Immigrants heard with apprehension news that a court of appeals lifted the ban for workplace raids that allowed Maricopa County Sheriff job Arpaio terrorize immigrant families. Many of us replayed in our minds the sad parade of immigrants, their hands zip tied, caught working with a false, invented or borrowed social security, not to steal money from anyone, just to work and provide the basics for their families.
Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund visited Puente Human Right Movement , which is part of the lawsuit contesting two identity theft laws that make a felony the use of a fake identity to work, for some recommendations. Here they are:
1.-Do not panic! The parties have 21 days to appeal the lifting of the injunction and the activist groups are working with their lawyers to file the necessary documents. At the same time, a lawsuit that addresses the two ID laws that unfairly targets undocumented immigrants is slowly but surely making its way in the courts.
2.-Be informed. Arpaio is not the same and his powers are greatly diminished. The orders stemming from Melendres v. Arpaio forced the old Sheriff to dismantle the identity theft unit that executed the workplace raids. MCSO would need to find money to reconstitute the unit and the agency is spending a lot of dough implementing the many changes ordered by Judge Snow. Additionally, due to a settlement with the Department of Justice reached on July 2015, MCSO and Sheriff Joe must submit for approval any new actions like a workplace raid. In short, we will know way in advance if he is preparing new raids.
Did you notice that Sheriff Joe has not given a press conference and has not conducted a raid the next day of the lifting of the ban like in his “good old days”?
3.-Ask questions. “We are here to help you and support you”, said Francisca Porchas of Puente. “You can call us at 602-252-1283 to ask questions about this situation”. “Arpaio cannot be doing the same stuff. He is now being forced to protect the civil rights of the community”, said Porchas.
4.-Attend forums. Activists with Puente and other civil rights groups will be ready to implement community forums to offer orientation to immigrants AND business owners.
5.-Organize. Activists are ready to stage protests and actions to stop workplace raids and use their arsenal of tools for community organizing. Stay tuned for new developments following our Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund posts.