Last Wednesday at 6 a.m. more than a dozen federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the Hartford apartment of Enendi Diaz, Antonio Diaz, and Norma Velazquz.
As soon as Ibrahim Jibrell (pictured) of Stop the Raids found out about it he wanted to bring it to the attention of the media to help mobilize a campaign against ICE’s paramilitary-style raids.
Jibrell said he wants to make sure immigrants across the city understand that if ICE comes knocking on their doors “they don’t have to open it.” He said Stop the Raids and community activists like H.A.R.T. are trying to start a campaign to reach out to immigrants and let them know they have rights.
“These raids are designed to terrify people and prevent people from standing up for their rights,” he said.
At least one of the three swept up in Wednesday’s raid may have already been deported, while the others were detained in Rhode Island.
Dan Piper, another member of the Stop the Raids, said they became aware of the early morning arrests in Hartford this past Friday from some of the New Haven immigrants detained in the June 6 raids.
Jibrell said they are working with Yale Law School lawyers trying to get the Hartford immigrants legal representation.
Immigration reform advocates voiced their concerns over the latest raid on the steps of Hartford City Hall. They then proceeded to Mayor Eddie Perez’s office and asked for meeting with the Puerto Rican mayor to see if he couldn’t help them spread the work to the immigrant communities in the city.
They said Perez’s office told them he’s too busy to meet with them now, but may have some time in September. Luis Cotto said “I guess that shows where his priorities are.”
Piper said the group is organizing to find out how many raids are being conducted and setting up an early response network for the community.
Yale lawyers working with the 30 New Haven immigrants said two weeks ago that they spent close to four days tracking down all the immigrants detained by ICE on June 6. They said it was difficult because ICE can send the immigrants to detention centers in other states. Some of the New Haven immigrants were found in detention centers in New York and Boston.