WHAT: Día de los Muertos Remembrance
WHO: Community members & immigrant rights advocates
WHEN: Thursday, November 2 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Steps outside Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd St.
(AUSTIN, Texas) — On this year’s Day of the Dead, Thursday, November 2, community members and immigrant rights advocates will gather on the steps of the Austin City Hall to remember the lives lost from our community at the hands of our immigration system.
Pipelines to detention and deportation still exist in our local policies, from arrests made for minor offenses, the lack of a strong policy to limit the use of local law enforcement resources for federal immigration enforcement, to honoring constitutionally dubious ICE detainers at the county jail. Community leaders gather Thursday to remember the lives lost and pledge to do more to protect others from the same deadly deportation pipeline.
In 2017, ICE has conducted raids in Austin to detain mothers, fathers, and children, later admitted to be political retaliation for Sheriff Hernandez implementing a detainer policy for which she was elected. Immigration officers have taken people from their homes, hospitals, and school grounds, increasing arrests by 40% this year despite lower numbers of people crossing the border.
While the government funds more massive privately-run detention centers in Texas and across the nation, we have also seen a record year of deaths within detention. Twelve people have died in ICE custody this fiscal year, including Felipe Almazan-Ruiz, who suffered from medical neglect in detention in Polk County near Houston.
From Senate Bill 4 to the repeal of DACA, the attacks on immigrant communities have made deportation an imminent fear. Deportation orders tear people from their families to face harrowing conditions in their home countries. For too many, including one victim of the ICE raids in Austin, deportation is a death sentence.
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Grassroots Leadership is an Austin, Texas-based national organization that works for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation and criminalization are things of the past.
Bethany Carson, email@example.com, 512-499-8111