ICE intensifies state terrorism in the South – Workers World


February 16 – The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has stepped up its presence in the South, particularly North Carolina, over the past two weeks. The ICE began its known terrorist tactic of separating families and attacking black and brown workers.

The the raids began on February 5 at a workplace at a gun manufacturing center in Sanford, where 27 workers were detained. They continued with arrests of parents trying to drop their children off at a Durham high school.

There have been reports of ICE raiding homes and knocking on doors in neighborhoods with blacks and Brown residents, especially in the Latinx community. These neighborhoods are also strongly terrorized by a police presence.

Even when im / migrants do everything “right” they are punished and oppressed by the state. As of February 12, the ICE has detained more than 200 people in North Carolina. At least 60 of these arrests were collateral arrests of people who were not targeted, but who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At a press conference on February 8, ICE Atlanta field office director Sean Gallagher admitted that the raids were a direct response to the refusal of several North Carolina sheriff’s departments to collaborate with them. Federal immigration officials, in particular with reference to the controversial section 287 (g) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. This section allows state and local law enforcement agencies to voluntarily enter into a formal contract with ICE. Gallagher predicts that these raids will be the new normal.

To avoid trouble with the ICE, undocumented migrants have resorted to drastic measures. These include not going to work, preventing children from going to school and fleeing their homes. Many who live in Durham and other parts of the Triangle area – which includes Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Carrboro – are afraid to drive and have resorted to carpooling.

The community is fighting back

Although the ICE tries to maintain its campaigns of tyranny and manipulation, people have fought back.

Since learning that the ICE raids have been statewide, activists have coordinated rapid response measures and protests to maintain safe communities. The most recent tactics are voluntary ICE checks, carpools, and “know your rights” trainings and solicitations.

Other groups have organized vigils and actions in response to the raids. Several immigrant-led organizations, such as Alerta Migratoria, Mijente, El Siembra and the Comité de Acción Popular, have assembled groups on social media to respond and verify any known or suspected ICE activity. The aim of these organizations is to prevent rumors that could further fuel fear among undocumented communities.

Another newly created online network is RadarSafe, which was created to inform communities about ICE raids, its location, and how to identify ICE. RadarSafe also provides resources on your rights.

Even though ICE remains present, the southern community is determined to ensure the safety of its residents. They demand an end to the attacks on undocumented workers, families, children and LGBTQ people without documentation. They call for the abolition of ICE, demand that local politicians and sheriffs end all collaboration with ICE, and put people’s safety first.


Thelma J. Longworth

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