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No More Deportations campaign spreads message in the Latino community

By Brad Sigal |
December 20, 2010
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No More Deportations campaign presentation 12/19/2010 in NY Plaza on Lake Street
No More Deportations campaign presentation 12/19/2010 in NY Plaza on Lake Street (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On Dec. 19 activists from the No More Deportations campaign brought their message to the New York Plaza shopping center on Lake Street in Minneapolis. In the Latino market, activists explained the campaign to weekend shoppers and signed up dozens of people on the petition to stop deportations in Hennepin County.

The No More Deportations campaign is an all-volunteer effort to stop deportations in Hennepin County. They are organizing community outreach and education activities like this to explain how immigrants can exercise their rights and be part of the struggle to stop deportations that tear apart families and communities.

Many shoppers stopped to listen as activists explained about the No More Deportations campaign. The campaign aims to stop Hennepin County Jails from cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through the so-called Criminal Alien Program (CAP). The campaign also aims to block the so-called Secure Communities program from being implemented in Hennepin County. It’s not here yet, but the Obama administration wants to implement it nationwide by 2013. These programs, along with 287g, are responsible for the majority of deportations under the Obama administration.

Under the CAP program, during the jail booking process people are asked where they’re from, and if they’re immigrants their file is flagged so that ICE comes to interview them and possibly start the deportation process, even if the person is never charged with or convicted of a crime. Likewise, under the Secure Communities program, people are fingerprinted when they are booked into jail, and their fingerprints are run through a national database to see if they should be deported. County jails are not obligated to participate in these deportation programs. The No More Deportations campaign aims to convince the Hennepin County Commissioners to vote to cut off these programs.

At New York Plaza, four activists with the campaign did a street theater to demonstrate that immigrants should exercise their right to not talk to the police or let the police into their house without a warrant, because they could end up getting deported. Christian performed a spoken word decrying the government for its repression against immigrants and all oppressed people and Niger explained the Secure Communities and Criminal Alien Programs, encouraging people to get involved in the campaign to demand that the Hennepin County Commissioners stop these programs.

The No More Deportations campaign was initiated by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc), a Twin Cities-based immigrant rights group fighting for legalization and full equality for immigrants.

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