WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United We Dream released “Immigration Raids: The Real Impact” a report summarizing the findings of United We Dream’s Deportation Defense Hotline, which has received 316 calls to report Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity as well as calls for help in the last month. The report documents the first community-driven accounting of ICE activity and shows that the fear sparked by raids is being felt nationwide.
The report is being released just as new graphic footage was aired by the Al Punto news program on Univision showing a mother being taken by immigration agents in front of her kids, who were handcuffed as well. The horrifying images paint a picture of what the UWD Deportation Defense Hotline is bringing to light nationwide.
Cristina Jimenez, United We Dream’s Managing Director said/dijo, “We are exposing where Obama’s immigration agents are, what they are doing and we are ensuring that our community knows what to do. The days when immigration agents can conduct their raids in anonymity are over. Everywhere they go they will find a child with a camera and everywhere they go they will find a mother who knows her rights.”[Español]: “Estamos exponiendo donde están los agentes de inmigración de Obama, sus acciones, y nos estamos asegurando que nuestra comunidad sepa qué hacer en estos casos. Los días en que los agentes de inmigración pueden realizar sus redadas en anonimia han terminado. Donde quiera que vayan los agentes van a encontrar a un niño con una cámara y donde quiera que vayan van a encontrar una madre que conoce sus derechos.”
“President Obama and his Administration are trying to rationalize and downplay what they are doing to our communities but the truth is coming out – they are terrorizing our families and we’re not going to take it anymore!” said Carolina Canizales, United We Dream’s National Deportation Defense Coordinator.
“This report shows the truth of what is happening in our communities, we received nearly 30 first-hand accounts of ICE activity including forced entry into homes, violent tactics, wrongful arrests and more. It is no wonder that our members and their families are afraid and it is no wonder why they are calling to find out how they can stand up to this treatment,” said report author Zenen Jaimes Perez, UWD’s Policy and Advocacy Analyst.
Since its founding, United We Dream’s Deportation Defense project has stopped the deportations of over 500 people and was the heart of the movement-wide campaign to pressure the President to stop deportations of young people and parents. United We Dream’s efforts to stop deportations and achieve safety for everyone in our communities continues through the Deportation Defense project and more.
United We Dream is calling on the Obama Administration to turn a sharp corner on their treatment of immigrants by immediately ending the use of raids, guaranteeing access to legal representation and counsel, providing broad relief to all individuals, and ensuring oversight and accountability for the Department of Homeland Security.
The report and this project were a product of nationwide collaboration between United We Dream, its local groups and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild. Among the UWD local groups involved in this report are: Dreamers of Virginia, University Leadership Initiative (Austin, TX), North Texas Dream Team (metro Dallas, TX), Students Working for Equal Rights (South Florida), Homestead Equal Rights for All (Homestead, FL) and United We Dream Houston.