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Uphold These Rights


The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus (plaque on the Statue of Liberty)

..."Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

(Also see DACA/Deportation section. Scroll down to the "Take Action" section to take immediate steps. )

UPDATE 11/21: Judge rules Trump Administration's seeking to withhold funds from sanctuary cities is unconstitutional. Session relents and sends funds to them (CNN) 10/27: Federal Judge blocks Trump's third travel ban (Washington Post)9/26: See DACA section for latest news on DACA legislation. 9/24: Trump signed an executive order banning or restricting visas to people from 8 countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. (NBC Nightly News) 8/10: The ACLU has obtained records of 149 cases of physical and sexual abuse on unaccompanied minors by US border officers (ABC News). 8/2: Trump says he wants to begin to limit legal immigration to highly skilled English speakers. Congress is not impressed. Older Updates.

What to do if ICE comes to your home, and in Spanish:

NOTE: When Trump issued an EO calling to end federal support for sanctuary cities, he also, "expanded the list of deportation priorities to include any noncitizen who is charged with a criminal offense of any kind, or who is suspected of committing criminal acts or being dishonest with immigration officials. The order gives broader leeway to ICE officers in deciding whether someone poses 'a risk to public safety' ...with one lawyer saying in Spanish that immigrants need to take steps to protect themselves. 'Do not open the door to your home without seeing a warrant,' he said. 'Do not drive a car with broken lights, and do not drive at all at night.' (Ross, Davis, & Achenbach, Chicago Tribune, 2/12) ICE is actively raiding and deporting mostly Mexican immigrants in CA, SC, AZ, TX, GA, NY (Hudson Valley), GA (Atlanta), VA, NC , FL & KS. Being affected? Call 212-725-6422 for free legal help. If you witness ICE activity in your community, report it to MigraWatch: 1-844-363-1423.

LEARN. The words on the Statue of Liberty, welcoming immigrants to America with kindness, hope, and offer of aid–a fundamental, guiding principle of our country, appear to be unimportant to Trump. However, most of us read those words and feel proud. See the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights page for the latest affronts to the values upon which the US was founded, and what the ACLU is doing about them.

MUSLIM BAN. The first EO banning immigrants and those with visas from 7 majority Muslim countries lost its legal challenge. The second was awaiting an early October hearing by the Supreme Court, before Trump issued yet another EO adding Venezuela and North Korea to the list of banned countries, presumably to dilute the Muslim-majority nature of the ban. The Supreme Court is waiting for government arguments before deciding what to do next. (See Take Action on Muslim Ban and List; also see Take Action to Stop Trump and Flip Congress Blue)

WALL. Note that Trump's campaign comments on building a southern wall focused on restricting Mexican immigrants. In reality, the countries from which most of our immigrants arrive are China and India, and most who immigrate over our Southern Border are from Central America–families and children alone, fleeing violence and poverty. So what good could a wall possibly do, even if Trump's worldview were even close to accurate? According to the Associated Press, attempts to illegally enter the US in 2016 were “far below numbers seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s…Homeland Security said in its year-end report that ‘a growing share’ of people entering the country illegally surrender to authorities to seek humanitarian protection, instead of trying to evade capture.” (Spagat, Philadelphia Tribune, 12/31/16) Immigration agents at the Mexican border are turning away Central American immigrants seeking asylum, in direct opposition to existing law requiring every individual seeking asylum to be interviewed immediately by immigration. Find facts about Mexican immigration to the US (including the fact that, since the recession, more people are immigrating to Mexico than the other way around!) from the Migration Policy Institute. In April, the Democrats estimated the wall will cost $70 billion--enough to eradicate poverty in the U.S. Apart from Trump assurances to build the wall, it appears that the natural disasters hitting the US this year (Texas, Florida, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico) will make appropriations for the huge expense impossible.


(1) The Immigrant Defense Project offers an ICE Raids Toolkit: "the first comprehensive guide and organizing resource to fight back against the Trump administration’s efforts to criminalize communities and deport millions of people."

