Families Belong Together

“Abolish ICE!” is More Than a Slogan—It’s a Movement!

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) stands with our sisters and brothers and their children who’ve fled violence and now seek asylum in the U.S.A. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is out of control, making a tough situation much worse with ruthless and inhumane actions. Tell Congress: Repeal and replace ICE.

On June 30th, tens of thousands of people around the country staged protests in hundreds of cities. The "Families Belong Together" movement was launched, aimed at ending Donald Trump’s horrible “zero tolerance” policy of separating families, ripping nursing babies from their mother’s arms, and putting children in cages. The outcry against Trump and his "Operation Streamline" was clear—people across the political spectrum are fed up and are organizing to end the crisis on the border.

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Senators including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed various "Abolish ICE" approaches. Several House members—notably, Representatives Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal, and Adriano Espaillat—introduced legislation that would shut down the agency within a year, and immediately create a bipartisan group to work out a replacement.

Click here to tell your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 6361, the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act, and tell your Senators to support related efforts. For more information about HR 6361, see: Members of Congress Introduce Legislation to Terminate ICE and Transfer Critical Functions to Other Agencies.

Terrible stories are revealed each day: babies are in court “representing themselves”; dozens of infants and toddlers not yet united with their parents even after a court order; nearly 3,000 older children still separated from their family despite the July 26 deadline for reuniting them; some parents allegedly failing government vetting for minor infractions of the law and losing their parental rights; physical and sexual abuse of children in U.S. government custody; inadequate, unclean, and substandard food and water; horrible so-called shelter conditions; parents deported while their children remain in U.S. detention centers; concerned members of Congress prevented from inspecting detention facilities.

These atrocities must end now—Families Belong Together. In the last month, we have seen it all and we are outraged!

As a direct response to the cruel family separation actions by government agencies, protestors are now focusing their aim at Immigration and Customs Enforcement . ICE is the federal quasi-police force created in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, replacing Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and is the main government agency responsible for enforcing deportation, detention, and family separation policies.

Activists linked to immigration support organizations have been protesting the cruel policies of ICE for years. Now, we see daily protests, occupations, and encampments, directed at ICE facilities in multiple cities. Recently, 17 members of the United We Dream organization were arrested after shutting down the Miami ICE facility in Miramar, Florida, for more than 8 hours. They bravely put their bodies on the line to stand up against the horrific conditions at that facility.

There have been numerous large street actions as well: 10 people were arrested after hundreds protested in San Diego on July 2nd; ICE offices in Portland, Philadelphia, New York and Seattle have been targets of encampments and occupations. Protests, rallies, and marches have been organized and continue in several border cities in Texas, in Washington, DC, and across the nation in Miami, Albuquerque, New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and more—all aimed at local detention centers and ICE offices.

The demand to "Abolish ICE" has moved rapidly from the immigrant activist groups most directly impacted by ICE to the mainstream. On July 18, 34 Democrats and one Republican in the U.S. House voted NO on a Republican-inspired resolution to support the agency, 133 Democrats voted "present" in protest, and only 18 Democrats voted with the right-wing Republican majority.

Rep. Pocan's H.R. 6361, the Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement System Act would abolish and replace ICE. It currently has eight co-sponsors. Click here to tell you Representative to cosponsor this common sense solution to the crisis at the border, and to tell your Senators to take similar actions.

In a recent press release, Rep. Pocan said, “President Trump’s blanket directive to round up and target all undocumented immigrants underscores the unchecked power which ICE has used to terrorize our communities. From conducting raids at garden centers and meatpacking plants, to targeting families outside churches and schools, the President is using ICE as a mass-deportation force to rip apart the moral fabric of our nation.”

Rep. Jayapal added, “We should eliminate the agency as it stands and start from scratch to restructure its functions. This legislation would establish a commission to look at transitioning essential ICE functions to a new agency that would have accountability, transparency and oversight built in from its inception. It’s time to change the system to one that is accountable, efficient, humane and transparent.”

The sheer number of actions and protests and the popularity of the “Abolish ICE” movement over the past month has caught the attention of both the mainstream media and Americans across the country. It is causing political waves within the Trump administration and on Capitol Hill.

We must continue the momentum. Families Belong Together. Let's keep up the pressure! To join an action near you, contact Dan O’Neal at dan@pdamerica.org.

Please share this critically important information with all your contacts by email and social media. Then, please click here to generously support our work by check or card. Money short? Then please support our work with your time and effort. Make easy. effective calls from your own home to help elect candidates and make progress. Mike “Phone Guy” Fox will show you how.

In solidarity,

Dan O’Neal and Debra Schrishuhn for Mike F., Mike H. Donna, Judy, Dr. Bill, Janis, Kimberly, and Bryan—Your PDA National Team

P.S. We're here to help you make progress in your state and locality! If you need help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Dan O’Neal. Join the PDA Phone Team making easy, effective calls from your own home with Mike “Phone Guy” Fox. No time to volunteer? Then please pitch in $1000, $100, or whatever you can afford. We don't have billionaire dark money donors. We depend upon your generous support. Please give generously to support our organizing.

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  • Paul Jefferson
    commented 2018-07-20 14:00:55 -0400
    Families belong together!

Progressive Democrats of America

The democratic wing of the Democratic Party