En contra de las redadas de ICE/Against ICE Raids sign now

A los medios de comunicaciуn,

A las organizaciones locales,

A organizaciones internacionales,

Al gobierno estadounidense:



Somos residentes Latin@s del Бrea de la Bahнa: maestr@s, estudiantes, vendedor@s ambulantes, trabajador@s de construcciуn, trabajador@s domesticas, madres, padres, hij@s, herman@s, vecin@s y compaсer@s de trabajo, documentados y no-documentados. Esta carta es una respuesta colectiva por la intrusiуn a nuestras comunidades de la agencia ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) que ha estado llevando a cabo operativos durante meses que han resultado en detenciones y deportaciones de personas que son parte de nuestra comunidad. Estas intrusiones forman parte del incremento de ataques racistas hacia inmigrantes; y forma parte tambiйn de la larga historia de utilizar a la poblaciуn inmigrante para fines en cuestiones polнticas.



Despuйs de las marchas inmigrantes del 1є de Mayo en el 2006, notamos un incremento en la hostilidad de los gobiernos locales, estatales y federal, como tambiйn de los medios de comunicaciуn, hacia la comunidad inmigrante. En las ъltimas semanas, la agencia de ICE ha detenido a mбs de 900 personas solo en California, declarando que Mas de 900 inmigrantes criminales, fugitivos de inmigraciуn, y violadores de la ley de inmigraciуn han sido sacados de los Estados Unidos o estбn enfrentando deportaciуn. Sin embargo, todos los que vivimos en comunidades en donde hay altos porcentajes de inmigrantes sabemos el impacto negativo de este tipo de operativos. Por eso, por medio de esta carta de protesta, nos declaramos rotundamente en contra de estas acciones.



1. Las redadas nos afectan a tod@s en la comunidad



La excusa que ICE ha dado es que buscan a supuestos inmigrantes criminales o personas con orden de deportaciуn, a quienes ellos llaman, immigration fugitives o immigration violators. Sin embargo, la Migra nos pregunta a todos por papeles cuando llega a un lugar supuestamente buscando a una persona en particular. Estas redadas nos afectan a todos porque las personas que ICE detiene son nuestros hermanos, madres, tнas, primas, padres, abuelas, amigos. Las personas que son deportadas pierden todosus trabajos, sus hogares, sus familias, su patrimonio. Y los que quedamos atrбs somos afectados emocional y econуmicamente al ser separados de familiares y seres queridos. Las acciones de ICE separan a familias y eso es intolerable.



2. Las redadas buscar aterrorizar a la comunidad Latina



La decisiуn de la agencia de ICE de conducir redadas en lugares que frecuentamos los Latinoscomo restaurantes, residencias, mercados y cerca de las escuelashace evidente la intenciуn de la agencia de ICE de dirigir sus actividades especialmente hacia la comunidad Latina. Uno de los operativos en el Бrea de la Bahнa se llevo acabo en 11 restaurantes de la cadena de comida mexicana El Balazo. ICE se rehusу a dar detalles sobre la causa de estas redadas, diciendo solamente que buscaban evidencia para una investigaciуn criminal. Este tipo de acciones en lugares pъblicos y familiares atemorizan a la comunidad entera, porque durante este operativo detuvieron 63 trabajadores y trabajadoras, entre ellos cocineros, cajeros, meseros y lavaplatos no-documentados. Creemos y sentimos que al conducir este tipo de acciones, ICE busca no solo tomar bajo custodia a la gente que busca, sino tambiйn intimidar a la comunidad entera; llevando a cabo redadas injustificadas en lugares pъblicos.



