Minneapolis, MN - On Dec. 19, MIRAc’s No More Deportations campaign and Occupy Homes MN joined together to protest deportations and evictions in Hennepin County. They demanded that Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek stop evicting people from their homes and stop cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to deport immigrants from the county jail.
The protest started outside the Hennepin County jail, where immigrants are routinely turned over to ICE for deportation, even if they have not been convicted of any crime. Outside the jail, a street theater skit began in which “Mr. Rich” (Mr. Grinch) came to steal the holidays by deporting and evicting as many people as possible in the interests of the 1%. The group then marched to City Hall, went inside the building and marched to Sheriff Stanek’s office door.
The street theater continued there, where Mr. Rich was confronted by three “ghosts of evictions and deportations past,” who spoke about their experiences with eviction and deportation in Hennepin County. The protesters also set up a full-size Christmas tree directly outside the Sheriff’s office, decorated with ornaments with anti-deportation and anti-eviction messages.
“Sheriff Stanek used our tax dollars to violently and illegally raid my home on Election Day, breaking down my door and forcing my daughter to walk barefoot across broken glass,” said Jaymie Kelly, who remains in her home and is currently fighting her eviction with Occupy Homes MN. “We should not be using tax dollars to violently separate families and force them into the streets. It’s time for Scrooge Stanek to change his ways. Not one more eviction or deportation!”
According to Brad Sigal of the No More Deportations campaign, “Sheriff Stanek holds immigrants in the county jail for ICE to come deport them. He doesn’t have to do that. This holiday season, we demand that he stop using the jail as a deportation machine. Everyone should be able to stay in their home with their families for the holidays.”