Religious leaders are alarmed by increasingly broad sweeps of immigrant communities and are doing something about it. All over the country, they are creating a new "underground railroad" of sorts, finding spaces to hide and give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants in the face of sweeping new ICE raids intended to root out and deport every immigrant Trump and his minions can find.
This CNN video highlights several attempts to create safe houses for undocumented immigrants to hide out of the reach of ICE agents. But for some, it comes too late.
In Santa Cruz, California, the Department of Homeland Security assured police they were going to swoop in and round up some dangerous gang members. But it turned out to be much, much more than that.
The Santa Cruz Police Department teamed up with Homeland Security to conduct a gang raid in 12 neighborhoods of Live Oak, Capitola, and Santa Cruz on Feb. 13. Ten suspected MS-13 gang members were arrested. Vogel said he only agreed with work with federal agents because he was assured several times that immigration detentions and deportations would have no part in the operation, and only violent MS-13 gang members would be arrested.
Vogel said Homeland Security lied. In the days following the raid, ICE eventually admitted to police that some residents who had not committed any crimes were detained and taken to a Homeland Security facility because they were illegal immigrants.
"This flies in the face of the values that our community holds very deeply. The community has an absolute right to be angry over this," Vogel said.
This is a very big deal, because Santa Cruz County is a sanctuary county, and Santa Cruz is a sanctuary city. Police have pledged not to assist ICE with sweeping raids intended to round up immigrants for mass deportation, and yet they were duped into exactly that.
On Feb. 14, upset residents spoke out at City Council meeting and said ICE detained people because of their immigration status, took people away from their homes, tore families apart, and left children alone without adult supervision. Vogel and Flippo were at the meeting, and became increasingly concerned.↓ Story continues below ↓
"The information provided from our community sounded credible," Vogel said.
Flippo left the City Council meeting and began calling high-ranking Homeland Security officials to find some answers. No one at Homeland Security would tell Flippo who was personally responsible for ordering the immigration detentions, but they did eventually admit that it happened.
Homeland Security refused to provide a list of names and addresses to police of illegal immigrants who were detained.
They knew exactly what they were doing when they did this. By worming their way in with the ask for police to help with M-13 gang members (who are very, very bad folks indeed) they had the lever they needed. Had police refused, the story would have been about the police department refusing to take violent criminals out of the community. By allowing them in for that roundup, ICE then took full advantage of their presence to wreck a few families and round up some more immigrants.
Gestapo tactics. ICE is the Gestapo of our time, and it's evil.