3. Las redadas de ICE buscan dividir a la comunidad



Las redadas de migraciуn estбn basadas en estereotipos de la gente, segъn su etnia. Como Latinos, sabemos que muchas veces se nos ve y trata como ilegales sin importar nuestro estatus migratorio. Es decir, que muchas veces se nos trata despectiva o irrespetuosamente porque se asume que no tenemos documentos y que por lo tanto no tenemos los mismos derechos, ni la voz que tiene un ciudadano de este paнs. Pero queremos declarar que somos seres humanos, y que queremos que se nos deje trabajar y vivir en paz. Exigimos respeto! El movimiento de gente es un fenуmeno universal que ha existido por miles de aсos y hoy en dнa seguimos viajando en busca de trabajo y bienestar, ahora cruzando las fronteras que se han construido. Pero la agencia de ICE busca dividir a la comunidad entre los inmigrantes y los no-inmigrantes, y tambiйn crear una diferencia entre los inmigrantes buenos y los inmigrantes malos. Al decir que ellos solo buscan a criminales esperan que aceptemos su presencia en nuestras comunidades. Nos declararnos en contra de estas polнticas racistas! No acepatamos las divisiones entre documentados e indocumentados porque todos formamos parte de la misma comunidad y queremos que todos tengamos voz sobre lo que pasa en nuestras comunidades. Tampoco aceptamos la divisiуn entre buenos y malos porque el crimen debe combatirse localmente. ICE no es agencia local, ni estб conectada con la comunidad, ni forma parte de la misma.



4. Las redadas son parte de un juego polнtico en contra de nuestra comunidad Latina



Sabemos que los ataques hacia nosotros estбn relacionados con la polнtica y la economнa de este paнs. Nos damos cuenta de que las redadas de ICE se intensifican despuйs de movilizaciones polнticas y marchas para demandar derechos civiles y polнticos en este paнs y tambiйn cuando empiezan las crisis econуmicas. Y nos damos cuenta de que las comunidades inmigrantes alrededor del paнs se estбn viendo atacadas por medio de redadas con el propуsito de intimidar a la gente que estб buscando crear cambios sobre derechos de inmigraciуn. El mensaje fabricado por medio de redadas, abusos policнacos y leyes discriminatorias es que nosotros, los inmigrantes, somos un problema para el paнs y que se necesita mano dura para ponernos en nuestro lugar, es decir, dejarnos sin voz polнtica. Pero estamos cansados de que nos traten de intimidar para tenernos bajo control. Desde que comenzaron las movilizaciones de inmigrantes en el 2006, se ha argumentado que los inmigrantes indocumentados no tenemos derecho de hacer ningъn tipo de demanda, porque no respetamos las leyes Estadounidenses de inmigraciуn. Sin embargo, es el gobierno el que nos hace indocumentados al negarnos documentos para poder ser inmigrantes legales. En septiembre del 2004 Arnold Schwarzenegger negу licencias para manejar a trabajador@s, respondiendo a intereses polнticos. A tod@s nos gustarнa tener los documentos necesarios para vivir en este paнs, pero una y otra vez se nos han negado.



5. Las redadas son usadas para tapar los problemas mayores del paнs



El gobierno tiene maneras de saber quiйn estб legalmente en este paнs y quiйn no. Si aun no nos han sacado a todos los inmigrantes indocumentados del paнs es porque saben que nos necesitan. Si la economнa de este paнs se ha manteniendo a flote durante los ъltimos aсosque han sido una etapa de guerras, recortes a servicios sociales, crisis econуmicas y prйstamos depredadoreses debido a la multitud de trabajadores documentados e indocumentados que trabajamos en este paнs por salarios bajos y sin seguro mйdico. Los inmigrantes no-documentados tambiйn pagamos impuestos, aportamos al seguro social y a la agencia de desempleo, sin recibir ningъn beneficio del estado a cambio. Los inmigrantes beneficiamos a las compaснas con nuestro trabajo, al estado con nuestras aportaciones y al mercado en general. Sin embargo, las compaснas y el estado se han puesto de acuerdo para mantenernos en la oscuridad y la clandestinidad para que los sigamos beneficiando. Nos dejan entrar al paнs a la brava y luego nos deportan en olas cuando les conviene. Es evidente que el gobierno Estadounidense no estб realmente comprometido ni a solucionar los problemas de inmigrantes indocumentados, ni de residentes permanentes, ni de sus propios ciudadanos. El hecho de que el gobierno invierta tanto dinero en sacar a gente productiva del paнs cuando estamos enfrentando tantos otros problemas sociales en el paнs demuestra que tan equivocadas estбn las prioridades del gobierno.



