Want to Throw a Wrench in Trump’s Mass Deportation Machine? Act Locally.

In September, the board of supervisors in Dane County, Wisconsin, passed a resolution to protect immigrants from the Trump administration’s mass deportation agenda.

The board, which represents the half a million people who live in Dane County, endorsed the ACLU’s Freedom Cities campaign and its nine model policies, which shield immigrants from discrimination, unjust government targeting, and attacks on their privacy.

This didn’t just happen on its own. The victory was the culmination of months of persistent activism from the local People Power group that I have been involved with since March. And this is just the beginning of our work.

I got involved in People Power earlier this year, and as a new activist, I was excited that the ACLU created a concrete blueprint that gave us clear, step-by-step guidance on how to advocate for the Freedom Cities agenda.

People Power image

With the ACLU’s support, we began organizing in our communities, holding monthly People Power meetings and regular talks with local law enforcement and elected officials, and reaching out to local partners and allies.

As part of our immigrant rights work, we spoke with six different law enforcement agencies and built personal relationships with the sheriff and key members of the county board who have experience working on immigration-related legislation.

Before these meetings, some officials were under the wrong impression that they had to work with ICE, but we were able to turn many of them into allies, urging them to take steps to make sure that immigrants don’t get ensnared in Trump’s deportation machine.

These meetings also helped us learn about the right actions to take to shepherd our resolution through the legislative process.

Now that the board has passed the Freedom Cities resolution, we have a new tool to hold our local law enforcement agencies accountable to make sure that they aren’t complying with unconstitutional policies and the anti-immigrant agenda coming out of the Trump administration.

Join a People Power Event Near You

Sometimes it is hard to know the best way to go about making an impact where you live, but the Freedom Cities guide was an excellent on-ramp to activism, providing us with straightforward guidelines on exactly how to go about our advocacy work. We have continued to work on immigration issues with the county sheriff’s office and have also started lobbying our representatives in Congress to support the Dream Act.

We also know that we must support other organizations doing critical work in Wisconsin. Our People Power group is working with a local interfaith partnership and has helped raise money to allow Voces de la Frontera, a Wisconsin-based immigrant rights group, to hire a community organizer in Madison. It is with these groups and others that we are fighting back against a new attempt in the state legislature to punish local municipalities which limit their cooperation with ICE.

As we continue to advocate for immigrant rights and start our Let People Vote initiative, People Power members in Dane County are excited to continue the fight to make sure the Constitution works for everyone.

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It is not that Mexicans and South Americans are favored. It's that their have more ties and are indigenous of these continents. So it only makes sense there are going to be more of them in comparison to other immigrants. Pretty simple to figure out


People who are in our country illegally should be deported.


I house 5 “illegals” in my safe space. Suck it.


If it's a felony to enter our country illegally, then aren't you aiding and hiding a known felon? Perhaps your illegal activities could result in calamity for you. You should change your ways and obey the law.


I invited 3 more just for you. I got all of them jobs in construction near Houston, no SSN needed. They’re probably mowing your lawn right now.

I also got 2 of my friends to house more families. Come, send ICE. We’ll melt their hearts with a cool island song. Or wait was it we’ll warm there hearts with a hot tropical tune.


It is not a felony to be an undocumented immigrant.


"If it's a felony to enter our country illegally, then aren't you aiding and hiding a known felon? Perhaps your illegal activities could result in calamity for you. You should change your ways and obey the law.
OCTOBER 28, 20171:57 PM"

It's not a felony. It's a misdemeanor.


Uh oh, one time I was a passenger in car that was driving 25mph in a 20mph school zone. Shit, now I’m a wanted misdemeanor sympathizer.

Vic Ament

People Power started meeting with 2 Denver City Council members on an ordinance to formalize existing Denver compliance with the ACLU’s Nine Points in mid January. Within two weeks between 60 and 80 members met with the Oolice Chief and his senior staff for over an hour in a session attended by the local media. Several of us followed the development and eventual passage of the Law Enforcement Priorities Act in September and a Mayoral Executive Order on this matter. At the same time a small very dedicated group kept pressure on the Denver County Sheriff to meet with us. He finally did after the ordinance was effective. He took an hour plus to answer the two ACLU Points related to the jail. He also walked us through the booking process, how ICE interview and Federal warrants are handled and that any inmate will be provided with a written copy of their rights related to interaction with ICE. People Power along with other community organizations took direct action that shaped how Denver City and County Employees shall Act with requests from ICE. They are to give ICE the telephone number of the Denver City Attorney’s office.

Dr. Joseph Goebbels

"When you guys are up to your eyes in Beaners you're going to be sorry.": Sheriff Joe Arpaio circa 2010.


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