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Undocumented Immigrants are still being targeted for deportation, despite the 100 Day Moratorium, even in Kent County

February 9, 2021

On January 22, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order announcing a 100-day deportation moratorium. However, deportations can still occur under the following conditions:

  • You entered the United States on or after November 1, 2020;
  • You are engaged or suspected of engaging in terrorism or espionage, or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) believes you pose a danger to national security; or
  • You choose to be deported.

However, despite the Executive Order signed over two weeks ago by President Biden, there are undocumented immigrants who are still being deported. On February 1st, it was reported in numerous dominant news news sources that undocumented immigrants were still being deported. From US News and World Report:

A federal judge last week ordered the Biden administration not to enforce a 100-day moratorium on deportations, but the ruling did not require the government to schedule them. In recent days, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported immigrants to at least three countries: 15 people to Jamaica on Thursday and 269 people to Guatemala and Honduras on Friday. More deportation flights were scheduled Monday.

Now, there have been reports, like the one in Teen Vogue on January 25th, that ICE officials may not be complying with the Biden administration’s deportation moratorium. Such reports might be true and ICE officials may be refusing to comply with the 100 Day Moratorium on deportations. However, what is important for those who want immigration justice, is that we need to first and foremost center the lived experiences of the undocumented community and their families. 

If the undocumented immigrant community is continuing to experience fear, continuing to be arrested, detained and deported by ICE agents, then those of us who claim to be allies/accomplices in their struggle should do whatever we can to challenge this ongoing form of state repression. 

ICE Violence in Kent County

Since the beginning of COVID, the level of ICE activity in West Michigan has reduced. Fewer people were contacting GR Rapid Response to ICE and some people were being released from detention centers because of the high risk of contracting COVID in confined spaces, like detention centers, jails and prisons.

However, since the 2020 Election, specifically since the Biden Administration put in place the 100 Day moratorium on deportations, we have been in contact with some undocumented immigrant families that are facing deportation. Like most of us, these members of our community were confused and angered by the fact that they were being targeted for deportation, when a moratorium on deportations has been in place since January 22. One Guatemala I spoke with, told me that their faith in politicians has virtually disappeared, since this person can’t understand why they are being targeted for deportation, while there is a deportation moratorium. 

In addition, the Kent Community Bond Fund has also received several recent requests for financial assistance to bond members of the undocumented community out of detention, which is a significant change since last March, when the COVID Stay at Home orders were put in place in Michigan.

Lastly, to add to the harm against the undocumented community, last week the Senate voted to not provide COVID Relief funds to undocumented immigrants. There were 8 Democrats who voted no on supporting undocumented immigrants, with both of Michigan’s Senators – Peters & Stabenow – voting with the GOP on this matter. This is so infuriating, especially since so many in the undocumented community do work that has been deemed essential since the beginning of COVID. This is exactly why groups like GR Rapid Response to ICE and Movimiento Cosecha GR have been making it clear that despite the new US administration, we cannot relax on demanding justice for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living int he US. La Lucha Sigue!

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