D.C. Rallies to Resist ICE Raids

“Deport children? Not nICE.” Image from #NoBanNoWallNoRaids rally outside the White House on February 11. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
“Your ancestors were dreamers too.” Image from #NoBanNoWallNoRaids rally outside the White House on February 11. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
A demonstration on Saturday aimed to teach undocumented people how to correctly respond to overly aggressive ICE agents. Volunteers wore signs that designated whom they were as they were “pulled over” by “ICE agents." From left to right, a “U.S. citizen,” an “undocumented parent,” an “undocumented worker,” and “ICE police.” Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Organizers presented a skit, during which an undocumented worker firmly stated her rights and successfully avoided being detained by an ICE agent. Activists encouraged undocumented viewers to use this tactic if stopped without probable cause.

"This is to show our community how an undocumented immigrant should react in front of [ICE], but that’s not always the reality. That’s why it’s extremely important that we educate our communities, and we talk with our friends, families, and neighbors about how to protect themselves. She knew her rights, so she was let go, even though she was an undocumented worker,” said Ambar Pinto of United We Dream (not pictured) at the event. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
This man represented an “undocumented parent” in the demonstration. When stopped, he looked scared, handing his ID to the ICE agent right away. The agent then asked, “Are you legal in this country? Do you have proof of citizenship?” The parent immediately put his hands up, and said, “Listen man, I have a wife. I have kids. I need to take care of them. Please. Please!” The agent asked the man to step away from his car, which he did. Arrested on the spot, the man was escorted away to be deported.

“That’s what usually happens, because our communities are afraid,” explained Pinto at the event. “And the agents are not nice. They treat us inhumanely. So most of our community breaks down, and they start telling their stories … it’s self-incriminating. Then they get arrested, they get detained, and they get deported.” Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
The last scenario is a reenactment of what happened to the sister of Paula, the demonstrator pictured. In North Carolina, an ICE agent asked her to pull over and demanded she show her ID. She explained that she had DACA, but that was all she had. The ICE agent pressed her aggressively, screaming at her to explain if she was a U.S. citizen or “illegal,” and asked her to step out of her car. After an agonizing amount of time, with her children waiting in the backseat, ICE released Paula’s sister because of her DACA status, which another agent explained is intended to protect the woman from being detained.

Paula recounted how terrified her family was when that happened. “My nephews were scared. They didn’t know what was going on. They thought they were going to lose their mother,” she said, crying at the memory. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
After the demonstration, those at the rally took to the street to march around the White House grounds.

“No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here!” has become a common chant, echoed at protests and gatherings across Washington, D.C. in the weeks since President Trump’s executive actions targeting immigrant communities.
Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
The crowd of hundreds poured down 15th St. NW in Washington, D.C. during the march. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
The #NoBanNoWallNoRaids march flowed past the Washington Monument on Constitution Ave. NW. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
On Wednesday, February 15, immigrant and faith community leaders gathered outside ICE headquarters after undocumented mother Jeanette Vizguerra entered sanctuary at a church in Denver, Colorado, to avoid deportation. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Vizguerra was tipped off that if she showed up at her local ICE office as expected, she risked the same fate as Guadalupe Garcia de Rios of Phoenix, Arizona, who was deported last week when she showed up for a routine check-in.

“Jeanette decided she was going to fight back, to resist, to protect herself and her family,” said Anna Duncan, Campaign Organizer for We Belong Together (at left). “We’re here outside of Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters to demand an end of the attacks on the immigrant communities, to end the anti-immigrant hate coming from the Trump administration, and to demand that they protect and free Jeanette and Daniel and the thousands of other family members and neighbors and community leaders who have been rounded up in the last weeks under the immigration raids and in check-ins across the country.” Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
“I am here not just on behalf of Jeanette, but on behalf of the many immigrant mothers [who] right now are fearful for themselves, their families, and their children. Immigrant women as myself, we are workers, we deserve to live in dignity and respect, because we are not criminals,” said Lenka Mendoza of DREAMers Mothers in Action (center). “We the people, we the immigrants, make America great! Like Jeanette, we will not live in fear!" Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Deya Aldana (pictured) of United We DREAM is a DACA recipient. She came to the United States when she was 4 years old, when her family settled in New Jersey. She shared the story of Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old DACA recipient and a father of a 3-year-old who was put in a detention center in Seattle, Washington, Tuesday night, although he had been vetted twice by the Department of Homeland Security and had paid thousands of dollars in fees related to his DACA status.

“Donald Trump’s executive orders have put everyone at risk. Let’s be clear—in Donald Trump’s America, no one is safe," said Aldana. "If there was any remaining doubt that the Trump administration has declared open season on all immigrants, including DACA recipients, look no further that Daniel Ramirez. Donald Trump and Paul Ryan both said that DACA recipients are not targets for enforcement—they lied .... Everyone is a target. Our communities here are being criminalized simply for existing in this country." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Tefere Gebre, executive vice president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO), is himself a refugee from Sudan—one of the countries listed on Trump’s travel ban.

“This is not the America that most of us searched and risked our lives to come to,” Gebre said. “I’m here to encourage all of us. Even though our communities are being terrorized, separated and torn apart, the rest of us have to be one million percent committed to resist this fascist government .... This country is better than separating 3-year-olds from their moms and dads.” Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Halfway through the rally, the crowd was informed that ICE was not going to let in the immigrant leaders and their allies to deliver a letter with 14,000 signatures demanding that the federal agency issue a stay of removal or close Vizguerra’s case, and that the agency free Medina from wrongful detention. “But we’re not going to leave them alone,” said Duncan. “They won’t let us in, and they won’t talk to us today, but we will come back, and we will continue demanding protection and freedom for all of our brothers and sisters.” Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
In her remarks, Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea of Disciples of Christ declared the commitment of the faith community to the immigrants' rights movement, and recognized the “incredible courage and dignity and the contributions that every immigrant makes to our great nation.” She continued, “Faith communities around the country today are also being challenged to think about how we can offer security, stability, and protection to the lives of immigrants who are feeling such great fear, especially in this new administration." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Suzanna Sondobal, a member of DREAMers Mothers in Action, was born and raised in Chicago, but she is fiercely proud her grandparents were migrant farmworkers from Mexico.

“Mr. President,” Sondobal continued, “We need you to remember that you’re responsible for millions of people. And we’re not going to allow you to make the America that you want ‘great again’ .… We belong together. This is America! This is our America.”
Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire

More than 800 people on Saturday came out in Washington, D.C., to an emergency #NoBanNoWallNoRaids rally outside the White House in response to reports of mass arrests of undocumented people by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The rally featured a bilingual demonstration showing what undocumented people in the United States face when stopped by ICE and concluded with a march around the White House grounds.

On Wednesday, February 15, another emergency rally was held at the doors of ICE headquarters in support of undocumented mother Jeanette Vizguerra, who sought sanctuary in a Denver, Colorado, church; and Daniel Ramirez Medina, a father and deferred action recipient detained in Seattle, Washington. Immigrant women and allies from We Belong Together, the American Friends Service Committee, DREAMers Mothers in Action, the New Sanctuary Movement, and United We Dream planned to deliver a letter to the agency demanding a stay of removal.

Rewire was on the ground in D.C. to document the emergency responses from undocumented communities and advocates.