Milwaukee, WI - Last week it came to national attention that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was planning the largest ICE operation in history, known as “Operation Mega,” with the goal of picking up 8,400 undocumented immigrants across the country. The operation was set to begin on September 17th and last for 5 days. When news of the plan became public, DHS issued a press release saying that the operation was postponed due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Although DHS has announced that these raids have been postponed, The Young People’s Resistance Committee (YPRC) is calling on our community to remain vigilant and be prepared for these raids to occur. We cannot trust the word of an institution which consistently seeks to criminalize immigrants and separate them from their communities, especially under the direction of an administration which seeks to do the same. Every immigrant in Milwaukee needs to know their rights if ICE comes to their door, and to remember this above all else: if they do not have search warrant signed by a judge to search your property, do not let them into your house.
We demand an immediate end to all deportations. Any talk of “targeting criminals” only serves to alienate our immigrant community from the rest of the country. Deportations do not lead to safer neighborhoods, they only have one impact: terror for over 11 million undocumented parents, children, workers, and community members.
Today, YPRC delivered a letter to Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn calling on him to stay true to his word that he would protect the Milwaukee immigrant community, and to ensure that his officers will not engage in any collaboration with ICE. We also call on Chief Flynn to go beyond that – to realize that raids like Operation Mega only show tens of thousands of Milwaukeeans that the police and federal agents are not our friends and are not to be trusted. If Chief Flynn wants the Milwaukee community to trust MPD, a complete end to MPD-ICE collaboration is absolutely necessary.
The Young People’s Resistance Committee (YPRC) is a multi-national, youth-led community group that fights for immigrant, worker, and student rights. It is a student group at UW-Milwaukee and provides legal and political services for the Milwaukee immigrant community.