"As Bob Libal, an Austin immigrants’ rights advocate, told the Texas Observer, 'The fact that ICE can’t keep their story straight on what they did is reflective of ICE lying about their intentions and the scope of their actions. … If this is their excuse, when they’re pressed on what they did, it’s ridiculous.'" [node:read-more:link]
The deceptive tactics of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) dominated headlines in early October. Following multiple nation-wide raids that terrorized the community, immigrant leaders and advocates demanded information that uncovered the agency’s many lies. ICE claimed to be conducting “routine operations,” in Austin and elsewhere. That was a lie. ICE targeted Austin with widespread and devastating raids in early February as “punishment” on the community for Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s policies at the Travis County Jail. The raids intentionally terrorized the community, separated families and led to the deportation of residents.
While the raids were underway, ICE was waging a dishonest public relations campaign to publicize alleged “egregious” crimes in order to bolster Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric about immigrants. [node:read-more:link]
As the Trump administration cracks down on illegal immigration, the federal government is making plans for a new privately run detention center along Interstate 35 in South Texas, adding 1,000 beds to what is already the world’s largest immigrant detention system. [...]
“This would be yet another for-profit detention center in South Texas along the I-35 corridor, which has become detention alley,” said Bob Libal, executive director of the nonprofit Grassroots Leadership, which opposes private prisons.
“What Trump promised was the very high deportation numbers, and the way you get that is through the detention and deportation of asylum seekers” at the border, Libal said, “but if that number remains constant or goes down, you have to find new populations to deport.”
The result, Libal said, is likely to be more ICE raids in immigrant communities, “the stuff that is really terrifying, really dystopic.” [node:read-more:link]
"Internal emails between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials show that Austin-area immigration officials tried to highlight the most “egregious” cases of suspected undocumented immigrants picked up during two days of immigration raids in February.
Fifty-one people were arrested in those raids.
The heavily-redacted emails, obtained by Vanderbilt Law School students through a public information request, were published first by The Intercept. They were provided to KUT by Bob Libal, executive director of local immigrants’ rights group, Grassroots Leadership." [node:read-more:link]
"AS HUNDREDS OF undocumented immigrants were rounded up across the country last February in the first mass raids of the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials went out of their way to portray the people they detained as hardened criminals, instructing field offices to highlight the worst cases for the media and attempting to distract attention from the dozens of individuals who were apprehended despite having no criminal background at all. ...Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based civil rights group, said the emails show just 'how aggressive and desperate and duplicitous ICE was during these raids.' 'Essentially this is ICE trying to gin up a case for its actions, when really this isn’t at all about public safety,' he told The Intercept after reviewing the correspondence. 'We can thoroughly expect that’s what they’re going to try to do again.'" [node:read-more:link]
El pasado martes, 12 de Septiembre, Grassroots Leadership, RAICES, Austin Sanctuary Network, Movimento Cosecha, entre otros compañeros locales, se unieron a los defensores de inmigrantes en todo el país para exigir responsabilidad de ICE en San Antonio, TX. Las acciones nacionales coordinadas fueron en respuesta a las mega-incursiones planeadas por el ICE durante el mes de septiembre. [node:read-more:link]
Activistas de Grassroots Leadership, RAICES, Movimiento Cosecha, y Red de Santuario Austin protestaron a la oficina local de ICE en San Antonio para decir: ICE muéstranos tus papeles. La coalición exigió que ICE nos revelara los planes para redadas masivas que han planeado por este mes. ICE ha dijo que supuestamente habían cancelado las redadas después de los huracanes, pero la comunidad no les confía. En su entrevista con Univision, Claudia Muñoz de Grassroots dijo, "Como comunidad, pensamos que nunca hay tiempo correcto para redadas, entonces venimos a exigir los planes que tenían.” Cuando la agencia negó de tener algún tipo de información, respondió Sulma Franco, “Realmente migración no quisieron contestarnos... Es frustrante que ellos no tengan el carácter para decirnos realmente cuando van a hacer las redadas.” [node:read-more:link]
Grassroots Leadership y otras organizaciones pro-inmigrantes “exigen a la agencia que entreguen los documentos que muestran cómo iban a realizar operativos que tenían planeados en Texas y Florida.” En su entrevista con Univision, Claudia Muñoz de Grassroots dijo, “Pensamos que es bien impor saber que ICE dijo que sí tenían un plan y nosotros queremos saber cuál era su plan que tenían para aterrorizar a la comunidad como han hecho antes… Nos estamos dando cuenta de todos estos ataques y la comunidad está cansándose y quiere luchar, quiere pelear por estar aquí.” Sobre el plan de ICE para las redadas, dijo Muñoz, “Esto es algo que tienen que darnos.” [node:read-more:link]
"Austin immigrant advocates are calling on ICE to release documents revealing the scope of the operation. Officials at Austin-based Grassroots Leadership note the timing of the raid at a time when Donald Trump is directing the construction of more private detention facilities such as the new 1000-bed facility in Conroe, Texas. Advocates from Detention Watch Network assert this raid is a mechanism to intentionally elevate detention numbers before the new fiscal year to manufacture a need to fund more new detention beds, officials suspect. 'Trump’s plan to blatantly round up immigrants to fill detention beds ahead of the national budget debate is outrageous,' Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said. 'We will continue to organize to defend local immigrant communities from this latest repulsive threat of a white supremacist ideology that dehumanizes immigrants for political gain and corporate profit.'" [node:read-more:link]