November 16, 2020
Dear Friends of IDP,
As we write to you, it appears that the White House will soon change hands. After four long years of Trump and four long years of relentless racist and xenophobic attacks, we are taking a moment to breathe a deep sigh of relief. But we all know that there is much work to be done to change our country’s trajectory and reverse the damage inflicted by Trump.
As we prepare for the next stage of hard work, we draw strength from knowing that you will be right alongside us in the fight. IDP will be keeping a close watch on the ground, monitoring changes in the courts and in Congress, and tracking ICE’s latest raid tactics to keep our communities safe and hold the new administration accountable. In order to sustain our fight to roll back the harms of the Trump agenda, we will be relying on you and our community of supporters to help us build a new future—one that treats all immigrants in the United States humanely and fairly, and one that aims to reverse the harms of a racially discriminatory policing and punishment system.
Today, as we plan for a new Democratic president and build toward a better future, we will not forget the lessons of 1996. More than twenty years ago, Manny Vargas founded IDP in direct response to the passage of draconian immigration laws in 1996. Those laws, which a Democratic president enacted, greatly enabled the modern detention and deportation system.
That’s why no matter who sits in the White House, IDP will remain vigilant and ready. Our hotline will be open to help families in crisis; our raids team will provide resources and trainings for communities to defend their rights against ICE surveillance and raids; our litigation team will deploy cutting edge arguments; our Padilla Support Center will give critical advice to defense attorneys; and our advocacy teams will fight for policies to reverse criminalization and promote fairness and justice for all immigrants.
2020 has been a year of so much sadness, particularly for communities devastated by the horrors of COVID-19 and the unrelenting attacks of the Trump administration. In these troubling times, your support has been more important than ever, allowing IDP to think critically and creatively about how to meet the challenges of the day. Here are a few victories from 2020 that you helped make possible:
- Kicking ICE Out of the Courts: After three hard-fought years, the ICE Out of Courts campaign celebrated as the New York State legislature overwhelmingly passed the Protect Our Courts Act, a groundbreaking bill designed to stop ICE from using the state’s courts as a hunting ground for immigrants. The bill is expected to land on the Governor’s desk for signature before the end of the year.
- Challenging Detention During a Global Pandemic: As COVID-19 swept through jails and immigration facilities, IDP swiftly responded by counseling families through our hotline and filing habeas petitions that resulted in over a dozen medically vulnerable people being freed from detention. Along with the NYU Immigrants Rights Clinic, and the American Friends Service Committee, IDP also filed a class action as part of a campaign to free everyone from the Elizabeth Detention Center.
- Protecting the Rights of Immigrant Protesters: As outrage and resistance to anti-Black police violence spread across the country, IDP organized against the disturbing presence of immigration officers at protests in NYC. IDP is now representing a protester in a lawsuit against immigration authorities after they racially profiled and assaulted a U.S. citizen at a George Floyd protest.
It brings us great motivation to know that you are with us and have our backs. Together, we can reverse the tide of hate and harm, and build a world that holds all people humanely and with dignity. Please renew your support for IDP today so that we can sustain our work for the next year and beyond.
With love and solidarity,
Mizue Aizeki, Interim Executive Director,
Marie Mark, Director of Legal Support and Resources, and
Lee Wang, Director of Strategic Initiatives
On behalf of Manny Vargas, Benita Jain, Leila Kang, Jophiel Astorga, Genia Blaser, Joe Celestin, Jose Chapa, Karelle Fonteneau, Jorge Guerreiro, Ryan Muennich, Em Puhl, Jon Rodney, Jane Shim, Nabilah Siddiquee, Andrew Wachtenheim, Patrick Baker, and Brittany Castle
P.S. In the next few months we will update you further on the specifics of our plans for the next year. For updates on our work until then, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For now, please consider becoming one of IDP’s monthly sustainers, if you haven’t already, and reaching out to us for any more information.
Please note that donations to IDP are processed through our fiscal sponsor, the Fund for the City of New York (FCNY, a charitable organization. All donations are eligible for charitable donations under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. No goods and/or services were provided by the FCNY in exchange for this donation.