Mohamed Emad is a Palestinian undocumented immigrant who has lived in the US for over twenty years. The FBI had been working a case against one of Mohamed’s coworkers and, through their investigation, learned of Mohamed’s undocumented status. He was never associated with the case under investigation, but the FBI still issued a memo accusing him of “terrorist affiliations.”
In 2016, the FBI planted two informants that worked with Mohamed’s co-worker to engage in the illegal purchase of guns. As a result of the operation, Mohamed’s co-worker was arrested and is currently in litigation fighting pending charges. Although Mohamed was not involved in the purchase of guns and the FBI never pressed charges against him, ICE used the information from the FBI to identify him as an undocumented immigrant, begin deportation proceedings against him, and keep him detained.
Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) came into contact with Mohamed Emad in April of 2019. He had been in a detention center for over a year and couldn’t be deported because he was considered “stateless” given his Palestinian nationality. In collaboration with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), his immigration attorney Marc Christopher, and the Solange MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, we were able to get him out of detention by May of the same year. Helping him return home to his family took building community pressure, meetings, press conferences, among other ongoing efforts.
On behalf of Mohamed, a habeas corpus petition was submitted in federal court to challenge the government’s authority to detain Mohamed without due process. Formal complaints were also filed in the United States Eastern District Court detailing how Mohamed had been racially profiled and targeted by the FBI, as well as the lack of medical care he experienced while in detention and the disregard for his religious practices.
As an undocumented-led collective in the city of Chicago, we will take a moment to breathe and cherish this moment as we prepare to continue the ongoing radical grassroots organizing happening throughout the city. Trump is on his way out of office. However, we know that the same racist and inhumane structures of this capitalist empire are still up and running.
Este taller de criminalización es un recurso preparado por Comunidades Organizadas contra las Deportaciones (OCAD) y el Centro para la Nueva Comunidad (CNC). La clave para luchar contra el sentimiento anti-inmigrante es comprender que no se trata de delincuencia, sino de la criminalización.
We advocate for the elimination of the use of detention centers and deportations, surveillance mechanisms, and “reforms” that exclude the most criminalized amongst us. One way we are doing this is by advocating for the elimination of the City of Chicago’s gang database.
Genoveva’s case is one of OCAD’s first victories. OCAD supported her in filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (something that takes a lot of courage). As a result, Genoveva got her U visa approved, is with her family and continues to fight for others.
Wilmer Catalan had been residing in the US for over 10 years and, in March of 2017, ICE agents unlawfully entered his home without a criminal warrant or consent. ICE had conducted a raid based on false information obtained from the Chicago Police Department indicating Wilmer belonged to a street gang.