Puente is live streaming a demonstration against ICE and Operation Streamline at I-10 and 18th Street. You can watch it here.
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Just now, a group of immigrant rights activists blocked a bus filled with people headed to Operation Streamline, a federal criminal court they say represents the worst of the criminalization of immigrants. In Operation Streamline, people accused of crossing the border without authorization are diverted from immediate deportation and instead sentenced en masse as punishment to 30 to 180 days in private prisons at taxpayers’ expense. They are lined up in shackles and rapidly tried as a group to prison terms before eventually being expelled from the country. The Tucson court convicts an average of 80-100 people every weekday people in its sessions.
Protesters assert that, with Operation Streamline, fundamental rights such as due process and the right to adequate representation are being destroyed in efforts to criminalize immigrants and stigmatize migration. The victims are targeted for unjust and inhumane treatment as they’re unnecessarily imprisoned.
The civil disobedience today reflects growing impatience with Congress and the President to provide immediate relief to immigrants targeted for deportation while working for a permanent solution.
“Anyone who witnesses Operation Streamline will come away convinced that it is both unconstitutional and immoral,” explains Roberto Cintli Rodriguez. “There is no justice in that courtroom. It violates every principle the US claims to ascribe to. When humanity is confronted with unjust laws, it is our responsibility to challenge them.”
This action comes the day before a national convening in Phoenix of immigrant families, workers, and organizers initiating new efforts in a campaign to move the President to use his authority to stop deportations and expand deferred action, and days before a rally and march planned in Phoenix to “shut down” ICE.