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.

Sessions Continues the Trump Regime’s Lawlessness, The City of Philadelphia Fights Back  

Sessions Continues the Trump Regime’s Lawlessness, The City of Philadelphia Fights Back 

Just days after Trump pardoned racist ex-sheriff Arpaio and while thousands of families brace themselves for DACA to be rescinded because of Sessions silence, this morning, the city of Philadelphia fought back. Philadelphia sued U.S Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, over his tyrannical demands on cities and municipalities that have stood in support of the country’s immigrant population. Sessions has no power in requiring cities to be at his racist beck and call in order to receive federal funding and these acts can only be likened to gangster extortion tactics, tactics that have become the norm under the current administration. At Juntos we support the city’s decision to sue and believe this is the first step in the fight against Trump and Session’s White Supremacist agenda.

What Sessions is aiming to do is to continue the Trump administration’s lawlessness in the name of inherently racist politics. Seeing our locally elected officials take a stand for our people and against a White Supremacist regime is a commendable act. We in Philadelphia could also really benefit from reallocating the funds we are fighting for to be invested into programs that strengthen and support our communities rather maintaining and expanding an already flawed and racist criminal justice system that continues to criminalize us. ” Said Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos

What we are witnessing is without a doubt both  Trump and Sessions trying to make law enforcement in this country into what can only be described as their personal Gestapo, targeting and downright decimating communities of color. Philadelphia needs to once again be on the vanguard and take the steps necessary to defend our people. Divesting from our heavily funded police department into programs that reduce jail populations and decriminalize our existence such as ending cash bail, strengthening language access and expanding programs that reduce recidivism are ways that we can locally fight back against a white supremacist administration.

Philadelphia Immigrant Youth Recognize DACA’s 5th Anniversary: Call For Defense of It & A Congressional Investigation of ICE

On August, 15th the city of Philadelphia held a commemorative event recognizing the 5 years since DACA was implemented and how it has impacted young people in the city.
Our Community Organizer, Olivia Vazquez, who is a DACA recipient herself, was invited to speak alongside other immigrant youth from around the region.

In her speech which can be found below in full, she speaks about the importance of recognizing the youth-led movement that made DACA a reality, the importance to defend it and other programs under attack by the current administration, including Temporary Protected Status, as well as a call for a congressional investigation on the rogue practices of Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

 

Good morning everybody,

My name is Olivia Vazquez. I am a community organizer at Juntos as well as a DACA recipient. I came from Mexico when I was 10 years old to join my mother here in Philadelphia.

I first want to start by saying that I am proud to be here with so many amazing immigrant leaders, the young people who made DACA a reality with their direct actions back in 2012, the immigrant community of Philadelphia who led us in ending the use of ICE Holds, as well as our Mayor, Jim Kenney, who was a vital ally in making this policy happen; all examples of how standing up and fighting back are the best defense we have against oppression and hate.

I applied for DACA three years ago and what it has done for me is make me no longer look over my shoulder, worried that I might be deported one day. But I still worry about my family, my mom, my uncle, my community, people I love who sometimes get lost in the conversation, most who have never had the opportunity to rest because they are always at risk. As people of color I worry, because what Charlottesville, VA showed us is that racism is alive in 2017 and we are all at risk of losing what is most important to us.

Today is 5 years that DACA has been in effect and I urge us to defend it because we fought so hard to make it a reality, but we cannot stop there. We must protect all of our community. ICE is a rogue agency. An agency that has been taken off its leash by this administration to do whatever it takes to boost the number of people detained and deported, with no regard for their human rights. An agency whose leader has said that “no population is off the table.” when it comes to deportations and an agency who has continued to use unconstitutional practices like illegal car stops and fingerprint machines to terrorize us. This is why we must hold ICE accountable, we must call for a congressional investigation on ICE today.

Many people will call us Dreamers, young people who dream of a better future despite all the odds stacked against us. But we cannot forget that the real Dreamers have always been our parents. They wanted nothing more but to give us an opportunity for something better than what they had. They are also Dreamers. So if you are here today to defend the Dreamers and to defend DACA, I ask that you defend all of us by also stopping ICE and their rogue tactics.”