'Death by A Thousand Cuts': Trump Raid Delay Prolongs Migrants' Agony
- June, 23, 2019 - 16:35
- Other Media news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - On Saturday, communities around California braced for mass raids on migrant families that have received deportation orders, an operation US President Donald Trump announced earlier in the week.
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that raids on Sunday would target up to 2,000 families in as many as 10 cities. Among the cities reportedly to be targeted Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Activists sprang into action, making sure families knew their rights and understood that they did not have to open the door to officers from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or Ice. Families kept children close, sought other places to stay and prayed for the best.
Local officials, especially in sanctuary cities that have vowed never to assist immigration officials, condemned the planned raids and voiced their support for migrant communities.
“It is unconscionable that the federal administration is targeting innocent immigrant families with secret raids that are designed to inflict as much fear and pain as possible,” San Francisco mayor London Breed said in a statement.
In his own statement, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said: “No Angeleno should ever have to fear being snatched from their home or separated from their loved ones – we are doing everything we can to provide immigrant families with info and support ahead of the announced Ice deportation sweeps.”
San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo said that his city rejected “this administration’s politics of fear and exclusion, which is tearing our families apart. It’s important for all members of our San Jose community – regardless of immigration status – to know they have rights and that our San Jose police department will not participate in any Ice investigation or enforcement activity.”
And then, with just a tweet, Trump announced the raids would be delayed for two weeks.
Activists and community leaders said that put them back in an all too familiar position, The Guardian reported.
“He’s done this before,” Father Richard Smith, a San Francisco clergy leader and immigration activist, told the Guardian. “Part of his strategy clearly is to incite fear among a vulnerable community that is already in fear. It’s death by a thousand cuts.”
Smith is part of an action network that supports migrant families, including by getting witnesses to areas where Ice agents have been spotted to provide support to anyone being detained and to intervene when possible.
The past few years have been particularly hard on young children in immigrant families, Smith said. He recalled a situation in which a four-year-old girl was walking down the street with her mother and spotted a San Francisco police officer. The child started to scream: “Mami, run!”
“That’s exactly the sort of fear and trauma that Trump likes to stir up,” Smith said. “All we can do is keep our eyes and hearts open and respond as best we can at the time. It’s hard to predict because he keeps changing it.”