When Trump was elected, we knew that our communities would be under attack in ways we had never seen before, but we were in disbelief at how ruthlessly Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda went into play. It quickly became clear to us that the goal of this administration was to hunt down our people, lock us in detention camps and erase us from this country through any means they could. They tossed aside morality and justice out the window and directed deportation agents to implement his racist agenda,
One early case of the new reality was of Daniel Ramirez, the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipient who was detained under Trump that the public was aware of. He was just living his life when he was racially profiled, taken away from his family and held in a detention camp for months as deportation agents lied about him. When Daniel was detained, he was working as a field laborer in Washington State to provide for his family, including his young son. Today, on the same day as International Workers’ Day (May Day), Daniel will be in front of a judge, because the deportation agents are relentlessly trying to revoke his DACA. Again. This is the second time Daniel will fight to remain in the country after deportation agents lied and wrongfully revoked his DACA a year ago.
As a leader of our MigraWatch hotline, where we get upwards of 200 calls a month, I’ve talked to people asking for help when their loved one went missing on their way to school or work. The heartless mass deportation nightmare so many people thought Trump was joking about during the campaign is becoming real and I see it every day.
Even though most Americans support the Dream Act and legislation so that immigrants like me can become citizens, Trump and the Republicans in Congress are blocking solutions. They are keeping us undocumented on purpose and then sending their agents to hunt us down.
The tactics of ICE and border patrol deportation agents are inhumane, they’re aggressively hunting our communities in the most common places, whether at school, at hospitals, outside and inside courthouses, shelters and at their home or at their workplace.
We’ve seen news reports of ICE raids in workplaces across six states, including one of the largest workplace raids in over a decade in a meatpacking plant in Grainger County, Tennessee.
This month alone, ICE has attacked hundreds of workers across 6 states:
- New York City: over 225 people were arrested in raids
- Indiana: ICE came into a restaurant with guns drawn;
- North Carolina: ICE pulled over folks on their way to work
- Bay Area: people were afraid to show up to work after ICE arrested 150 people
- Chicago: workers fought back after roofers were arrested chanting “You’re not going to save your own job by taking away the jobs of others;”
- Tennessee: ICE arrested nearly 100 people in a single workplace raid making it the largest workplace raid in a decade
These are just the ones that made news. What United We Dream sees day in and day out is the human consequences of deportation agents who have made it crystal clear that their main goal is to tear our communities apart and terrorize us.
After the raid in Tennessee, 500 students missed school because their parents and loved ones were detained. And when Daniel was taken to one of the camps, his son was left to wonder in fear what was to come of their family. Indeed, the reign of terror isn’t isolated to those taken to the dreaded camps, it is felt by family members and co-workers and friends who love them.
As we honor working people everywhere on May Day, we must also call for an end to the racist attacks on immigrants in their workplaces and in their homes.
At United We Dream, we will spend this May Day fighting for Daniel’s – a young man, a worker, a father and an immigrant youth who finds himself attacked by Trump’s deportation force. This is our home, we are #HeretoStay and we call on all people of conscience to organize and resist.