Commentary: Fear is good. They should be concerned. You break the law, you pay the price.
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Days after Homeland Security cancels “Operation Mega,” a nationwide crackdown and round up of undocumented immigrants, some are worried it’s only a matter of time before they’re booted out of the country.
Immigrants rights advocates from across Maryland took their frustration and fear to the streets Tuesday at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Baltimore.
“We’re demanding that ICE show us our papers as community members and really document that they’re not going to be doing these violations against our community,” said CASA lead regional organizer Lydia Walther-Rodriguez.
The group is demanding that ICE be transparent about any policy changes that impact the immigrant community. They also want to know if any mass deportations are on the horizon.
The backlash comes after the leak of an internal DHS memo revealed that nationwide raids targeting 8,400 undocumented immigrants were planned for later this month.
“Frankly, we are very scared about what’s coming down the road,” said Megan Essaheb for Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an immigration advocacy group.
The immigrant community is still reeling following the announcement that the Trump Administration would end the deferred action for child arrivals program or DACA, the Obama-era policy allowed people brought here as children, to stay if they meet certain requirements and are felony-free.
“We can not admit everyone who would like to come here,” said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week.
Jonathan Jayes-Green came with his parents from Panama to the U.S. when he was 13. He graduated college and recently bought into the American Dream.
“I’m here as a home owner and being undocumented,” Jayes-Green said. “We deserve protection. We deserve to be safe and to be able to have opportunities as well.”
He is one of about 800,000 DACA recipients who he says are living in fear.
The groups are planning info-sessions to teach undocumented immigrants what their rights are just in case the raids happen at some point.
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.