Share

On a Thursday afternoon press call with immigration rights groups to announce an immigrant day of action against proposed polices from an incoming Donald Trump administration, organizers said that acts of civil disobedience and getting arrested will be strategies they will be considering.

“This is a new world and we are expecting and getting ready for the fight of our lives,” said Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice for the Center for Community Change. “There’s no question in the mind of anybody who is on this call or anybody who is involved in the immigrant rights movement that we’re going to have to use every tool in our arsenal to fight against the xenophobia and the bigotry that really clouds and has infected Trump’s plan when it comes to immigration. If you look at his 100-day plan, it’s filled with hate. He wants to repeal DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and other executive orders. He wants to defund sanctuary cities. He wants to build the wall. He wants to deport three million people. And he wants to criminalize people who attempt to cross the border more the once. And so, if there was ever a time when the immigrant rights community is organizing and strategizing and figuring out what it is that we need to do to mount a fierce battle, it’s now. And we fully expect that we will need to escalate in the coming days, in the coming weeks, in the coming months, in the next four years. Is civil disobedience on the menu of things that we will have to engage in? Absolutely, and unfortunately, that is likely to happen sooner rather than later.”

“All of these actions will also experience moments of escalation,” added Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream, “where will be risking arrest and where our allies will also be joining us in that. We’re going to be utilizing all of the tools at our disposal and direct action will be part of the tactics that we will continue to use, also with the commitment of our allies at the local level and the national level as well.”

The one-hour press call also featured remarks from Rocio Sáenz of SEIU, Christine Neumann-Ortiz of Milwaukee-based Voces de la Frontera and Maria Fernanda Durand of CASA. The main part of the call was dedicated to the planned January 14 actions against Trump. According to organizers, marches and demonstrations will be held in Washington, D.C. and about 45 locations across the country to prevent deportations, preserve the DACA program and create sanctuaries of safety and deportation defense networks in cities, schools, churches and states. Durand said that she estimates that 2,500 people will attend the D.C. action.

Besides the organizations who appeared on the press call, other sponsors of the day of action include the following groups: Sierra Club, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, American Federation of Teachers, Unite Here, MoveOn and NextGen Climate Action.