For Immediate Release
CO Rapid Response Network is prepared, calls on Senate to support localities, restrict ICE’s funding
Denver – Colorado (September 29, 2020) This week, the Washington Post reports Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reports will supposedly detain and harass people in jurisdictions with policies that limit collaboration between ICE and local law enforcement. The Colorado Rapid Response Network, of which Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition is a member, condemns the rhetoric, exactly three years after the administration attempted a similar operation.
“These raids are a disturbing attempt to intimidate cities who are protecting constitutional rights and standing up with immigrant community members,” said Gladis Ibarra of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. “’This is clearly a political move by the President meant to bully cities who have taken sensible steps to protect themselves and immigrant residents from federal overreach and ICE abuses. We will continue to stand for what’s best for Denver as a whole.”
The raids are slated to take place in the coming weeks and intensify leading up to the election according to the report. “Through Immigration Nation all of America can now see, ICE’s operations overall cast a wide net, often utilizing aggressive and deceptive tactics resulting in the wholesale separation of families and the deportation of essential workers,” said Jennifer Piper, at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). “In Denver and across the country, local immigrant and citizen communities stand strong with our elected officials who have created Safe Cities where everyone can contribute to the health of our cities. We demand Congress create a path to citizenship and reign in the wasteful and destructive budget increases for ICE.”
“The Administration’s rhetoric attempts to divide the immigrant movement by criminalizing entire groups of people and behaving as though they do not deserve due process or human dignity,” said Angelica Prisciliano of the Colorado People’s Alliance. “But we’re not buying it. ICE was already routinely targeting Denver and the surrounding metro areas even before the city passed its public safety policy, they were just doing it without fanfare. Our city is safest when we all members of the community are included and when local governments do not engage in immigration policy enforcement, and that’s what the Denver policy ensures. If you see ICE enforcement, call our hotline immediately to report it 1.844.8648341.”
Organizers are pointing to the unjust and racially discriminatory criteria that is used to decide who is a priority for deportation. Jordan Garcia of AFSC elaborated “What does it take to get on the list for gang membership? A resource officer in a school or parking lot sees a teenager with a tattoo, talking to three or more young men on a corner, and that’s enough to get you in a gang database that ICE has access to. Companies like Palantir mine those names for social media friends, drawing others into the net. These databases are have been proven to be nothing more than racial profiling. ”
In the face of these raids, the Colorado Rapid Response Network vowed to continue their work conducting “know your rights” trainings, mobilizing rapid response networks and advocating for policy changes that limit collusion between ICE and local law enforcement.