By: Sanjuana Banda | @bysxnj
Friday morning, I was routinely checking Twitter. As I scrolling down my timeline, I see posts about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) roaming around Austin and detaining people.
This was the first time I was hearing about these incidents, which alarmed me since this affects the safety and security of my family and friends. Immediately, I searched on Twitter to see who else was posting about these Austin raids. During my search, I came across Austin’s District 4 Council Member, Gregorio Casar’s Facebook post addressing the sudden ICE actions. This confirmed my fear of the sudden rise of ICE presence in Austin.
Later on, that same day, Texas congressman, Joaquin Castro, released a statement about the ICE raids and urged people to send him any evidence of these raids.
Without the power of social media, these incidents would have not come to light to the world in such a fast manner. In a matter of hours, government officials were alerted of sudden ICE raids. Other citizens were able to be alert and spread information to potential individuals who could be targeted next. Organizations such as Women’s March, United We Dream, ACLU, and others release information on how to be better informed, and what to do if ICE comes to your home.
ICE raids were not only happening in Austin but were also reported in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and other cities, many who are considered sanctuary cities.
Immigration officials have stated these raids have been targeting criminals only, but there have been other reports stating individuals, without a criminal background, have been targeted.
In Austin, Hugo Baltazar-Ramirez, was detained while he was driving his way to work, according to friends. Guadalupe Garcia De Rayos, in Phoenix, was arrested after checking in an ICE office. She was required to check in with ICE after she was discovered using a fake social security to find employment in 2008. Even with her efforts to comply with her requirements, ICE officials still saw her as a threat. After the arrest of Guadalupe Garcia De Rayos, many started to protest her arrest, including her family.
Friday night, in North Austin, people gathered to protest the arrest conducted by ICE. A man was arrested near the location where the protest was held. Many were upset and took part of the protest after discovering a video, which was surfaced on Facebook, of his arrest. You can see the surfaced video down below.
Many protesters are upset that ICE is tearing families apart. They do not want their communities living fear. Protesters continued to gather next morning. In part of their protest, they were handing out brochures to individuals about their rights when stopped by ICE.
(Photo Source: Stateman)
(Image Source: Statesman)
It is hard to be separated from your mother and/or father especially when you are still a child. You do not fully understand the politics of our nation or understand why they are taking your mother and/or father away. In your eyes, you know they have done nothing wrong. All your life, you have seen them in and out take whatever job they are able to get to make ends meet. They have sacrificed many things just for an opportunity for a better future. Within a manner of minutes, they can be taken away from you.
(Feature Image: AP)