Colin Kaepernick's 'Abolition for the People' highlights the fight to dismantle ICE
Colin Kaepernick's Medium campaign, "Abolition for the People" will host 30 different essays throughout the month.
Colin Kaepernick was ousted from the NFL in 2016 after taking a knee during the national anthem before a game in defiance of the police brutality that continues to sweep the nation. The activist has now created a space to put more people in the spotlight to speak up about the issue and asking those who look up to them to take action.
On Oct. 6, 2020 Kaepernick, started a Medium page called “Abolition for the People: A movement For a Future without Policing & Prisons.” Formerly, he had called for reform, but has since started seeing it as ineffective because it would not solve issues of police brutality or the high incarceration rates of Black and Brown people in the United States.
A critical contribution by @CrisAlexJimenez & @Cynthia09xx on abolishing I.C.E. for #AbolitionForThePeople
"When we call for the abolition of ICE, we are also calling for the abolition of enforcement on all levels & the systems that support it..."https://t.co/mkmZNngOlo
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) October 13, 2020
The series is created through a partnership with Kaepernick Publishing and “LEVEL,” another publication through Medium that focuses on the lives of Black and Brown men. In total, there will be 30 essays published in a four-week span, with Kaepernick’s being the first.
On Oct. 13, Cristina Jimenez Moreta and Cynthia Garcia from the United We Dream posted their own essay in the collection titled: “Why We’re Fighting for a World Without ICE.”
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. It’s goal is to support, engage, and empower other immigrants regardless of status.
The essay begins by sharing the stories of families who left their countries because of poverty, war, violence, in pursuit of the ‘American Dream’ everyone seems to talk about. As they arrived, those families had to adapt to a new place with different, scary issues like racial injustice, poverty gaps, exploitation in the workplace, and more that those who have not lived cannot begin to imagine.
It goes on to explain where the idea for the abolition of ICE started.
First and foremost, it comes from wanting to protect and defend families from deportation and possible separation. Many live their day-to-day life in fear of ending back up where they started.
Those fears started post 9/11, when the Department of Homeland Security took a special vendetta on immigrant families and children.
On that day in 2001, two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in an unprecedented terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Then-President George W. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security that made immigrants a target, and a topic of national security.
“This not only led to increased racial profiling and xenophobia, but as a result, local and federal law enforcement were targeting Muslims, Black immigrants, and non-Muslim immigrants of color at higher rates, often leading to detention and/or deportation,” the essay reads.
In 2008, United We Dream (UWD) was sparked by three young undocumented immigrants who were threatened with deportation. With activists and organizers throughout the country, they were able to garner national media attention and stopped their deportation.
Under the Obama administration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created thanks to UWD’s efforts. However, under the same administration, ICE’s efforts were exponentially expanded and during Obama’s two terms, over 3 million people and their families were deported or separated.
The essay extends further into those affected, how they pressured President Obama, and even some of their victories. However, they stressed that with the victories, came many failures.
Between immigration-policy negotiation, and massive budgets for ICE, it seemed everything was always been one step forward and two steps back.
Seeing the last term under the Trump administration, the people have seen a threat again to the immigrant population, and the horrible treatment of those held captive by ICE.
This is why UWD calls for the abolition of ICE, as well as enforcement on all levels and the systems that support it like detention facilities and prisons.
Along with detailing their continued efforts, the essay closed on a high note towards a new beginning:
“We have witnessed and participated in a movement of undocumented people who have transformed the politics and policy of immigration with a bold vision of freedom and dignity for all people, regardless of immigration status. That movement has proven that when we follow the leadership and vision of those closest to the pain and injustice, a new world is possible,” it read.