Jan 042012

In recent years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has stepped up their efforts to deport as many undocumented immigrants as possible, and has switched tactics.  From the workplace raids of previous years, we now see people being funneled through the criminal justice system, putting the burden of identifying, detaining, and turning people in on local police and sheriffs departments.

This is a bad time for an even worse strategy.  The impacts we’ve seen are families broken apart, people living in fear, crimes going unreported, and a breach of trust in community policing.  Tactics that cause fear and isolation are not only wrong, but also dangerous.

This new strategy is carried out under a data sharing system called Secure Communities, which is now implemented in every Oregon county.

Human dignity groups have been identifying local impacts, and pushing for local and national level changes in the way we treat immigrants and their families – we are pushing for human dignity.  We have also found that when we promote safety and fairness for this minority, the entire community is safer, more united, and more able to focus on the real problems facing small-town America.

Please enjoy the following resources, and contact cara@rop.org with questions, or to set up a strategy session in your community.

Education Resources: What the Heck is this all about?

Take Action:

  • How to Break ICE’s Hold on your Community is a website dedicated to sharing resources and strategies.  Excellent resource.
  • The All In One Guide to Defeating ICE Hold Requests makes a case for the ICE Hold Request (also known as a Detainer) as the most strategic point of intervention in the deportations process, and shares how to get started.
  • the Interfaith Immigration Coalition created this great resource: Advocacy Toolkit on Secure Communities
  • The Uncover the Truth Toolkit is a Wealth of information about how to respond locally.  (It came out several years ago, so some information may be dated.)

Here are some examples of how local towns & counties are shifting policy to keep their communities safer:

See these stories for some inspiration from small-town Oregonians:

The story of how one immigrant ally went toe to toe with a prominent Oregon anti-immigrant leader at the City Club of Central Oregon on the issue of deportations.  (You can see her entire speech here.)

The story of a public forum organized by the Immigrant Information Response Team of Lincoln County to address ICE enforcement and community safety with their sheriff and police chief.

The full report called “A Plea for Compassion and Common Sense” about the lived experience of the deportations crisis, published by the Immigrant Family Advocates from Deschutes County.  See the executive summary here.

Other Groups and Resources to explore:

 Posted by on January 4, 2012