US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement started conducting “enforcement actions” – raids – across the US last week, and I resist these raids. Why?
- These raids are not just targeting undocumented workers charged with crimes; but also law abiding people with 20 years here, and families.
- Including, as of last Friday, immigrants who are protected under DACA.
- Like other actions under the 45th president, these raids are scaring the hell out of people. Yes, this matters.
See the call to action section below for what to do next.
Arrested: Daniel Ramirez Medina
My friend Kalen Delaney’s son Brendan got to know Daniel Ramirez Medina, “a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant [and DACA permit holder] who came to the United States as a child and has no criminal record” (source: TheStranger.com).
This wouldn’t be remotely newsworthy, except for the fact that Daniel was arrested by ICE on Friday. I’ll let Brendan take it from here.
About a month ago, while driving for Lyft, I had the opportunity to meet a young man named Daniel. We spent around an hour together as I drove him to his father’s house. During that time I got to know him a little. I learned that he was attending the University of Washington, and having trouble getting into his preferred major as the UW is a highly competitive school. I learned that he played for a local soccer team, and that the sport was his passion. I learned that we shared a love of sport and action video games. I learned that he was a Dreamer, having been brought to this country illegally from Mexico by his family when he was very young. He had no memories of where he was born, and had lived his entire life as an American. He went to school here, grew up here, and thanks to DACA was able to work and pay taxes here.
Last night I learned that he was arrested by federal immigration agents. The agents had come to arrest his father, a former felon for which they had a warrant. Daniel had not committed any crime, but was taken to a detention center anyway. When he told the agents about his DACA permit, he was told that it didn’t matter, because he wasn’t born here.
Even if you agree with the idea that all illegal immigrants should be forcefully deported (and if you do, please message me or comment here because I would love to have a conversation with you) what happened to Daniel should outrage you. He was arrested and detained without cause. He was posing no threat to the public. As you can see in the article below, the agents later pressured him into falsely admitting gang affiliation in order to justify their actions.
If they are willing to do this, less than a month into this new administration, we must be afraid of where they plan to go next. This is an administration driven by ideology, and illegal immigrants are but one group of people targeted by that ideology. If they cannot respect the rule of law in this case, what is to stop them from moving on to arresting dissidents, detractors, and undesirables. I myself fall under several groups that this administration has expressed distaste for, and many of my friends and family do as well.
Now is the time reach out to your neighbors and offer your support. Now is the time to reach out to your leaders and demand action. Now is the time to say no to injustice and inhumanity. If we do not, there may not be another time.
Call to Action: Fight the ICE raids
As always, call and/or write to your representatives. Suggested call script:
Hi, my name is [name], and I’m your constituent from [where you live]. I am extremely concerned about the recent ICE raids. I would like [congressperson name] to speak out against the focus on non-criminal undocumented workers. I would like [her/him] to speak out against the detainment of Daniel Ramirez Medina in Seattle, who is protected under DACA.
Suggested postcard script:
Please oppose unfair ICE raids that target law abiding undocumented workers. Most especially, oppose ICE raids that target people covered under DACA! (A young man named – Daniel Ramirez Medina has already been arrested in Seattle, despite his status as a Dreamer.)
We are, of course, a nation of immigrants. Though we may disagree about the methods on handling people who enter or remain in the country without documentation, we must agree on rule of law. And, I certainly hope we can agree that the U.S. would be far better served focusing on deporting criminals, when necessary, and not breaking up otherwise law-abiding families.
I look forward to the announcement of your support.