This week immigrant mothers, youth, and allies with the Circle of Protection organized a holiday toy and gift card giveaway at the Miramar ICE Facility to bring joy to asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants who come from across South Florida for their ICE check-ins.
The Circle of Protection continues to demand that the City of Miramar reduce the frequency and volume of ICE check-ins, but this week, the group spread a message of love and unity amidst attacks on immigrants and Trump’s wish to shut down the government if he doesn’t get $5 billion for a border wall.
“Trump’s request to finance a wall and a deportation force would further criminalize vulnerable communities. Congress must reject Trump’s mass deportation budget and work to keep families together. No more money for a deportation force. No more money for a wall. No more money for more prisons and jail beds,” stated Nataly Chalco, a DACA recipient and United We Dream leader.
“We must defund hate and this horrible system that profits from the misery of our immigrants neighbors,” said Bud Conlin, leader of Friends of Miami Detainees.
The Miramar ICE facility is the place where immigrant families with pending immigration cases go to meet face-to-face with a deportation agent who sets conditions and restrictions for how an immigrant family must live while their case is ongoing. At any moment during a check-in, the deportation agent can decide that the family will be deported. They can lose everything in an instant, and only some can appeal the agent’s decision but from behind bars at a detention camp.
Ever since Trump’s administration began, ICE has changed its check-ins from once every year to once every 3 months, and in some cases, once every 15 days. They put families through a cycle of intimidation and control.
Since the President’s inauguration, community leaders have organized a weekly Circle of Protection, wherein they are stationed outside of the Miramar ICE Facility to provide Know Your Rights trainings, access to United We Dream’s deportation defense hotline, food, and emotional support for families.
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