The 100 days interim DHS memo announcement on January 20, 2021 comes after years or tireless work of the undocumented community. It comes after countless undocumented people sharing their experiences to make the case for no more deportations. The memo as it stands will ensure a review of past prosecutorial discretion memos and provides interim guidelines that place under priority for enforcement individuals who are labeled as terrorists, recent arrivals, and folks who are being released from prison and have an aggravated felony conviction. Lastly, the memo provides a pause on deportations. While the memo provides some relief, we must not let our guard down. This is after all a temporary order, which makes the 100 days a critical time to push for the Biden Administration to implement long term relief.
The review of past prosecutorial discretions memos is an important action. This is a process that must center the voices of those impacted by enforcement actions. We must continue to challenge the exclusion of individuals with criminal records from relief and protection. We cannot go back to the prosecutorial discretion memos brought to us by the Obama administration that only furthered the narrative of good immigrants versus bad immigrants. We strongly believe that no one is disposable and that enforcement guidelines that prioritize folks with criminal records, terrorism accusations, and recent arrivals only serves the purpose of continuing the targeting and criminalization of members of our immigrant community. While the pause of deportations is a welcomed action, we must not forget that this does not mean a halt of enforcement. This does not mean a pause on raids and arrests. This also does not speak at all to the individuals currently in ICE detention.
The next 100 days are critical and will set the tone for what's to come in the next four years of the Biden administration. As OCAD, we are committed to demands that bring us closer to liberation for the immigrant community, demands that continue to bring change from the bottom up:
We know that radical change doesn’t come from the president’s office or any other politician. We need to continue to organize and demand for more actions that bring justice and safety to our communities. We must also make it clear that we are watching and ready to hold elected officials accountable. We are what we need!
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.