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.”

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.

May 1st: Statement of Resistance!

This May 1, 2017 the city of Philadelphia and hundreds of cities across the country will be participating in a national day of action. Locally, in Philadelphia, Juntos and Black & Brown Workers Collective along with our allies will stand together in the name of resistance for a day without immigrant, Black & Brown bodies. This is in effort to highlight the unilateral attacks that the administration has committed against not just immigrant communities, but Black & Brown communities, our LGBTQ family, HIV positive people, Muslims, women, young people, workers and many more. Together we make up over 75% of our city’s population.  We are the majority.

We are standing in collective power against the terrorist deportation machine that has been passed down through different administrations, anti-black policies/practices, and the genocidal and colonialist foundation of this country, which continues to inform those in power.  We stand together to show that we as a people are worth more than our labor that our value comes from being human beings. We will not allow any one of our community members to be scapegoated and targeted because the liberation of our people is tied together and if one of us is targeted, none of us are safe.

On May 1st we will use our collective economic power to shake this nation to its core but there are many ways you can be a part of this resistance movement. Funnel your energy into actions like walkouts, boycotts, strikes, marches, town halls, etc. and point them all towards building coalitions focused on dismantling all the mechanisms in place that serve only to criminalize us, incarcerate us or deport us.

It is important to note the complex and complicated histories of Black people and African Americans in the U.S. Black bodies whose blood lines have been displaced through slavery and through forced economic violence must be honored in this struggle, must be lifted up in this struggle and in the broader sanctuary movement and while our individual struggles play out differently in the types of violence suffered by our people, collectively we ALL have a stake in the broader struggle for freedom.  America was never great. It was founded and built on the genocide of our indigenous peoples, on slavery and the forced migration of people caused by the U.S.’s socio-economic policies that have decimated the global south.

But collectively we can demand that it bends to the will of the people. Black and Brown communities have for far too long been pitted against each other in an effort to to keep us all oppressed. We will not be silenced. We will not be scared into compliance.  We WILL NOT let history repeat itself. All Power to the People!

Yours in the Struggle for Liberation,

Black and Brown Workers Collective and Juntos

Berks Family Detention Center’s License Revoked

Blogpost Berks Press Release

Berks Family Detention Center’s License Revoked

Pennsylvania – On January 27th Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PA DHS) issued notice that the licensing of the Berks County Family Detention Center (BCRC) would not be renewed and officially revoked, potentially ending family detention in Pennsylvania.

The Shut Down Berks Coalition hails this action as a victory for the state and the country against the horrible abuse and rights violations immigrant families have been subjected to for far too long. The state license will be revoked as of February 21st of 2016 and in the meantime Berks County has the right to appeal. Many in the coalition wonder how Berks county, a county already in fiscal crisis, can find it in their budget to spend on a legal process given that nationally family detention has already been determined unconstitutional.

Nationally, many groups hailed the response as a step in the right direction as well and as a sign that family detention is finally ending.

Community Reactions

“ICE has been operating the center already in violation of federal law with some families being detained again for months at a time and now without a state license they will be in violation of state law.  Therefore, we demand the release of the families detained in Berks immediately, they should not endure one more day in unjust detention.” said Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos.

“Revoking this license is an important first step towards closing this detention center, and, we hope, a step toward ending family detention here in Pennsylvania and nationally,” said Executive Director of PICC, Sundrop Carter.

Adanjesus Marin, Executive Director of Make the Road PA said, “As residents of Berks County we are thankful that DHS has confirmed what we always knew- that this center is unjust and should be shut down. We call on our county commissioners to stop stalling and take immediate action to stop jailing families.”

Miguel Andrade, Vice-President of the Board of Directors of GALAEI in Philadelphia said, “The news that PA DHS will revoke the Berks County Family Detention Center’s license is a monumental victory not only for the immigrant community of our state, but for the millions of immigrant families across this country. Just this past summer ICE was hailing Berks as a model detention center and were looking to it as an example for Trans and LGBQ detention. We in GALAEI stand firmly against any and all detention and see that what is happening in our state has the potential to have a domino effect nationwide and it gives us hope that one day we can end all detentions and deportations that tear apart our communities.”
“The State of Pennsylvania sent a strong message today that immigration detention facilities are no place for children, especially those that have suffered trauma,” said Wendy Cervantes, Director of the First Focus Center for Children of Immigrants. “We know that even a short amount of time in detention can have a long-term impact on a child’s mental health and overall development. All children deserve to be in an environment where they can be free to play, learn and thrive, not behind bars with the government watching their every move and rationing their food and playtime.”

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The Shut Down Berks Campaign is a grassroots coalition fighting to shut down the Berks County Detention Center immediately and end family detention. Members include Detention Watch Network, GALAEI, Juntos, #Not1More, Make the Road PA, Migrant Power Movement, PICC, UUPlan and We Belong Together.