The repressive apparatus of the government, which includes ICE U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,) is quietly singling out and attacking our leaders wherever they emerge. Leaders of the immigrant community and their support networks are currently in the bull’s eye. This is happening despite that a majority of U.S. citizens favor amnesty and a path to citizenship. It is happening despite that each of these leaders has deep roots and family ties in the U.S. It is being done to isolate the immigrant movement and divide the U.S. working class.
Marú Mora Villalpando, originally from Mexico, leads the Seattle based Northwest Detention Center Resistance, and has championed hunger striking immigrants protesting inhumane conditions in these privately owned prisons. She was served with an ICE deportation order.
Jean Montrevil, of Haiti, co-founder of New Sanctuary in New York was detained two weeks before a scheduled check in.
Ravi Ragbir originally of Trinidad and executive director of New Sanctuary was detained for deportation.
And in an assault on church sanctuary, ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detained Eliseo Jurado, who’s wife Ingrid Latorre of Peru had taken sanctuary in a Colorado church.
In California, which passed SB 54, the California Values Act, battle lines are drawn. Federal Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting ICE Director Thomas Homan announced plans for ICE raids in Northern California with a goal of 1,500 arrests. In response, California attorney general Xavier Becerra declared that he will prosecute employers who cooperate with ICE with fines of up to $10,000.
What we are witnessing is open government sponsored terrorism. It hearkens back to a time before the U. S. Civil War when slave catchers from Southern slave states could pursue and arrest runaway slaves in Northern Free States. Back then, Black and white abolitionists were terrorized, much as the leaders of the immigrant rights movement are being terrorized and criminalized today.
Today, technology is eliminating the jobs of millions of people. Formerly employed people are pushed onto the streets, and others are forced to leave their homelands in search of a better future. Everyone is forced down towards the same level of poverty, no matter their color or nationality. The only thing the rulers of this country can do is keep us divided, confused and afraid. With lies that immigrants are criminals, they set the stage for imposing fascism on all of us so we cannot pose a threat to their continued domination. Hitler did this with the German people by vilifying immigrants and Jews.
What we can do:
We must start by defending our leaders. They point the way forward for all of us.
We must prevent the separation of families. Begin with keeping our leaders united with their families in the U.S., and extend protection to the Dreamers and their families through legalization and a path toward citizenship.
Respect the moral traditions our country was founded upon by upholding sanctuary. We can rely on the sense of fair play and decency of the American people as demonstrated in the sanctuary movement. With time we will all see that we have more in common than our differences. An attack on one is an attack on all!