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Monday, January 11, 2016

Possibility of ICE raids spreading fear among local immigrants



A briefing briefing denouncing ICE raids with, from the left: Manuel Castro, Arnoldo Borja, Juan Osorio, Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, and Dae Joong Yoon.

The Obama Administration’s new policy to step up deportations of undocumented individuals is creating a climate of fear among the local immigrant population.

The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO) held a joint briefing at NAKASEC’s offices in Annandale Jan. 8 to denounce the raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents targeting families who fled violence and wars in Central America.

These people’s lives will be in danger if they are forced to return to their home countries, said NAKASEC Executive Director Dae Joong Yoon. Instead of being deported, they should be granted refugee status, he said.

Although only 122 people – mostly in Texas, New Mexico, and Maryland – have been taken into custody by ICE and 12 people have been deported under Obama’s tough new enforcement policy, “the fear is affecting millions of people,” said VACOLAO Chair Edgar Aranda-Yanoc. “People don’t want to send their children to school because of the fear of raids.”

“This campaign of deportation is causing many people to be afraid,” said Juan Osorio, through a translator. Originally from Mexico, he’s been here since 1996.

People are worried about what will happen to their families if they are deported, said Osorio, who works in Annandale as a day laborer. Contractors are afraid to hire people who don’t have documents, and they are paying less, which is creating financial worries, he said. “We won’t be able to pay rent. We are working people. We want to work.”

“We deserve to be respected. We have the right to make a living everywhere. We’re looking for compassion for people in need,” said Manuel Castro, an immigrant from El Salvador who’s been here for 16 years. A resident of Arlington, he works as a painter and hangs around outside the Sherwin Williams paint store on Little River Turnpike in Annandale as contractors drop by to hire workers.

Castro used to have a work permit granting him temporary protection status, but said, but “ICE took it for no reason.”

Immigrant advocates are telling people they have the right to remain silent and not open the door when ICE agents knock, which often happens in the middle of the night. And they’re encouraging people to have a plan for their kids in case they are deported.

Arnoldo Borja, an organizer with the Legal Aid Justice Center’s immigrant advocacy program, urges people to talk to their neighbors, teachers, and community members and spread the message that “We are not going to be afraid. We have rights as humans.”

While there haven’t been any ICE raids in the Annandale area recently, Borja said ICE agents are making their presence felt and regularly hang around the Taco Bell on Little River Turnpike.  

In this presidential election year, Aranda-Yanoc called for a national dialogue that is “more inclusive and more compassionate to those affected by a broken immigration policy.”

NAKASEC, the Legal Aid Justice Center, and the Capital Immigrant Rights Coalition are hosting a “Know Your Rights” training session for immigrant advocates, clergy, and anyone who works with immigrant communities. The first session is Jan. 15, 10 a.m., at the Culmore United Methodist Church. For more information, contact Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, edgar@justice-4all.org, 703-772-1550.

14 comments:

  1. This is such a tough situation, but NO, this is patently untrue.

    “We have the right to make a living everywhere."

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  2. Illegal Aliens do not have the right or entitlement to live and work here. Having the gentlemen need to have his conversation translated when he has been here 20 years show that he does not respect this country enough to learn our language. Yes I do realize The US does not have an official language but the majority of countries do and so should we. People who come here should assimilate to US culture. If I go to UAE I am not going to wear a bikini and make out on the beach. If I go into a Catholic Church I know your shoulders should be covered. If I go to France I would not get made because they do not speak English. When you go to a country I respect their customs.

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    1. On January 4, 2016, the Post reported that the 121 adults and children taken into custody by ICE had previously been ordered removed from the U.S. by an immigration judge. In other words, they had their day in court but couldn't make their case for staying. So much for the myth that the U.S. is run by a tyrannical government.

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    2. Is anyone suggesting that ICE is acting against the law? No we are not a tyranny, and ICE acts according to laws. But this is a very stressful way to live, and we have people who lived here for decades facing this kind of threat. I think this shows the need for us, using the law, to address this in a humane way, that gives the majority who are long settled in our society full legal rights.

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    3. I have relatives who came legally who never learned more than a tiny bit of English. It is not easy for an older person, who spends most of their time either at work or with their family. But if you want to suggest more funding of English lessons for adults, I would support that.

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    4. Many churches in the area give free to almost free ESL lessons to adults. Nearly every church I go by has signs out.

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  3. Get legal or leave. We can't go to YOUR COUNTRY and get a free ride. Don't break our laws AND go HOME!

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  4. While I'm sympathetic to their cause, I cannot condone someone crossing the border illegally and expecting to be left alone. Is it not possible to return to your country of origin and apply for legal immigration?

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    Replies
    1. Disrupting a life of years, either leaving US born children behind in the US or taking them to a country they have never seen, and then taking a chance on getting a visa. Sure its possible.

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    2. How many Military kids move to other countries. That is the chance they took when they came here illegally.

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  5. I enjoy reading your blog every morning. I find it informative on local issues and it makes me feel like part of a community. This post lacks objectivity though. We are a nation of laws and ICE shouldn't be seen the boogey man because other people can't "keep their house in order".

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  6. Bulova made Fairfax County a sanctuary in 2010 so we have a flood of illegal immigrants. Fairfax County is the "go to" place and the word is out. Bulova won't enforce ICE and the illegals know it. Gross made Mason District a sanctuary, which is why we have the overcrowded schools and a plethora of illegal "boarding houses". Gross won't enforce occupancy code compliance. Bulova and Gross are lockstep on this.

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    1. FFX is not a sanctuary jurisdiction. It cooperates with ICE when ICE enforces. It does not enforce on its own as PWC chose to do, but that does not make it a sanctuary.

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    2. Code Compliance does not enforce FXCO laws in neighborshood in Mason District and is told by Gross & Bulova.

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