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News > World

US Immigration Activists: Donald Trump's Latest Scapegoats

  • Demonstrators protesting against US President Donald Trump's recent statements about immigration and Haiti march over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

    Demonstrators protesting against US President Donald Trump's recent statements about immigration and Haiti march over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 January 2018

"They're trying to intimidate people," said Jerry Nadler, the ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee. "These are well-known activists who've been here for decades."

As US politicians continue to fight President Donald Trump over immigration policies, activists on the ground are being picked off and deported one by one by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to reports.


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Within the course of a few days, multiple immigration activists from across the United States have been apprehended. New York's Trinidadian social leader Ravo Ragbir was arrested along with a dozen other protesters and two New York City Council members on January 12.

"There's no compassionate human being in the country that wants to send the Dreamers home, but the Trump administration is doing that right now," New Mexico Attorney and Ward Chair of the Democratic Party in Albuquerque Pai Gallegos told teleSUR.

"They're targeting the immigration activists, the leaders in the immigrant community that are protesting the round-up of the immigrants that have no criminal background, who have been here since childhood – who are in their 40s, 50s, 60s – that are agitating and advocating for these people, these activists are being targeted right now."

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On the West Coast, Maru Mora Villalpando, an undocumented activist dedicated to immigration rights,  received a letter in December warning her of a possible deportation.

Villalpando, who has called the state of Washington home for more than 20 years, serves as spokesman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, the largest national immigrant-rights network in the United States.

"There's no way for them to know about me except for the work that I do," she said. "I think my case makes it clear that actually Ravi and Jean's case were politically motivated."

Haitian native Jean Murat Montrevil, a father of four, has spent more than 30 years in the United States. He arrived in 1986 on a green card, aged 17.

After falling victim to a crack epidemic, Montrevil was sentenced to 11 years in prison for cocaine possession and later freed.

On January 3, he was arrested on his way to work by four ICE officers. "I have been under supervision for 15 years and I've never violated," Montrevil said.

"I have always made my appointment and I stay out of trouble. I have volunteered and I work and take care of my kids. I pay taxes every year. I did everything right. Everything they asked me to do, I have done it. So why target me now?"

ICE Continues Targeting Prominent Immigration Activists

Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee, has a theory: "They're trying to intimidate people. These are well-known activists who've been here for decades, and they're saying to them: 'Don't raise your head.'"

In Colorado, 30-year-old Eliseo Jurado took sanctuary in a local church in the city of Boulder to avoid arrest. ICE defended the warrant, insisting Jurado has an endorsement on his driver's license dating back to 2007 as well as three misdemeanors on his record.

"The detention of both Ravi and Jean is an affront to faith-based communities everywhere," Reverend Chloe Breyer, executive director of New York's Interfaith Coalition, said in a statement.

"People who are willing to speak out against the injustices of the immigration system should not be targeted for deportation. No one should be treated this way."

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