WJCNY worker leaders organize against “Poli-Migra” to stop collaboration between State Police and Border Patrol
On November 2, 2014 hundreds gathered in Wayne County to participate in a cultural, spiritual, and political Day of the Dead event to mourn deceased loved ones and draw attention to the ongoing suffering caused by New York State Police collaboration with immigration enforcement agencies, known as the “Poli-Migra”. We solemnly delivered a letter to the state police barracks in Williamson, NY requesting officials meet with members of the community to learn about the impact of these policies on the families of immigrants in our community.
For more than a decade immigrants in Upstate New York have been the target of increased police harassment–being pulled over, targeted because of the color of their skin, indefinitely held on the side of the road, interrogated by police even if they are simply passengers in the car, criminalized and hand-cuffed in front of their children and turned over to Border Patrol to be put into deportation proceedings. The community lives in fear of the very same entity that is suppose to protect them. For children, most of whom are U.S. citizens, seeing police cars causes them to feel post traumatic stress and their anxiety, depression, and fears have overtaken their childish innocence. For them, law enforcement represent the tearing apart of their family. This year, the immigrant community in Wayne County and their allies decided to take collective action at the local level to challenge what we refer to as “Poli-Migra”, or local and state police officers who chose to act as immigration agents.