Support Immigrants, Abolish Ice

An all-day rally to fight for the lives of immigrants and refugees will take place Sunday, November 1

by Mary Croy

On Sunday, November 1, 2020, community activists will hold a socially-distanced all-day event at Capitol Square to honor children and adults who have died at the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection and for all people of color who have been killed by police.

In recent years, victims of ICE have included children, such as Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, and Carlos Gregorio Vasquez, 16,  both of whom died of medical neglect while in the custody of immigration authorities. In 2020, the danger facing immigrants in detention centers has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. The number of immigrants dying in ICE custody rose sharply this year, with more than twice as many people dying in the 2020 fiscal year than in 2019. In more than a third of the 21 confirmed cases of people who died in ICE custody in 2020 the deceased had tested positive for COVID-19.

The atrocities and human rights abuses committed by immigration authorities in the United States extend beyond medical neglect into reports of medical malpractice, ethnic cleansing, and torture. In September of this year, Dawn Wooten, a nurse-turned-whistleblower sounded the alarm about the high number of hysterectomies being performed on immigrants at a detention facility in Georgia. Some of the women who received hysterectomies report that they did not consent to the procedure. Even more recently, Cameroonian asylum seekers in a Mississippi detention facility were reportedly tortured into signing their own deportation orders.

Abolishing ICE is a critical step towards stopping the abuse and deaths of these children and adults who are fleeing unlivable conditions in their home countries. Solidarity knows no borders. Socialists must support the struggles of immigrants and refugees and oppose the genocidal practices carried out by the US Government.

Come out on Sunday! Events on November 1, include setting up a traditional Altar de Muertos (Altar for the Dead), starting at 10 a.m. Hot drinks and traditional food will be provided. There will be a rally and speakers at 2 p.m. There will be Know Your Rights training for community members and business people that will be provided by local immigration lawyers. There will cards saying “I know my rights” that can be slipped under the door if ICE demands entrance onto a property. The event will end with a March and Car Caravan sending the message to local politicians that they must defend immigrants. No human is illegal! Come out and support Dreamers and Refugees!

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