By Catalina Morales
On July 26th, at the Ramsey Courthouse in St. Paul, Minnesota I witnessed and recorded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) violently take Carlos Urrutia away in order to deport him. Carlos, the father of three minor children, was engaged for seven years in immigrant rights advocacy with ISAIAH, tirelessly working to protect others from deportation and advocating for drivers’ licenses for undocumented persons in the state. The actions by ICE are evil.
Carlos is a friend and I am outraged. Carlos and his family need your help.
On July 26th, as his family and leaders accompanied him for support, ICE agents forcefully arrested Carlos, initially refusing to identify themselves and impeding on his due process rights to appeal to remain in the U.S. with his family. ISAIAH leaders and family members asked questions of the agents, well within their rights, but the agents refused to state who they were with or why they were taking Carlos.
Instead, they physically grabbed, pushed and pulled leaders out of the way while also restraining Carlos. This video, which I originally recorded, shows the atrocity described. It represents the barbaric treatment ICE dispenses to the tens of thousands of immigrants who are ripped from their families and dropped in a country that is no longer their home.
Carlos is a husband and has resided in the U.S. 25 years, a majority of that time in Minnesota. He now sits in a human cage, separated from his family, facing potential deportation as soon as tomorrow, if his appeal is not effective. Like every other person, Carlos deserves dignity, his humanity and an opportunity to thrive. Like everyone else, his past has not been perfect, but imperfection should never be a reason to mistreat or deny the humanity or sanctity of anyone. When we allow immigration agents to decide that an offense should be given unreasonable and severe punishment because of lack of citizenship, we are playing a dangerous game called “Who’s deserving?” With any law enforcement agency, a transgression should be met with just and fair consequences. Nothing is fair about how our nation is treating our immigrant families, neighbors and friends, including Carlos.
To learn more about Carlos’ arrest read the Think Progress report here.
Let’s hold ICE accountable and help Carlos: Contribute: His family has established a fund for those willing to contribute to the mounting court costs and legal fees. See the Go Fund Me.
Call: Call Carlos’ Congressional representatives and ask them to intervene. Here is what to say:
“Hi my name is _________________ . I just read in Think Progress about Carlos Urrutia’s court house arrest by ICE in St. Paul. Carlos’ Alien number is 205-945-136. ICE should not conduct enforcement actions in court houses. It creates fear and is reckless. I am calling to ask Representative/Senator _____________ to intervene in the case and have ICE return Carlos to his family.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar: 612-727-5220, 507-288-5321, 218-287-2219; Senator Tina Smith: (651) 221-1016, (507) 288-2003, (218) 722-2390 and Representative Betty McCullom: (651) 224-9191.
ICE counts on conducting their violent actions in the dark, and it is up to us to expose ICE for what it is, an agency of hate and violence.
Catalina Morales, Lead Organizer for ISAIAH Minnesota
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