As I wrote about last week, President Obama’s administration has been ruthless when it comes to immigrants in the US. He has set records for deportation and for incarceration of Latinos in federal prisons.
Despite the announcement that his administration would be easing up on the deportation of DREAM Act students, undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the US by their parents, a DREAMer I know is in electronic shackles and facing deporation.
After years of fighting for the DREAM Act and an opportunity to gain legal status, Matias Ramos [pictured above] was told by immigration authorities to leave the country in less than 14 days. Last week, during his weekly check-in with ICE, Matias was informed he would be placed in an intensive supervision program which requires him to wear a monitoring bracelet around his ankle at all times, and charge it against a wall for three hours a day. Matias was arrested in an airport and released by immigration in February of 2010 after attending a national gathering of immigrant youth.
When Obama announced that ICE would be exercising more discretion in its practices, nobody thought he meant electronic shackles. These developments show that despite the best marketing efforts of the impending Obama campaign, the current administration has enacted cosmetic reforms that do not go far enough in protecting people from family separation and harassment. We must continue to hold the Obama administration accountable for the injustices our communities are facing.
Sign this petition to ask the Fairfax ICE Field Officer, Francisco Madrigal, to release Matias from his electronic detention and cancel his deportation.
As I write this post, I’m also working on a piece about the shackling of incarcerated women in prisons and detention centers. As I write this post, my heart is heavy with the death of Troy Davis, and all of those killed in the name of “justice,” shackled in the name of “justice,” degraded and dehumanized in the name of “justice.” Our “justice” system is the farthest thing from justice that I can even imagine. Things must change.
Go here to take action in support of Matias and all the other DREAMers.
Update: Since starting this petition, Matias reported via Twitter that his deportation has been pushed back to March 2012 and the electronic shackle has been removed. This is a good first step, but not the end of the fight for Matias as the deportation order still stands. Thanks for taking action!
While working on this post I was alerted of another DREAMer and her mother who are facing deportation next week. Go here to take action on behalf of Nadia and her mom.