Immigration In The Land Of The Free
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Politics and Activism

Immigration In The Land Of The Free

Immigration Raids

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Immigration In The Land Of The Free

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This quote comes from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, "New Colossus," which she wrote for a fundraiser auction to raise money for the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty now sits.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lighting, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to
Breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

If Metro Atlanta becomes a hub of resistance to Mr. Trump’s presidency, it won’t be because John Lewis stood up or because Sally Yates was pushed out.

Nor will it be spurred by stories of refugees from the world’s wars who have suddenly found their journey blocked — or the extra-large Southern hearts that were prepared to receive them. And still are.

But temperatures might rise because decades of Republican and Democratic strategy have staked Georgia’s economic future on an economy in which cash, goods and people can move legally across international borders with relative ease.

That may be about to change.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least six states this week in a surge of what federal officials labeled "routine enforcement actions." The raids targeted illegal immigrants known to have criminal records beyond their immigration status, though some immigrants without a history of crime were arrested as well.

In the latter category was Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, an Arizona woman arrested Wednesday whose case has attracted considerable attention because she was illegally brought to the United States as a young child and now has a husband and two children who are all U.S. citizens. In light of her story, the "entire Mexican community is invited to take precautions and to keep in touch with its nearest consulate, to obtain the necessary assistance to face a situation of this type," Mexico's foreign ministry said Thursday, February 9th, 2017, in a warning to Mexicans living in the United States.

Mr. Trump has promised to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants with a criminal background, after which he will consider deporting up to 9 million more without criminal records. President Obama deported 2.5 million people from 2009 to 2015, the largest deportation tally of any president in history and a larger figure than all 20th century deportations combined.

It's not known how many people have been rounded up across the country, but immigration advocates say they've received reports of raids in California, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, New York and Kansas. The ICE operations are the first to take place since Mr. Trump issued his Jan. 26 executive order expanding the priorities for enforcement.

"What they're trying to do is a really concerted effort to instill fear and terrorize our communities," said David Abud, an organizer with the National Day Labor Organizing Network based in Los Angeles.

"It's a way in which Trump and ICE are retaliating against sanctuary jurisdictions," he also added.

The Washington Post quoted one immigration official as saying, "Big cities tend to have a lot of illegal immigrants. They're going to a target-rich environment."

There were anecdotal reports of ICE staging traffic checkpoints and random sweeps of people suspected of being here illegally.


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