santuarios como Filadelfia para proteger a nuestras familias de esta nueva época de Gestapo que utiliza a las agencias de la inmigración para llevar a cabo una limpieza étnica. Debemos empujar para legislación que despenaliza a personas que solamente están tratando de sobrevivir y asegurar de que nuestra sistema legal y la policía no colaboren con ICE, lo cual hace que todas las personas en nuestra ciudad se sientan menos seguros.”

Nothing Safe about “Operation Safe City”

Operation “Safe City”: A federal retaliation against cities and communities who refuse to cooperate with a white supremacist administration

On September 12, 2017 Juntos along with over 30 local organizations and nine individuals including City Councilwomen Maria Quiñones-Sanchez and Helen Gym and Juntos executive director Erika Almiron filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Philadelphia field office in response to reports that a massive nationwide raid known internally as Operation Mega would be unleashed upon immigrant communities with a goal of detaining over 8,000 individuals before the end of ICE’s fiscal year on September 30th. Not long after, ICE publicly announced that they would be postponing Operation Mega with no indication of when and proceeded to deny the FOIA request at the Philadelphia field office.

This lack of transparency to the public demonstrates that any sense of security from ICE should not be trusted. Just eleven days after submitting the FOIA request, ICE once again proved they are a rogue agency by launching “Operation Safe City”, a massive raid operation targeting “Sanctuary Cities” like Philadelphia. Operation Safe City can only be described as a deliberate retaliation against cities and communities who refuse to cooperate with a racist, xenophobic and white supremacist administration in violating people’s rights. Philadelphia felt the brunt of this retaliation by having the largest number of people disappeared in the country, with 107 people picked up in four days, more than any other ICE office in the country.

The irony of this operation being dubbed “Safe City” does not go unnoticed by the victims of the raids. One local family reported that ICE raided their home wielding guns in front of several children, interrogating one of their daughters without parental consent and proceeded to fingerprint everyone in the household. Some who were handcuffed and removed were described as “collateral damage,” meaning they had no reason to be detained other than being immigrants and are the victims of an agency and political climate that terrorizes and tears apart families with Gestapo style tactics in the name of public safety.

Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos, said “Public safety is about all of us being safe from the hands of Trump’s criminalization machine and cannot be defined by ICE agents who knock down the doors of our homes with guns and drag people out in front of their children. This is why we need to Expand Sanctuary in cities like Philadelphia and in our state to protect our families from this new age Gestapo using immigration as a way to do ethnic cleansing. We must push for policies inside our systems that decriminalize people who are just trying to survive and ensure that our legal system and police don’t collude with ICE, which only makes everyone in our city less safe.”

Immigrants to ICE: Show Us Your Papers

Immigrants to ICE: Show Us Your Papers

As Part of National Challenge to Trump’s Deportation Force, Pennsylvanians to Press ICE’s Corruption and Impunity into Public Eye

Today, Juntos along with multiple Pennsylvania based organizations and individuals have filed FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests at the Philadelphia ICE Field Office in wake of rumors of massive national raids slated to begin on September 16th with the goal of detaining over 10,000 people across the country. This massive raid has been dubbed by ICE “Operation Mega”

Across the country, immigrant communities are filing FOIA requests demanding details regarding the planning and execution of Operation Mega and all enforcement activities as well as the procedures for targeting and capturing individuals agents encounter.

Since the election and under the direction of Tom Homan at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, Trump’s deportation force has become unchained and acting with impunity. With rumors circulating of massive raids planned by the agency, advocates plan to monitor the agency’s activity and force its corruption into public view.

In Philadelphia, our “Sanctuary City” policy prohibits local police from acting as federal immigration agents. Unfortunately, we know that the deportation machine knows no bounds and ICE has begun using other methods to gain access to our community such as waiting for people outside of our courts, detaining people in our probation offices, using portable fingerprint machines and doing illegal traffic stops.

The Trump administration has let loose an unaccountable agency against our people. The recent announcement of Operation Mega is the latest in a list of rogue tactics aimed at our community. Since the federal government isn’t checking their corruption, we are filing FOIAs locally and across the country to begin to monitor it and bring it to light.” Said Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos.

The list of organizations and individuals who signed on to the FOIA request locally are as follows:

Individuals:
Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez
Erika Almiron, Juntos
Abel Rodriguez, Cabrini University
Candace McKinley, Black Lives Matter Philadelphia
Jasmine Rivera, Community Activist
Maria Sotomayor, PA Immigrant & Citizenship Coalition
Peter Pedemonti, New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
Troy Turner, Make The Road PA

Organizations:
Juntos
Asian Americans United
Black Live Matter Philadelphia
CASA
Casa San Jose
Casa Dominicana de Hazleton
Caucus of Working Educators
Center on Immigration at Cabrini University
Esperanza
Free Migration Project
GALAEI
Global Women’s Strike
Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano
HIAS PA
Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia
Make the Road PA
New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
Payday Men’s Network
Philadelphia Red Umbrella Alliance
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Philadelphia Student Union
Pennsylvania Immigrant & Citizenship Coalition (PICC)
Philadelphia Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild (POWER)
Reclaim Philadelphia
SEIU 32BJ
Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN)
UNITE HERE Local 274
Up Against The Law
Vietlead
Women of Color In The Global Women’s Strike
Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP)

The end of DACA is not the end of our people!

The End of DACA is Not The End of Our People

As the Trump administration continues to target and attack immigrants, the community has one thing on their mind, Resistance.

Today Trump has launched another attack on his war on immigrant communities in this country by cancelling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Over 800,000 of our loved ones had the very little security they had ripped away from them in one fell swoop. Now with an uncertain future ahead of them, families, parents, workers and students say the only thing that can guarantee their safety now is to fight back and unite.

Our whole community fought for years for our dignity, respect and right to be in the country we have also built. Our tenacity to stand up against injustice is what won us DACA in the first place. So even in these dark times we will continue to stand up against injustice, racism and white supremacy and we will win again.” said Olivia Vazquez, Youth Organizer of Juntos

At Juntos we have amped up our organizing and training efforts in order to provide our community with the best tools to defend themselves against ICE and police; knowledge. Since election night Juntos has provided “Know Your Rights” trainings to over 1,000 families and that number is only slated to increase with the launch of our “Community Resistance Zones.” The Community Resistance Zones is a plan to teach every person in a neighborhood how to defend themselves and their neighbors during a Trump administration through door knocking, information sharing, know your rights trainings for both ICE and/or police abuse. Our first Community Resistance Zone will be in South Philadelphia to train every one of our neighbors how to resist criminalization from our homes and community.

Trump has increased the arsenal of White Supremacy by unleashing an unaccountable terror machine against Immigrants. ICE has essentially snatched people outside their front doors, chased them down in their cars, disappeared them from outside of our courtrooms in ways that can only be likened to the Gestapo. The only way we can ensure our collective safety now is by working together and protecting each other.” Said Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos

The cancellation of DACA comes at the heels of Trump’s pardoning of Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his blatant racial profiling and abuse of Latinos in Arizona, thus solidifying himself as the most openly racist U.S. President in recent history. The legacy of the Trump era in this country is without a doubt one cemented in the decimation of communities of color and the support of white supremacists everywhere from Charlottesville to Arizona.

We, united, are stronger than the White supremacists both inside and outside of the White House, the Department of Justice, Police and ICE.