Photos: Immigrants and advocates protest ICE surge in Aurora

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Today is the last in a seven-day "surge" being conducted in Aurora by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their supposed target? Deportable aliens who have been arrested, or those issued court summonses who are fugitives or who have been previously deported or convicted of crimes. It's the summonses part that's causing immigrants and advocates to worry and protest, including at a vigil last night.

Last night's vigil was organized by the American Friends Service Committee, which holds monthly vigils outside the GEO detention center in Aurora. Yesterday's was focused on protesting ICE's increased presence in the city, which the AFSC sees as "a step backwards for the Department of Homeland Security in Colorado."

"I received fearful calls from Latino and immigrant members of my church as rumors flew this weekend," Pastor Anne Dunlap of the United Church of Christ said in a statement. "People reported hearing that ICE and police officers were pulling people over and waiting outside grocery stores. They told me ICE's unasked-for presence in our community made it feel dangerous to come to church."

The fear Dunlap described may stem partly from the fact that ICE seems to have changed its story about what the surge would entail. On Friday, the agency issued a statement saying that officers would be reviewing traffic summonses in Aurora. Two hours later, a spokesman amended it to say ICE was reviewing court summonses, not traffic summonses.

Father Steve Adams of St. Pius X Catholic Parish and a leader with Metro Organizations for People suspects the community won't know the definitive outcome of the surge -- in other words, how many undocumented folks were targeted -- for a while. "Everybody was laying low because they were afraid," he says. "They didn't want to go to the store, they didn't want to do the normal things they would do. That's the part that's really sad for me. We make these folks live in fear and they keep coming and keep staying here because living in fear here is better than where they were before."

But Adams, who was not at the vigil, says the immediate casualty of the surge is the immigrant community's loss of trust in law enforcement. He and others say the Aurora police department has worked hard to develop trust so immigrants aren't afraid to report crimes. "ICE came in without any regard for the relationships that they have formed with the community," he says. "They basically threw law enforcement under the bus."

If any good has come from the situation, Adams says it's been the way the community pulled together. "A lot of folks really helped and made this somewhat understandable to a lot of people who were really worried and really frightened," Adams says. "The sense is that as a community here, we're stronger now than we were before."

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Sarah Jackson
Page down to see more photos from the vigil.

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Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

I guess you didn't get it.  Criminal aliens took over RTD Bus Stops, they used RTD as their cover. They were gone from the Bus Stops downtown until a few days ago. They were selling real bad black tar heroin at the bus stops years before and teenagers thought they were buying hash. What they thought was hash, they smoked. A lot of teenagers became addicted and died. When I was at RTD Board hearings and DRCOG hearings I brought it up with the General Manager of Light Rail and the head of Transit Police. What I found out was RTD don't give a shit about anything except blocking my every move to talk to people at the hearing and showing my photographs of Light Rail Trains Running Red Lights.

Please Google: RTD Light Rail Train Crash

JMPiper
JMPiper

I don't understand why ICE is going through court summons which are traffic and misdemeanor offenses/ What is this the gestapo? The Aurora police say they didn't ask for this. What are the Feds doing in Aurora then?

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Plenty of folks are asking these questions. Thanks for the post, JM.

Michael
Michael

What's next, we can't enforce our laws based on the fact that people might get their feelings hurt??  Emotional based Liberalism makes sooooo much sense. HA

Daveperson1
Daveperson1

Why is it not justified?  Based on the fact that some poor individual might get their feelings hurt?  The city simply wants to find those who have broken the law and who could be committing illegal acts.  Common sense issue.  Case closed.

Faycless
Faycless

Illegal immigrants gotta go.

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

Yesterday late afternoon in Denver, at the RTD bustop 1600 block of Champa Stthere were two crminal aliens pushing chiva. The reason I did not call the police, my cell-phone is being hacked by the corrupt MEDIA RELATIONS BUREAU of the DENVER POLICE, JOHN HICKENLOOPER and his COPWATCH, RTD LIGHT RAIL and their CONTRACTORS, NEWS 4,7,9 and 31.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/phon...

Faycless
Faycless

What does pushing chinva mean?

Faycless
Faycless

"chiva"

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

Chiva is what the non-english speaking criminal aliens of the Suereno-13, MS-13 and La Mara Salvatrucha Gangs  call heroin. For about 6 years they dominated the bus stops along 17th St downtown and Skyline Park. The police would round them up, deport them and they would come back. They moved over to Civic Center Bus Station and Civic Center Park but I think they moved somewhere else or instead of deporting, they were sent to prison. Two days ago was the first time  anyone tried to sell me heroin from that bus stop in several years.

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