Jobs with Justice is a national network of local coalitions that bring together labor unions, faith groups, community organizations, and student activists to fight for working people. Our members are in the streets in 46 cities in 24 states across the country.
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No one should be afraid to call the police when they need to.
But that's exactly what happens when the Federal Government places local police officers in charge of immigration enforcement. The end result is clear: we're all less safe.
Here’s the problem:
Congress has failed to enact comprehensive immigration reform. As a result, the Obama administration has put the burden of enforcing federal immigration policy on local police officers.
When an individual is arrested, regardless of the charge, regardless of guilt, her fingerprints are automatically sent to ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement). If ICE suspects she may be deportable, they send a voluntary request to local police officers to hold that person for up to 48 hours using their own local resources. For many, this means any interaction with the police has the potential to end in deportation.
Obviously, this is not a problem that only affects undocumented immigrants and their families. This is about trust between our neighborhoods and our police officers. If anyone is afraid to call the police, than we’re all less safe.
These requests are not mandatory, and local police can choose not to hold anyone. Many jurisdictions, including the nation’s capital, have acknowledged the risk to safety and have adopted policies to stop local police resources from being used on federal immigration enforcement.
The week of July 9th, 2012 communities across the country will be taking action to restore trust by raising awareness of how local jail policies force people into the deportation system and telling local law enforcement, “Restore Trust! Break ICE’s hold on our community.” Over a dozen actions are planned across the country in an effort to keep safety the #1 priority of local law enforcement.
What can I do?
No matter where you live, you can take steps to ensure that no one is afraid to call the police when they need to.
Every elected official pays attention to the local newspaper, particularly the letters to the editor section. Writing a letter to the editor can take as little as five minutes and your letter is guaranteed to get the attention of decision-makers in your community.
Please take a few moments to get the attention of your elected officials and write a letter to the editor today. We even provide you with a sample letter and talking points you can include to draw attention to the dangers of police/ICE collaboration.
Learn more by checking out these comprehensive resources, fact sheets, and background on ICE holds.
Step 1 - Select a Recipient
In as little as five minutes, you can use our online form below to find a local paper, write your letter, and send it to the editor.
Start by entering your zipcode below to pull up a list of newspapers in your area. After you select a newspaper, you can submit a letter to the editor of that paper directly through our website.