I joined a group of activists in Burlington last weekend for a protest and rally outside the field office of the Boston Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE, their field area is all six New England states). We were there to protest the Trump administration’s immigration detention and deportation agenda.
Fabiano de’Oliveira had been released the night before from a month’s detention due to an expired visa. He had showed up voluntarily for an interview as part of his green card process. Instead, Fabiano was arrested and held in Plymouth County, separated from his wife and five year old son, for a month.
Current immigration policy targets people and families, separating them regardless of how long they have lived in the country. Under the Obama administration, someone with no criminal history, whose spouse and children are U.S. citizens, would not have been a priority for deportation or detention by ICE. Under the current Republican administration, ICE is targeting not only violent criminals, but also low-level offenders and those with outstanding deportation orders, regardless of how long they’ve lived here.
We need immigration reform in this country. We need a policy that puts people and families first. We should also be protecting the civil rights of all Massachusetts residents. That’s why I support the Safe Communities Act.
I was proud to stand in solidarity with Fabiano and his family. I will continue to stand up and speak up for undocumented neighbors, friends, and families.
Several news outlets recorded the protest and rally, both before Fabiano’s arrest and after his release:
More photos have been posted to Mary Ann Stewart for State Representative facebook page.
Photo credit: Mary Ann Stewart