(2) Join ACLU's protest mobilization team, People Power! Read about the movement here. For that matter, join and support the ACLU, which is working to protect immigrants from registry, deportation, and profiling! Want an internship or a job? Check here. Follow the ACLU on twitter for up-to-date information about immigration raids and deportation: https://twitter.com/ACLU.

(3) Visit United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network, offers help and action items for immigrants facing deportation. Join #HeretoStay, their ally program, where volunteers pledge to show up and physically support immigrants who need help to avoid deportation. 24,000 people have signed up already.

(4) Use the Anti-Deportations Toolkit: "The following pages are meant to provide people in deportation proceedings, community advocates and organizers with tools, resources, and templates to organize public campaigns to stop individual deportations."

(5) Volunteer, protest. Facebook pages of The Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund, Puente Human Rights Movement, Colibrí Center for Human Rights, and Center for Neighborhood Leadership regularly post opportunities to help immigrant rights activists at rallies and in other campaigns. It's crucial to let the Administration (those for and against Trump), fellow citizens, immigrants, refugees, and citizens and world leaders know there is significant dissent for these unconstitutional actions.Check The Resistance Calendar for actions near you!

(6) Support Amnesty International USA, who released a statement 2/12 saying reports of US immigration enforcement actions "raise grave human rights concerns."

(7) Follow state and federal policy proposals, and remember, members of Congress are MOST concerned about their own re-election (many Senators, and all House Representatives are up in 2018). If they get the sense people will vote based on their position on an issue, they will listen! It really does take only a handful of phone calls on a given topic from a representative's own constituents to influence that member of Congress. Who are your representatives? DC House of Representatives switchboard: 866-948-8977 and Senate 866-985-2543 (in addition to your local and state Congressional reps, call the DC number when Congress is in session and/or when you feel very, very strongly and alarmed about an issue or imminent legislation). Consider the tips in the Indivisible Guide for taking effective action, and consider starting or joining your local Indivisible group! Phoning is more effective than email, tweets, letters. Don't know your Senators’ phone number? Call 202/224-3121, put in your zip. You’ll be transferred. Shy to call? Don’t be concerned. You’ll likely be sent to voicemail. If you do reach someone, speak concisely and politely, telling them:

...you live in their district (for Representatives) or state (for Senators),
...you’re concerned about immigrants' rights (be specific),
...and you want them to:
-vote for_______.
-push for _______legislation to ensure that __________.
-obstruct the GOP’s efforts to_________.

(8) Volunteer with or donate to CIVIC: “CIVIC is the national immigration detention visitation network, which is working to end U.S. immigration detention by monitoring human rights abuses, elevating stories, building community-based alternatives to detention, and advocating for system change.”

(9) Speak up against stereotypes of the immigrant community when you observe them being used. Gently educate those around you about the effect of word choice on immigrants, themselves. One way to approach this is to say something like, “We’ve all heard ways of describing each other which, when you stop and think about it, could be really hurtful. I wonder what an immigrant feels when someone calls them an alien, and how that affects them? Do you think they’re more or less likely to stand up for themselves as a result?” Saying, “You shouldn’t…” or “Don’t…” doesn’t work, because it puts you in the parental role and implies you consider yourself above the person to whom you are speaking, thus running the risk of coming across as self-righteous. Also work to change the words you use to describe immigrants. “Illegals,” “aliens,” “criminals” contribute to stigmatization, alienation, and ultimately, political marginalization and public support for the proposed actions of the Trump administration. Help kids cope with discrimination, Words are powerful!

(10) Able to donate to or volunteer with your local food pantry? Immigrants are now dropping food stamps, going hungry out of fear of deportation.

(11) See “Take Action” in DACA and Muslim List sections.

Go to:

Human Rights: DACA and Deportation of Non-Citizens

Human Rights: Muslim List and Ban

Human Rights: Racism

Human Rights: Sexism (interacts with Racism in all cultures)

Human Rights: Voting Rights

Human Rights