The fear of ICE raids leads some US citizens to carry their passport


With immigration incursions expected to start in at least nine major cities on Sunday, some US citizens are taking precautions, including transporting their American passports at all times, to avoid being held by mistake by immigration and police officers.

Wary Americans, often Latinos, claimed they did not want to be overwhelmed by the planned raids announced by President Donald Trump.

"I was born in this country," said David Cruz, director of communications of the League of united Latin American citizens. "I am a third-generation Texan, I have been carrying my passport since the day he was elected."

Passports, used by international travelers to return to the United States, are legal proof of citizenship.

A Los Angeles-based journalist from Latin America, who did not want his name used for fear that his passport would be marked, said he started taking the document with him this weekend. Naturalized in the 2000s, he said that recent histories of citizens held by mistake by the ICE made him think he could be taken as the wrong target.

He said it poses a particular dilemma for naturalized citizens with accents because ICE agents may believe that they are illegally in the United States and do not afford them the rights of Americans, including due procedures, access to a lawyer and leave their homes without proof of citizenship.

"It is creating a two-tier system with second-class citizens, people who can be detained without access to a lawyer unless they are bringing a federal document," the journalist said.

"I was pointing out my friends, hey, here's my passport, and I'm bringing it for the first time because I don't want anyone to stop and say: & # 39; Show that you are a citizen now or we & # 39; I'll throw you in a cage, "he said. "I am literally worried about my pets and paying for the rent."

Linda Gamboa, a chica artist from Los Angeles born in the United States, said she started taking her passport with her for the time Trump was elected.

"I was just telling a friend how I was transporting mine three years ago" when Trump started spreading his rhetoric about immigration application, he said.

The Los Angeles resident, Guadalupe Acuña, said that her husband, observed Chicano, studies Professor Rodolfo Acuña, has encouraged her to renew her passport due to the escalation of immigration by the Trump administration.

"Morally speaking, I don't think anyone should have to carry these documents, but that's where we're going," he said.

Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican defense legal and education fund, said he was not surprised that some Americans are wandering around their passports in their own country.

"I don't think any of us want to live in a country where people feel they have to carry their passports with them because of their race," he said. "The ICE track record and the application of immigration is not good, I can understand why someone would do it."

Even Americans without Latin heritage are grabbing their passports this weekend.

Tori Griffin, who is an African American and community leader in Atlanta, said he recently put his passport in the backpack in case the ICE agents asked him for proof of citizenship.

Atlanta is among the cities that the ICE intends to hit on Sunday, and Griffin said his neighborhood is home to many Latin immigrants.

"I consider myself American like apple pie," he said. "But in this environment, in this world of Trump, if you are not white, you are considered another. This is how you polarize".

Clarissa Martinez, vice president of politics for the Latin defense group UnidosUS, said in an e-mail message that "the application of immigration is too often used as an excuse to harass this community as a whole, as we have seen from the stories of questioned and detained citizens.

"It is tragic that because of the color of their skin, people feel they have to carry a passport," he said.


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