For people who know something is very wrong but aren’t sure what to do

For people who know something is very wrong but aren’t sure what to do

Are you following the recent news articles about ICE? We want to share a few links and resources here, largely informed by posts from Amanda Gelender and Guante, and partly by this quote from Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture on Twitter):

Questions I regularly ask myself when I’m outraged about injustice:

  1. What resources exist so I can better educate myself?
  2. Who’s already doing work around this injustice?
  3. Do I have the capacity to offer concrete support & help to them?
  4. How can I be constructive?

Links and Resources for More Information

1. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced that ICE will separate children from their parents in detention, with no word on when they will be reunited

2. Of the 7,000+ children picked up by ICE and placed in homes in 2017, 1,475 children are currently unaccounted for. *EDIT:* This twitter thread offers important context about the children, it is not as simple as them being “missing” please read.

s3. Documents obtained by the ACLU show massive horrific abuse of children in ICE custody, including kicking a child in the ribs, running over a 17 year old with a patrol car, sexually assaulting a 16 year old girl in a search, and detaining a 4 pound premature baby and her mother in an overcrowded and dirty cell full of sick people.

4. ICE plans to destroy records of immigrant abuse, including sexual assault and deaths in custody.

ICE was only created in 2003, as part of the US’s post-9/11 hyper-militarized, xenophobic frenzy. We didn’t have this department 16 years ago, we do not need it, and we should abolish it immediately. I do not say this lightly: ICE is America’s gestapo and we should treat them with that level of serious resistance.

Who is already doing this work?

The answer to this question is different in each community. If you are in Des Moines, we’ve listed some organizations below. If you’re not, a quick online search like “(your city or state) + immigrant rights organization” to find who is doing this work in your area.

From there, it may that you show up and get directly involved at an action organized by one of these groups, or donate money, or organize and fundraising event. But plugging in, following these organizations on Facebook and Twitter, and joining their email lists is an easy first step.

Ways you can support immigrant rights right now.

There are also national organizations like United We Dream, the ACLU, the Immigrant Defense ProjectAmnesty International, National Immigration Law CenterMariposas Sin FronterasCoalition for Humane Immigrant RightsImmigration Advocates NetworkQueer Detainee Empowerment Project, Immigration Legal Resource Center and others. Please feel free to add others in the comments.

Voting, Contacting Our Reps, and Holding Our Leaders Accountable (reposted from guante.info)

The upcoming elections offer opportunities beyond simply casting a ballot. A few thoughts:

1. Contact Your Elected Representatives. Find them here. Demand to know what their specific action plans are to address this. Call, email, Tweet, show up to town halls, and everything else. Make noise, especially if one of your reps is a moderate or on-the-fence. In can be something as simple as:

Dear (your rep): I am gravely concerned about new developments in the Trump administration’s immigration policy, especially the practice of separating children from their families. Please share what your plan is to address this.
Find more tips for contacting your reps herehere, and here.

2. Make Immigration Justice a Core Part of the 2018 Platform. Every politician running for office in the midterms should feel the pressure to come out strongly in favor of addressing this problem, abolishing ICE, and committing to the safety of these children and families. Let candidates know that in order to earn YOUR vote, they must have a clear, specific plan in place to address this injustice.

3. Vote. As I wrote above, the Democrats, and Obama in particular, don’t have a great track record when it comes to immigration policy. That being said, I would also argue that Trump’s normalization of hate, dehumanizing language, and policies designed to let ICE “off the leash” are something uniquely odious, and something very much worth fighting against now. Change is driven by grassroots movements, and my position is that while Democrats aren’t perfect, they can be pressured by those movements in ways that Republicans can’t. Voting for liberals won’t change anything by itself, but it can help clear the way for the movement work that will change things. So mark your calendars for the 2018 midterms, tell everyone you know to do the same, and send a big damn message.

Plug In. Stay Engaged. Commit. 

Real change happens when every day people come together. This post is only a starting point  for people ready to learn more, get connected, and commit to act. It’s going to take all of us, plugging when and where we can, to bring about a disruption in this system and immigration reform.

 

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