Last week, Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción – CIMA launched the Make Asheville Safe campaign.
From their announcement: “This comes at a time when marginalized communities are being targeted by the current administration and by our state’s legislature. We believe that this is a concrete way that businesses in Asheville can show their solidarity with the communities by channeling the support towards concrete actions to help create greater safety for ALL immigrants and refugees, regardless of their immigration status. The current political climate is furthering the criminalization of immigrants at a federal level and at the state level. The North Carolina legislation is following the anti-immigrant rhetoric by introducing harmful policies in the legislation, thus further endangering whatever relationship there is between the city, law enforcement and schools with immigrant communities.
Interested businesses would pledge to the following:
- Not allow law enforcement or Immigration Customs Enforcement Agents (ICE) into your business for the sole purpose of checking the immigration status of anyone inside.
- Stand in solidarity with refugee and immigrant communities and publicly oppose raids and deportations by posting a DEPORTATION FREE ZONE sticker.
- Not stand for anti-immigrant rhetoric within your business, by the proposed North Carolina legislation, and throughout the city of Asheville.
I am volunteering for this initiative, and I invite readers to contact me with ideas of businesses that may be willing to sign this pledge that I can reach out to.
“If this was about immigration, then the undocumented Irish and European folks would be a part of the roundups. The people being deported are from Mexico, Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. So this is about keeping America white, not making America great.” – Tia Oso, an immigration activist, noting that there are about 50,000 undocumented Irish in the US. (h/t to Desiree Adaway for this quote).
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