Thursday, June 20, 2019

Local Leader Questions Legitimacy of Trump’s Mass Deportation Threat

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 12:35 PM

click to enlarge Latino Memphis members distribute immigration information - LATINO MEMPHIS
  • Latino Memphis
  • Latino Memphis members distribute immigration information

The leader of a local organization that advocates for the Latino community here called President Donald Trump’s recent threats to remove “millions of illegal aliens” an “explosive” and “divisive" comment, and questioned the verity of the claims. 

On Monday, the president tweeted that Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents would begin removing undocumented immigrants from the country next week.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted. “They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement.

“The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of loopholes, and fix asylum. If so, the Border Crisis will end quickly.”

Executive director of Latino Memphis, Mauricio Calvo said Trump’s statement is “another explosive, non-deliverable, and divisive comment from the president.”

“It doesn't make any sense logistically, economically, politically, and most importantly, it doesn't recognize that we are talking about people,” Calvo said. “However, deportations and separation of families are very real and a daily tragedy in our city.

"Thousands of Memphians who are among our neighbors, employees, and friends of our children are vulnerable to this reality.”

Calvo said one way to prepare for this reality is to become informed, citing the national immigration defense campaign, We Have Rights. The campaign’s website gives undocumented immigrants instructions on how to protect themselves when encountering ICE officers or when detained.

For example, the website explains that ICE agents are not allowed to enter or search a home without a warrant signed by a judge. Undocumented immigrants have the right to ask the agents to leave if they do not have a signed warrant.

We Have Rights advises those who have been arrested not to sign any paperwork, to remain silent, and to ask to speak to a lawyer even if they don’t have one. See the video at the bottom for more detail. Anyone who is arrested can be located via this site.

Calvo also encourages people to get involved in the issue by voting for legislators who support immigration reform.

When asked about the president’s tweet and whether or not ICE would execute raids in Shelby County, ICE’s office of public affairs shed little light on next week’s plans.

ICE officials offered this response in an email to the Flyer:

"The border crisis doesn't start and stop at the border, which is why ICE will continue to conduct interior enforcement without exemption for those who are in violation of federal immigration law," the statement reads. "This includes routine targeted enforcement operations, criminals, individuals subject to removal orders, and worksite enforcement.

"This is about addressing the Border crisis by upholding the rule of law and maintaining the integrity of the immigration system, as created by Congress."

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