#ICEOutofAustin

Jan 31, 2016
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Austin American-Statesman

Rights advocates teach immigrants how to respond to threat of raids

Austin City Council Member Greg Casar and several immigrant rights groups gathered Saturday in North Austin to teach immigrants how to respond if they are targeted in federal raids.

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“We believe that knowledge is power and we all have constitutional rights regardless of immigration status,” said Elissa Steglich, a UT immigration law professor.

Federal raids in January, she said, were part of an effort to deport thousands of women and children who crossed the border in the summer of 2014 to escape violence in Central American countries. Under those deportation orders, about 6,000 people in Texas are targeted, and nearly 80 percent of those will not have access to an immigration lawyer, she said.

“We see that the people who fall victim to these raids are those who do not know their rights or have the funds to pay for a lawyer,” Steglich told the crowd.

To address that, the training event played out scenarios involving an immigration official at an immigrant’s door. Organizers told the crowd that unless the official had a signed judge’s order, they don’t need to open the door. They also advised participants to withhold from speaking to the official until they are able to acquire a lawyer.

However, event organizers emphasized that people should never lie to an immigration official. They said immigrants could provide their name and date of birth if asked to identify themselves. But if asked to provide a Social Security number, ID card or other documents, they could defer to their lawyers, organizers said.

“You can also ask the official if you are under arrest,” said Alejandro Caceres of Grassroots Leadership. “If they say you are not, then you can simply walk away and avoid any other contact with them.” [node:read-more:link]

Jan 30, 2016
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KXAN

Austin community discusses deportation raids

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Immigrants and community members in Austin met Saturday afternoon to learn about deportation raids happening across the country.

Following a string of deportation raids happening in states such as Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina, District 4 Council Member Gregorio Casar and others set up a meeting to help immigrants know what services are available, and for others to learn how they can help with the services.

“I think it’s really important for folks to hear what we’re hearing from the administration about whose being targeted by the raids, for people to know what their rights are if they encounter an immigration officer, and also for them to hear that our police department has committed that they are just going to be acting as police officers and not as immigration officers,” said Casar, “It’s so important for the immigrant community to be trusting of our police and for the police force to work with the immigrant community, and that people have separate in their minds the police force from ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement).”

According to Casar his district has the largest number of immigrants within the City of Austin. He says that they are working on establishing a hotline that people can call if they see an immigration raid in action so that the community can be informed.

Among others hosting the meeting were Grassroots Leadership, the ICE Out Campaign, and the University of Texas Immigration Clinic. [node:read-more:link]

Jan 26, 2016
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KEYE TV

Immigration activists confront mayor about Austin deportations

On Monday, immigration activists demanded to see Mayor Steve Adler. It happened after a walk out at the Public Safety Council meeting where law enforcement gave the council an update on its policy of arresting illegal immigrants.

The ICE out of Austin group walked up the city hall steps to the mayor's office. They want the mayor to draft a resolution that stops Austin Police from working with ICE. [node:read-more:link]

Jan 26, 2016
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Austin American-Statesman

Immigration advocates rally at Mayor Adler’s office, demand action

Hilda Ramirez, 28, and her 9-year-old son fled violence in Guatemala and were taken into custody as soon as they crossed the border. They were held at an immigration center southeast of San Antonio for 11 months.

Ramirez and her son now live at a shelter in Austin. She said she is in constant fear they could get deported at any time, especially if a police officer notifies immigration officials.

“I suffered a lot there, I came to ask you for help,” Ramirez told Austin Mayor Steve Adler on Monday.

Ramirez and two dozen members of ICE out of Austin, an immigrant advocacy group, gathered at City Hall and asked Adler to pass a resolution to ban Austin police from communicating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The group is accusing police officers of asking people about their immigration status and sharing information with federal authorities.

“There’s not a lot related to national immigration policy that is in city’s hands. What’s is in our hands is the conduct of our law enforcement and police,” Adler said. “If there are people in the community not treated well, I want those people to come to me so I can do something about it.”

At Monday’s Public Safety Committee, Police Chief of Staff Brian Manley said Austin is not a sanctuary city but highlighted that his officers are focused on crime fighting rather than asking people about immigration status.

In a letter, the group acknowledged Adler’s support to the immigrant community but highlighted the lack of action from city officials to stop deportation.

“We cannot accept any more delays because inaction on deportations locally means Austin families will continue to be separated,” the letter states. [node:read-more:link]

Jul 8, 2015
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KEYE TV

Protest Calls to End Deportation Information Sharing

"Dozens of people rallied outside the Travis County Jail Tuesday evening, calling for an end to programs where local law enforcement share information about inmates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Cristina Parker, immigration projects director for Grassroots Leadership, says 19 people are deported each week in Austin and Travis County as a result of information sharing programs. Right now, local law enforcement share inmate information with ICE, and ICE can then decide whether to deport the inmate. 'This is being felt in neighborhoods all across Austin and we want the leaders of our county, and our city, and our community to know that we care about this issue and we're going to fight for it,' she said." [node:read-more:link]

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