This evening, October 17th, a group of undocumented immigrants and allies sat down in front of the offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Francisco, blocking a bus loaded with people being deported. It is one of a whole series of actions taken in Arizona and other border states to stop the deportation business as usual and to call upon the President to use his executive power to stop the deportations that are tearing apart our communities. Some of their actions have stopped buses and called attention to the frightening program called Operation Streamline. Other actions have called attention to the huge profits being made by the for-profit prisons that house many immigrant detainees and the legislated mandate for bed quotas to keep the for profit prisons happy. Young Dreamers have put their bodies on the line to call attention to need for reform. Their fierce courage is changing the energy around the stalled politics, dramatizing the urgency of addressing immigration reform.
JOIN US: AFSC is hosting a google hangout October 30th that will focus on the militarization of the border that is at the core of what is being called immigration reform in Washington. Google Hangouts On Air are a way to share a video feed in live time with the public. You can attend the presentaion live or watch it later. Click here to learn how to register. If you scroll down you can also access the program on the privitization of prisons.
Locally Massachusetts legislators are considering passage of a TRUST Act, much like the one recently passed in California, that is intended to restore trust in local law enforcement the,reby increasing community safety by::
- Providing that individuals ordered released by Massachusetts judges and magistrates will not be detained for ICE in spite of the court’s release order.
- Clarifying that it is not the responsibility of Massachusetts’s law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws, and direct Massachusetts law enforcement not to arrest, detain, or transport individuals for federal immigration purposes.
Massachusetts is also also considering a bill allowing immigrants easier access to driver's licenses, again increasing community safety. Rhode Island is like to consider a similar bill in the coming year. Click here to connect to your legislator and let him/her know what you think about these bills.
In Providence the City Council just passed a resolution calling on Governor Chafee and other state officials to put an end to the practice of handing immigrant detainees in RI jails over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In RI, approximately one person is transferred to ICE every day because of an "ICE Hold," separating families and destroying communities.
October 20th at 2pm there will be a vigil at the Plymouth County Correction Facility, which contracts with ICE to hold detainees. These vigils are very powerful, as detainees often can see those vigiling. The event is being organized by the First UU Church of Brewster.
The pain of fear and separation is acute in the communities in our midst. Our voices and perhaps our bodies are needed to insist on fair, humane immigration reform.
Thanks for caring! Thanks for acting!