Skip to content

Grand Rapids organizes to stop ICE officials from targeting, arresting and deporting members of the immigrant community

May 3, 2017

There are an estimated 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, immigrants who live in constant fear of harassment, intimidation, arrest, detention and deportation.

During the Obama administration, roughly 2.7 million undocumented immigrants were deported. Under the Trump administration the anti-immigrant discourse has increased and some of the earliest Executive Orders focused on building a wall along the US/Mexican border, hiring more Immigration, Customs & Enforcement officials and deporting more immigrants that are undocumented.

The urgency to take action in response to federal policies has resulted in a growing coalition of organizers and activists that are calling themselves the Grand Rapids Immigrant Solidarity Network. This group of people has been meeting since late last year to discuss ways in which those who hold a whole lot more privilege in this society can stand in solidarity with the immigrant community.

On Monday, there was a large march in Grand Rapids, there have been forums on providing sanctuary to those living in fear, know your rights trainings to inform the immigrant community what their legal rights are and an effort to respond to the repressive practices of Immigration, Customs & Enforcement (ICE) agents. 

The campaign is called Rapid Response to ICE and consists of two major components. First, the group is distributing cards in the community that say, What to Do if ICE Shows Up? These cards are in English and in Spanish, provide information on what to do if ICE agents show up and encourage people to call 211 if they live in Kent County.

If people call 211 when ICE agents show up at their homes or places of work, they will be directed to a Rapid Response Team. The Rapid Response Team is made up of nearly 200 people who have been training in a variety of tactics and responses when ICE agents attempt to arrest, detain and deport undocumented immigrants.

There have been several trainings that have taken place in the community for Rapid Response and the next one will be help on Thursday, May 11, beginning at 6:30pm. These trainings are designed for people who want to take action and stand in solidarity with those being targeted by ICE. These trainings are not informational session, rather they are for people who are willing to use their privilege to prevent and respond to any attempted arrests, detentions and deportation of the undocumented community.

For more information on the May 11 training, go to the Facebook event and make sure you follow the instructions on how to register.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: