LULAC: Federal Government is Targeting Dissent on Immigration

Claudio Rojas

Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Arrest of Claudio Rojas, Featured in Documentary, The Infiltrators, The Latest Casualty

The Federal Government is targeting dissent on immigration and the arrest of Claudio Rojas, Featured in Documentary, The Infiltrators, is the latest casualty. LULAC is calling for Congressional hearings into a series of orchestrated arrests and detentions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) against people they consider a threat for countering the Trump Administration’s narrative on the immigration debate.

Claudio’s arrest is not a coincidence but the latest attempt to silence the truth about the plight of immigrants in our country and shows desperate people in this Administration will stop at nothing even if it means unjustly denying someone their freedom. Mr. Rojas arrived from Argentina 20-years ago, worked hard all his life, paid his taxes, raised a family and has never been in trouble yet the moment his story is turned into a movie, he’s facing deportation!

Claudio Rojas, was detained by ICE for overstaying his visa in 2012. His account of the conditions inside the for-profit detention facility where he was held are portrayed in the documentary. His story provides chilling firsthand insight into how undocumented immigrants are treated while in federal custody including denial of their basic human rights.

Stop the deportation of Claudio Rojas and add your name to the petition to Representative Ted Deutch, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Marco Rubio. Together we can make a difference for Claudio Rojas and his family.

Claudio’s case is part of an on-going campaign of arrests and detentions being carried out against high-profile individuals and immigration advocates to make an example of them. Just last month, ICE arrested rapper 21 Savage, whose real name is Shayaabin Abraham-Joseph claiming he entered the country as a minor and his parents failed to renew his visa in 2006. Last July, Ricardo Fierro, President of a LULAC Council in Racine, Wisconsin was also detained by ICE. Ricardo is a longtime supporter of immigrant rights as a husband, the father of seven children and a leader for social justice. It is time Congress acts to investigate and order a stop to acts of intimidation carried out under the color of law, which constitute a violation of federal statutes.

For the second straight year, immigrant arrests in the Miami field area grew more quickly than anywhere else in the nation, an increase of 36.8% according to a New Times review of federal data. Few areas came close to Florida's hike: The New York City region saw a 34.9 percent jump (from 2,576 arrests to 3,476), while the San Diego area recorded 31 percent more apprehensions (4,551 to 6,000). Other areas also saw larger totals: Dallas, for example, reported 17,644 arrests, while ICE agents in the Atlanta area apprehended 15,189 people.

Enforcement and Removal Operations 2018

ICE.gov: Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)

In recent weeks, journalists, lawyers and immigrant-rights advocates have been the subject of expulsions and denials of entry along the U.S. - Mexico border. Other acts of harassment include subjecting reporters to lengthy inspections and photographing of their passports as well as unexplained detentions for questioning.

LULAC applauds the groundbreaking work of Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera for their courage in producing The Infiltrators. It is imperative that the story of every Claudio and Ricardo be told to help counter the fear and anger against Latino immigrants being fomented for political gain. Every person who shares their story is helping to protect the basic civil rights to which every person is entitled in our country. Today, it’s them, tomorrow it could be us.

Hasta La Victoria,
Domingo Garcia
LULAC National President

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org

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