No es justo que nos usen como fichas para sus juegos polнticos! No es justo para los inmigrantes, sus familias y amigos, porque nos destruyen la vida. No es justo para nuestras comunidades porque crean pбnico y confusiуn. Tampoco es justo para los que somos ciudadanos Estadounidenses, porque durante aсos venimos exigiendo mбs democracia y menos mentiras, pero siguen creando y aplicando leyes anticonstitucionales y manipulando votos a travйs del miedo.







Porque todos somos humanos y merecemos un trato digno: exigimos un alto a las radadas!



Nadie prefiere arriesgar la vida cruzando el desierto o endeudarse con miles de dуlares para ser pasado por un coyote teniendo la oportunidad de cruzar por la buena. Nadie quiere vivir en la clandestinidad, temeroso de perder su familia, trabajo, u hogar. Nadie escoge el camino mбs difнcil solo por el placer de romper las leyes de inmigraciуn. Lo que buscamos es que nos den un trato justo. Queremos un alto a la persecuciуn, porque poner un alto a las redadas es poner un alto al terror. Queremos que se cambien las leyes para no tener que romperlas. Hasta que esto cambie, seguirб en pie la acciуn masiva de desobediencia civil. Esa desobediencia que algunos llaman inmigraciуn ilegal y que nosotros conocemos como el derecho universal de buscar una vida mejor. Exigimos que se respeten los derechos delineados en La Declaraciуn Universal de Derechos Humanos que declara nuestra igualdad a sin importar raza, color, sexo, idioma, religiуn, o status legal.



Nos oponemos rotundamente a la presencia de ICE en nuestras comunidades!

============================================================================



To the media,

To local organizations,

To international organizations,

To the United States government:



We are Latin@ residents of the Bay Area: teachers, students, street vendors, construction workers, domestic workers, mothers, fathers, daughters and sons, neighbors, co-workers, documented and undocumented. This letter is a collective response to the intrusion into our communities by the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agency, which for months has been conducting operatives that have resulted in detentions and deportations of people from our community. These intrusions form part of the increase in racist attacks towards immigrants, and form part as well of the long history of using the immigrant population for political purposes.



After the immigrant marches that happened May 1, 2006, we witnessed an increase in hostility by local, state, and the federal governments, as well as from the media, toward the immigrant community. During the last weeks, ICE has detained more than 900 people in California alone, declaring, More than 900 criminal aliens, immigration fugitives, and immigration violators have been removed from the United States or are facing deportation Those of us who live in communities with large immigrant populations know the negative impact of this type of operatives. For this reason we have chosen to use this letter to declare ourselves against these actions.



1. The raids affect all members of the community



ICE has justified its raids by claiming that they are looking for criminal immigrants or people with deportation orders, those they call immigration fugitives and immigration violators. However, ICE agents ask all of us if were documented when they arrive allegedly looking for one person in particular. The raids affect us all because the people ICE detains are our siblings, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends. The people that are deported loose everythingtheir jobs, their homes, their families, and their livelihood. Those of us who are left behind are emotionally and economically affected by being separated from family members and loved ones. ICE operatives separate families, and that is intolerable.



2. The raids seek to terrorize the Latin@ community



The decision taken by ICE to conduct raids in places where there are large numbers of Latin@ residentssuch as restaurants, residences, local businesses, and near schoolsreveals the agencys intention to target the Latin@ community. One of Bay Area operatives took place at 11 of the El Balazo Mexican food restaurants. ICE refused to provide details about the cause of the raids, saying only that they were looking for evidence relating to a criminal investigation. This type of actions in public and familiar sites terrorizes the entire community. During this operative, 63 workers were detained including undocumented cooks, cashiers, waiters and dishwashers. We believe that by conducting these types of operatives ICE seeks not only to take into custody the people they claim to be looking for, but also to intimidate the community as a whole by conducting unjustified raids in public places.



