Behind the curtain of the Donald Trump campaign, there’s an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim movement. When the dust settles on the campaign trail, there will be many Trumps left standing, from his opponents, inspired to talk like him, to the base he’s riled up. Trump, the candidate, will win or lose. What’s the answer to Trump, the movement?
In this post, contributors offer three possible answers. Together, they represent and reflect an immigrant youth groundswell that has brought visions of a border-free society into the national spotlight. This post is the latest edition of The Nation’s youth organizing feature, edited by James Cersonsky (@cersonsky). For more, check out February 2.
Who “Deserves” Not to Be Deported?
By Sandy Valenciano, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
After the July 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant, San Francisco was under a magnifying glass—thanks to politicians across the spectrum who exploited the issue for personal gain. “This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately,” said Donald Trump, then only a few weeks into his campaign. Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, California’s Democratic senators, attacked sanctuary cities and called for legislation requiring local law enforcement to communicate with ICE.
To counter the scapegoating of undocumented immigrants, the FREE SF Coalition formed the #ICEoutofSF campaign. This campaign is part of a statewide effort, ICE out of CA, to disentangle local law enforcement and ICE—the opposite of what elected officials from both parties are demanding. Together, we are organizing to highlight the human costs of ICE’s unconstitutional practices and shine a light on the complicity of local sheriffs.
Nationwide, ICE has a mandate of some 35,000 beds to fill, giving it an incentive to detain anyone, regardless of individual circumstances. ICE does not act upon judicial warrants, but targets individuals with the help of “guidelines” from the Department of Homeland Security. In the process, the Fourth Amendment rights of undocumented people to be safe inside their homes are frequently violated. ICE is supported by the Priority Enforcement Program, the Obama administration’s rebranding of its discredited “Secure Communities.” PEP and S-COMM work similarly: Under S-COMM, local law enforcement would hold individuals for ICE to pick up; under PEP, locales “notify” ICE when an individual is being released instead. These “notifications” involve raids outside of jails, courts, and people’s homes.