Yesterday, community members, immigrant rights advocates, and union members across the United States came together for Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps. The vigils mourned the refugees and immigrants who have died in ICE detention and protested the dehumanizing conditions of these camps.
Organizers are called for an end to human detention camps in the United States.
A statement read:
“We must not be complicit in the effort to scapegoat, detain, and flush out whole groups of people who have come to the United States seeking better lives for themselves and their families. We must not silently stand by while innocent people, many of them children, are separated from their families, stripped of rights and dignity, and denied access to basic needs like sleep, sanitation, and safety. We cannot turn away from this crisis as it unfolds in our own country.”
The protests were also a response to the Trump administrations announced raids of undocumented immigrants and the subsequent fear and panic it has caused.
The Washington Post was reporting Friday night that President Donald Trump was planning to have immigration authorities carry out mass arrests of migrants on Sunday. He said it was aimed at families that have received final deportation orders and was going to focus on 10 cities across the U.S. including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Houston.
The vigil and demonstration focused on local sites of detention.
North Minneapolis state legislator Raymond Dehn was at the D.C. vigil.
While in Minnesota demonstrations were held at the Fort Snelling Whipple Federal building.
In nearby North Dakota actions were held in Bismark.
Bismarck resident Tempe O’kun quoted in KXNET stated,
“People write-off North Dakota and think we’ll just go along with any Republican idea. But as white, as North Dakota is, and we are lutefisk white, we aren’t white nationalists, and we don’t stand for this kind of action. It’s inappropriate, it’s horrible.”
Reporting on Workday has focused on immigrant detention and the experience of immigrants in Minnesota. For background on the experience of undocumented folks in Worthington, Minnesota and the expansion of ICE, please read our recently co-published article with NACLA, “On the Front Lines of Trump’s Immigration War in the U.S. Heartland.” We also developed an article on the way Sherburne County Sheriff’s department generates millions through the incarceration of immigrant detainees.