Local free weekly Willamette Week reports on ICE coming after criminal “dreamers” in Portland:
The largest reported deportation sweep in the U.S. under President Donald Trump of previously sanctioned immigrants known as “Dreamers” took place last weekend in the Portland area. In the last week, federal immigration agents arrested three people who had been given limited amnesty under President Barack Obama, according to multiple sources.
The three people had at one time all registered with the U.S. government under an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to legally remain here.
One, Luis Gerado Zazueta, had not renewed his DACA paperwork, says his immigration attorney, Maria Zlateva. Another, Emmanuel Ayala, had gone in for fingerprinting to renew his DACA three days before his arrest, as first reported by local Spanish-language talk show Cita Con Nelly.
The arrests of the Dreamers added to a growing sense that the White House is targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” like Portland for crackdowns on undocumented immigrants. Two of the DACA arrests came Sunday morning, a day before U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared his Justice Department would no longer award millions of dollars in grants to sanctuary cities that decline to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
I’ve never seen it mentioned but doubt it escaped Latino activists that daca means “hand it over” in Spanish. One of the dreamers detained because of a drunk driving conviction is a local activist with Latino Network, a city of Portland program to train Latino activists, indoctrinate city employees in Theory and steer city contracts. From the city’s website:
Latino Network’s (LN) mission is to provide transformative opportunities, services and advocacy for the education, leadership and civic engagement of our youth, families and communities. LN’s Diverse Civic Leaders Academy works with young emerging Latino leaders to build leadership skills, organizing capabilities, and develop capacity. Trainings focus on the systems of oppression; gender justice; leadership skill building; conflict resolution;economic, environmental and social sustainability; civic engagement; and community organizing techniques such as volunteer recruitment, base-building, meeting planning, turn-out and facilitation. Workshop trainers from government, the non-profit, and private sector provide expertise and give participants the opportunity to learn first-hand from those with real-world leadership experience.
Additionally, participants work with the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) and their PILOT immigrant and refugee participant group on a series of co-trainings to build a cross-cultural coalition. Puentes, or Bridges in Spanish, is an organizing project where we build capacity and develop leadership opportunities for low-income Latinos to be leaders who advocate for the health, well-being, safety, and quality of life of their community. Trainings are on civic engagement, capacity building, leadership development, and involvement in local government, such as testifying to City Council and participating in city and county commissions and boards. Additionally we hold Living Room Dialogues whereby communities work together to dissolve stereotypes, gain deeper understandings and increased collaboration. Dialogues take place between Latinos and members of the police force and between Latino immigrants and the Anglo community. Discussions took place with government officials on the ways to meet the community’s employment and contracting goal. This resulted in government agencies requiring interested prime contractors to attend a mandatory prebid meeting in the Cully neighborhood, the first time a mandatory prebid meeting has been held to support local hiring and minority business contracting.
Room for one more just opened up at the Diverse Civic Leaders Academy, at least. The activist’s arrest moved the already worked-up ACLU and others to louder protests, but at this point their histrionics–it’s amazing what happens with a little change in policy–can only fortify the deterrent effect of real enforcement:
Romeo Sosa, director of the Portland Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project, which runs the day labor center on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., says the increase in reported ICE activity in public places spreads fear and encourages self-deportation. “It’s an intimidation tactic,” he says. By making its agents visible on the streets, ICE hopes “people will be afraid, and they’ll pack their stuff and leave the country.” Some, Sosa adds, have already done so.
Of the three arrested the activist has a drunk driving conviction, one has a minor weapons charge (brandishing a knife it appears) and one has a marijuana possession charge. It appears about a quarter of those arrested nationwide have no particular conviction cited by ICE. Recall President Trump seemed to soften on “dreamers” early on.
ICE now labels Multnomah and Washington counties as “non-cooperative jurisdictions” and intends to publish a weekly report of how many immigrants wanted by the agency were not handed over by county jailers as a result of sanctuary policies approved by state and local elected officials.
The first such report, released March 20, was a mess of jumbled statistics and drew swift criticism from local officials in counties labeled “non-cooperative.” The ICE report named Washington County as one of the “highest volume” sanctuary jurisdictions, as it received seven ICE “detainer” orders demanding the transfer of immigrants in local custody during the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 3.
This seemed to imply the county protected seven foreign criminals from deportation that week—even though not all of those individuals had been convicted of a crime, nor had their immigration cases been adjudicated. The report also noted that because local law enforcement does not typically inform ICE when denying a detainer, the numbers essentially represented guesswork by ICE personnel. [emphasis added]
Well then, no shit, as they say, it’s guesswork. It’s also notable that before Trump the feds had simply given up issuing detainers to uncooperative jurisdictions in an environment of non-enforcement, making it a mystery just how many criminal aliens have been released by preening local authorities much less their impact. And it’s beyond me what the point is in the following paragraph:
Two immigrants held in the Multnomah County Jail on charges of assault and amphetamine possession were listed in the report—although their alleged crimes were not necessarily any more serious than those of the approximately 1,200 other inmates in county custody on any given day.
And the city wants to help those mere muggers and meth heads:
City officials have taken actions, from creating a training program for city employees to providing $50,000 toward the legal defense of immigrants’ cases.
But that isn’t enough for the sort of activists the city is employing at the Diverse Civic Leaders Academy:
But advocates argue the city could go further—by making fewer arrests for low-level offenses, for instance.
Law and order will have to be suspended until this law and order craze blows over.