Frontera Fund News Trump Watch

5 Heroes of the Trump Resistance


It may seem as if the U.S. has been taken over by the forces of darkness – fascist sympathizers, compulsive liars, conspiracy peddlers, racists and various orcs in human clothing. But darkness brings out the light in many people.

Brave DREAMers are persistently persuading Congresspeople to pass DREAM Act-type legislation. Humanitarians are saving lives in the dangerous borderlands, despite Border Patrol’s efforts to condemn migrants to death. Compassionate souls are meeting families across the country to help identify the missing in the desert.

Recently, a few other individuals and organizations have inspired us with their courageous and creative efforts to stand against the Trump administration’s discriminatory and anti-American policies. 

Here’s a shout-out to the resisters:

1. Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts, a legal secretary for Montana’s labor department, quit his job when he learned he would have to send labor data to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). That data would be used to track down and deport undocumented workers, and Dyrdahl-Roberts refused to help ICE split apart families.

Coworkers tried to convince him to stay, since he’s not in a financial position to quit. He and his wife, a substitute librarian attending graduate school, have a young child. He has only $900 in his checking account. But here’s how he responded on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 4.43.40 PM

2. In 2017, ICE sent the New York City Police Department 1,526 requests to detain immigrants. The NYPD refused to cooperate with all of them.

That’s because the vast majority of New Yorkers support immigrant-friendly policies and know their city is safer when immigrants feel safe to report crimes. So in 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a City Council bill that allowed the city to cooperate with ICE’s detainer requests only in instances when the person has a felony conviction within the previous five years.

The Department of Justice has repeatedly threatened to withhold federal funding for New York because of its so-called “sanctuary” policies. But federal judges have repeatedly deemed that unconstitutional.

3. In the fight to keep immigrants in the country, young Latinx activists and impresarios are throwing quinceañeras for a cause. Poofy dresses and tacky suits are encouraged at these adult parties, which bring people together for live music, DJs and tres leches cake.

A recent event in Los Angeles, “Solidarity for Sanctuary Quince Night,” raised money for the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). The immigrant rights organization is currently helping 260,000-plus Salvadoran immigrants facing potential deportation if the Trump administration terminates their temporary protected status in 2019. Members of UndocuMedia were also present to inform attendees about their work assisting undocumented immigrants with applying for various legal protections. Look for future events here.

4. In Arizona, Pima County supervisors rejected $1.4 million from the federal government that would have gone toward increasing collaboration between local sheriffs and Border Patrol. This is the first time they have refused the grant since they started receiving it a decade ago.

The Stonegarden grant is meant to improve border security. But as Democratic supervisor Richard Elías said, “[T]he board is concerned with having our sheriffs become more involved in working on federal immigration law… Frankly, we have a different administration in the White House, and we’ve seen a lot of change in the way ICE and the Border Patrol do business here in the borderlands.”

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 8.56.00 AM

5. While the Trump administration and Russian bots are infecting society with divisiveness, people from Muslim and Mexican cultures are coming together to celebrate their commonalities. And they’re doing it over halal tacos.

California residents from both communities created #TacoTrucksAtEveryMosque. A lonchera comes to a mosque and serves free tacos after a religious service and a talk about Latino-Muslim unity. People from both groups share their stories and build friendships. Muslim organizer Rida Hamida says Trump supporters have come to protest the events and ended up eating tacos.