Obama, Until We Are All Free #Not1More
Just shy of a year ago Juntos leaders sent a clear message to the President and to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) by using their bodies in an act of civil disobedience to shut down the regional ICE headquarters. Leaders declared if Obama would not act to end the deportations and the suffering of our community, we would end them ourselves. Locally, we worked in coalition to break down police/ICE collaboration, established through the federal program “Secure Communities,” and in April won an end to the use of ICE Holds here and in Norristown. Our community has worked hard this year to see this happen; it has been their courage that has bought us to this day, a day many believed would not happen.
Over the years families have held vigils, press conferences and actions to stop the deportation of their loved ones. Thousands have traveled to Washington DC to demand Obama use his executive power to halt the deportations. Some have risked arrest, others were arrested in front of the White House to send a direct message to Obama, many organized and mobilized to end the use of ICE Holds, spoke truth to power in our city, and all have proven that the power of change comes from our community, their love of the people and their vision for a better world for all of us.
And now, as we wait in anticipation for President Obama to use his executive power and provide relief to our families, we feel honored to have stood with so many courageous warriors who have been declaring this possible from the beginning. It is because of you that we are here today. It is because of your relentless energy that this day has come. Thank you!
As we have already heard through various media outlets, what will be announced tonight and tomorrow will not encompass our whole community. And while we are overjoyed for the families that this announcement will support and offer them some relief, our hearts also lay heavy with the many people we love in our community who may not qualify. That is how we know our work is not done. When we declare Not One More Deportation, we mean just that. We make a commitment in Juntos to ensure those in our community who do qualify can apply and for those who don’t, we will continue fighting.
No matter what the President says today, we will fight until every family is together again, until our loved ones are released from detention, until the deportations end, until all of our people have the right to vote, until all of our young people have access to higher education, until all our community love whomever they want free from fear, until young people from Ayotzinapa to Ferguson can feel safe in their communities and until we are all free. #Not1more
PS. Please join us tomorrow at 11am in front of the ICE Building on 16th and Callowhill as we demand the release of our loved ones from detention and we let those still detained know that we will CHANT DOWN THE WALLS until they come home.