3. The ICE operatives seek to divide the community



Immigration raids are based on racial profiling. As Latin@s, we are often treated as illegals regardless of citizenship status. We are disrespected and degraded because people assume we are undocumented and, by extension, that we dont have the same rights or voice as US citizens. We want to declare that we are human, and that we want to be able to work and live in peace. We demand respect. The movement of people from one land to another is a universal phenomenon going back millennium. Today we continue to travel, now crossing the borders that have been built, as we seek work and wellbeing. But ICE seeks to divide the community into immigrants and non-immigrants, and to also create distinctions between good immigrants and bad immigrants. By saying that they are looking for criminals, the government expects us to accept their presence in our communities. We declare ourselves against these racist policies! We do not accept the divisions created between the documented and undocumented because we are part of the same community and we all want to have a say in what goes on in our community. We also reject the distinctions between good and bad immigrants because crime must be dealt with locally. ICE is not a local agency, it has no ties to the community and is not accountable to the community.



4. The raids are part of a political game against our Latin@ community



We know that the attacks against us are related to politics and the national economy. We have noticed the raids intensify after political mobilizations and marches to demand civil and political rights and also when there are economic crises. We know that immigrant communities around the country are being attacked with the purpose of intimidating people who are seeking to create changes to immigrant rights. The message being fabricated through the raids is that we immigrants are a problem in this country and that an iron fist is needed to put us back in our place, that is to say, to leave us without a political voice. But we are tired of the intimidation intended to keep us under control. Since the 2006 immigrant mobilizations, it has been argued that undocumented immigrants have no right to made demands because we do not respect the US immigration laws. Nevertheless, it is the government that makes us undocumented by denying us the documents in order to be legal immigrants. In September 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger denied drivers licenses to undocumented workers, responding to political interests. All of us would like to have the necessary documents to live in the country, but they continue to be denied.

5. The raids are used to mask the countrys larger problems



The US government has ways of knowing who is in the country legally and who is not. If they have not yet deported all undocumented immigrants, it is because they know they need us. If this countrys economy has been able to stay afloat during these past yearsa period of wars, cuts to social services, economic crises and predatory lendingit has been due to the multitude of documented and undocumented workers who work for low wages and no medical insurance. Undocumented immigrants pay taxes too; we contribute to the Social Security and Unemployment departments without receiving benefits from the state in exchange. Immigrants work benefits companies and corporations, the state, and the market in general. But the companies and the state have teamed up to keep us living clandestinely so that we will continue to benefit them. They allow us to make it into the country undocumented and then deport us in waves when it is to their advantage. It is evident that the US government is not really committed to solving the problems of non-documented immigrants, or the problems of its permanent residents, or even the problems of its citizens. The government has its priorities all wrong; it government continues to invest money in detaining and deporting productive people from the country when the country is facing so many other social problems.



Being used as pawns for political games is unjust! It is not fair to immigrants, our families and friends because it destroys our lives. It is not fair to our communities because it creates panic and confusion. It is not fair to those of us who are US citizens either, because for years we have been demanding more democracy and less lies, but the government continues creating and enforcing unconstitutional laws and manipulating votes through fear.



Because we are all human and deserve a dignified treatment: we demand an end to the raids!



No one prefers to risk their life crossing the desert or to get thousands of dollars in debt to cross the border, having the opportunity to cross the border by legal means. No one wants to live clandestinely, fearful of losing his/her family, employment or home. No one chooses the most difficult path for the satisfaction of breaking the immigration laws. What we seek is just treatment. We want an end to the persecution, because putting an end to the raids means putting an end to the terror. We want the immigration laws to change so that we wont have to break them. Until these things change, the massive act of civil disobedience will continuethat disobedience that some call illegal immigration and that we know to be the universal right to seek out a better life. We demand that the rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be honored, as the declaration states, regardless of race, color, gender, language, religion, or legal status.



We oppose the presence of ICE in our communities!

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