The Colorado Rapid Response Network (CORRN) confirmed that for the third time in five days Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted fathers who were dropping their children off at school. Recently, the network confirmed the detention of a father in the Montbello area in Denver, CO. On February 25, a father in Durango was stopped as well as one in southeast Denver. All the men were stopped in their cars either en route to school with their children in the car or immediately after dropping their children off.
In the Durango case, the father respectfully utilized his rights. His children also reinforced his rights. When his wife arrived, she also asked to see an arrest warrant. Both parents insisted on their constitutional rights, despite continuous threats by ICE that their children would be taken into Child Protective Service or ICE custody if he did not cooperate. The ICE agents only showed an administrative warrant, not valid for detaining someone. CORRN legal observers and confirmers were able to respond, providing direct witness and support to the family.
“As an advocate for immigrant rights with the rapid response network, I have witnessed very closely the inhumane treatment of hard-working families in Plata and Montezuma counties,” said Wendolyne Omana of Durango, CO. “[On February 25], several ICE agents came to pick up a father while he was on his way to drop his children at school. Even though he was later released, his deportation case continues. The trauma that ICE creates with this intimidation and surveillance of principally neighborhoods of color is intergenerational. Many adolescents lose their desire to live and to love life after watching their parents be detained.”
“Immigration agents do not belong anywhere near our schools. Children should be able to go to school without worrying their car will be surrounded by multiple agents and their parent taken from them.”
Tania Chairez, Convivir Colorado
Tania Chairez, an educator and Executive Director of Convivir Colorado states “Immigration agents do not belong anywhere near our schools. Children should be able to go to school without worrying their car will be surrounded by multiple agents and their parent taken from them. ICE’s mere presence scares our communities and traumatizes our children into feeling unsafe in the exact place they need most to feel welcome at. When one family is being persecuted by ICE, the rest of our school community suffers.”
“The Colorado Field Office’ use of this cruel tactic targeting families violates the spirit of the sensitive locations policies, which include schools. The point of the sensitive locations policy is to protect the safety of children and community members from the trauma of witnessing enforcement. During the stops last week, many other people were out of their houses going to work and school, or in the area of the school in question, dropping off their own children,” explained Jordan Garcia, Program Director at the American Friends Service Committee, Colorado.
Cristian Solano Cordova of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition added, “If you feel concerned about ICE’s tactics, please get involved. Join our network as a volunteer, put the phone number in your contacts (1-844-864-8341), create a safety plan and know your rights; you have the right to remain silent, to not open the car or house door, and to request a lawyer.”
The Colorado Rapid Response Network is an effort led by the Rapid Response Team of the Immigration Resistance Table, a group of organizations that includes American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA), Mi Familia Vota (MFV), Padres & Jóvenes Unidos (PJU), SEIU, Local 105, Together Colorado, and United for a New Economy Action (UNEA).
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