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Chicago organizations expose ICE tactics, sue over agency secrecy
From Organized Communities Against Deportations
2017-11-13

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Organizations around the country are highlighting local ICE enforcement tactics and filing a federal lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ) and the Department of Homeland Security ( DHS ) for refusing to release information regarding the recent announcement of the what was supposed to be "largest raid in U.S. history."

At the same time as the lawsuit is filed, community groups around the country will highlight local conditions, community fights, and local ICE enforcement tactics.

In early September after it was announced that ICE would conduct the largest mass raid in U.S. history, Operation Mega, over 200 groups filed a FOIA requesting information about the planned mass raid, particularly after its supposed cancellation. ICE has refused to make the information public, denying the FOIA request. The lawsuit, argues that the public has a right to this information to see, analyze, and if needed, denounce.

By denouncing immigration enforcement activities and tactics and organizing against deportations, groups taking part of these actions are making public some of the information that ICE has refused to release.

An emblematic example of the abuse of power and lack of accountability characteristic of ICE and its operations, is the arrest of Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez, a father from the Back of the Yards neighborhood who was violently detained without a warrant in March of this year. Mr. Catalan-Ramirez's detention resulted in severe injuries.

Despite the glaring irregularities and mistreatment that Mr. Catalan-Ramirez has faced at the hands of ICE, he continues to be detained in McHenry Detention Center where he currently faces debilitating seizures without the possibility of proper medical care. ICE and the McHenry Detention Center continue to collude to retaliate against Wilmer, denying him access to visitors or carrying out his 6 month hearing which would review his case and possibilities for release.

Mr. Catalan-Ramirez has an immigration hearing on November 22nd, which will discuss the trajectory of his deportation proceedings, but will not address his current detention or health concerns.

Public Citizen and the National Immigration Project of the NLG, also a plaintiff, represents Mijente and Detention Watch Network ( DWN ) in this lawsuit, which is on behalf of Organized Communities Against Deportations ( OCAD ) and 200 other local individuals and organizations.

Organized Communities Against Deportations ( OCAD ) is an undocumented-led group that organizes against the deportation and criminalization of Black, Brown and immigrant communities in Chicago and surrounding areas. Visit organizedcommunities.org and follow at @OCAD_Chi.

Mijente SC is a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing and movement building. Campaigns combating criminalization, including the detention and deportation of migrants has been at the center of our work. Mijente SC builds from the successes of the #Not1More Deportation campaign, which sought a stop deportations through administrative action. Visit www.mijnete.net for more info. Follow at @conmijente .

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild ( NIPNLG ) promotes justice and equality of treatment in all areas of immigration law, the criminal justice system, and public policies related to immigration

Detention Watch Network ( DWN ) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States' immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level to end immigration detention. Visit www.detentionwatchnetwork.org . Follow @DetentionWatch .


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