What to do if ICE comes knocking: Know your rights

On the same day Trump’s raids on immigrant families are scheduled to start (today), Trump issued a series of tweets that make his racism very clear:

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly…… ….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how……..it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Trump and his administration are working to create terror in immigrant communities throughout the U.S. by directing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carry out sweeping “family op” raids across the country on undocumented immigrant families who have been in the United States for years.

You have rights

In America, all of us including immigrants have rights, so if ICE knocks at your door, here is what to do:

  • Stay calm.
  • Do not open the door. Agents need a search warrant signed by a judge to lawfully enter your home. Ask the agents at your door if they have a search warrant. If they do not, don’t open the door and tell them you don’t consent to an unlawful search. If they present a paper, look it over closely and pay close attention to the identification of the person who signed it to make sure it bears the signature of a judge.
  • Ask to see the agents’ badge or identification.
  • If immigration agents enter your home without permission, say aloud that you do not give them permission to enter your property or search through your belongings.
  • You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to exercise this right, tell the agents you wish to remain silent and then do not answer any questions, for example they may try to ask where you were born, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or how and when you came to this country. If you do choose to answer their questions, do not lie about anything.
  • Do not sign any documents.
  • If you feel safe doing so, record the interaction with a cell phone using audio or video. If possible, set your phone to upload the video or audio automatically to “the cloud.”
  • Be aware that ICE agents can lie to you, so do not agree to accompany them to their office, or an immigration office. Don’t believe them if they say they will help you or take you somewhere safe.
  • Make sure fences and gates to your yard are closed with locks on them.

To find out more about your rights, or read a Spanish translation of these instructions, click here.

If you are stopped by immigration or law enforcement agents when away from home:

You also have rights if you are stopped while away from home by police or immigration. Watch the video below by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to find out what how to handle a stop by police or immigration agents:

You can also download the ACLU of Colorado’s Mobile Justice app that allows you to record interactions with police and automatically email it to the ACLU of Colorado, so it cannot be deleted or destroyed. The app also provides an overview of your rights while recording or interacting with law enforcement.

Thousands attend Pride Parade 2019 in downtown Grand Junction

 

It was all about love and acceptance for the crowds lining Main Street for downtown Grand Junction’s annual Pride Parade on Saturday, June 23, the biggest and best yet, with thousands of people attending. The weather was clear, sunny and a perfect 75 degrees. The parade route went from First and Main and Streets east along main to 6th Street.

Attendees cheered 23 floats, including entries from the First Congregational Church, the American Lutheran Church and the Grand Valley Interfaith Network. Residents of Delta had a float in this year’s parade, as did a Cosplay group, and a group called Coffee and Civic Action (CACA) that meets Thursday mornings at Main Street Bagels to write to elected representatives and advance progressive causes. The costumes were exotic and spectacular and rainbows were everywhere.

The 5 Minute Mueller Report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated that after two years of investigation, his team was unable to exonerate President Donald J. Trump of committing crimes.

Don’t have time to read the whole 420-page Mueller Report (pdf)? That’s understandable.

You can download an audio recording of it for FREE and listen to the whole thing while you’re driving, doing housework or exercising. A free recording of it available here, on Audible.

If you don’t have time to read or listen to the whole thing, but still want to know why it’s such a big deal and why everyone is talking about it, here’s a quick summary:

The U.S. has a measles epidemic, but is it in Grand Junction?

States where measles outbreaks have occurred in the U.S. as of May 24, 2019

The growing number of unvaccinated people in the U.S. has led to the largest outbreak of measles in the U.S. since the disease was declared eradicated in 2000. Cases of measles have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington state.

According to the Mesa County Health Department, there have been no cases of measles reported so far in Grand Junction, and only one case in Denver  in January, 2019. But don’t let that make you complacent. People travel widely to and from stricken areas, and could bring the epidemic to Colorado large scale at any time. Measles is an extremely contagious viral disease. When a person with measles leaves a room, people who enter that room afterwards can catch the disease for up to two hours after the infected person has left.

There’s a seat on Grand Junction Regional Airport Board up for grabs

Want to gain some influence in town, and have a voice without having to get elected? Here’s another chance to do just that.

With self-declared “deplorable” Grand Junction City Councilman Duncan McArthur leaving his his seat on Council, yet another position besides his Council seat has opened up: a seat on the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority.

The seat is currently being offered to the public, albeit quietly.  You have to dig a little to find information about the vacancy and how to apply, but the page with what little information there is about the airport board is here.

Now’s your chance! City seeks to fill open City Council District E seat

The $64,000 plaza in front of Grand Junction City Hall, installed for the purposes of circumventing laws regarding separation of church and state and keeping the Ten Commandments tablet on public land.

If you’ve ever wanted to serve on Grand Junction City Council but didn’t want to have to endure a campaign and election to do it, now is your chance.

City Councilor Duncan McArthur is stepping down from his seat on Council because of health problems, and City Council will be choosing his replacement.

Mr. McArthur represents District E (map). To be eligible to fill this vacant seat and if you want to obey the law, you must have lived within the boundaries of District E for a minimum of 12 months. The boundaries include all of the green area represented on this map, and comprise a strip of land between 7th and 12th Streets running south from Orchard Ave., all City land south of D Road/Riverside Parkway, and all City land on Orchard Mesa. The eastern boundary extends to 32 Road, but the City is a hopscotch of parcels to the east, so if you’re interested in the seat, consult the map to see if your residence is within City boundaries or not.

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

ACLU Sues CO State Senator Ray Scott for Blocking Constituent on Social Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 13, 2019

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Vanessa Michel, Director of Communications

Office: 720-402-3112, Mobile: 917-399-0733

Deanna Hirsch, Media Strategist

Office: 720-402-3122, Mobile: 720-971-2393

ACLU Sues Colorado State Senator for Blocking Constituent on Social Media

 

DENVER – ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court this morning against Colorado State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituent Anne Landman from his official Facebook and Twitter pages. Landman, a resident of Colorado Senate District 7 in Grand Junction, speaks out regularly on public policy issues and writes about Colorado politics on her blog. She also uses social media to interact with fellow constituents and elected officials. Landman had been able to interact with Scott and others in these spaces until June 2017, when she wrote an article critical of Scott’s position regarding climate change and posted it on his official Facebook page. In response, Scott blocked Landman from his Facebook page and official Twitter account.

Sen. Ray Scott sponsors bill to eliminate price break for low-income energy consumers

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Last week State Senator Ray Scott embarrassed Mesa County residents and made a fool of himself by actually saying out loud on the Senate floor that climate change has led to “massive improvements” in our climate.

Now Scott is co-sponsoring a bill, SB 19-250 (pdf), that will deal a blow to low income people served by Black Hills Energy, the gas and electricity provider for residents of Pueblo, Canyon City, Ordway and Westcliffe. Scott’s bill would do away with a two-tiered rate structure Black Hills Energy put in place in 2017 to help low income energy consumers by giving them more protection from a state-approved rate increase that happened that same year.

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers’ spring message

Billboard by Sprouts

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) has a message for Grand Valley residents this spring: Atheism is “a personal relationship with reality.”

WCAF is the area’s longest-serving secular group, and their billboard is to help encourage people come to logical conclusions based on verifiable facts rather than basing conclusions on dogma, fables, mythology, superstition or sheer faith. That’s the message of the group’s spring, 2019 billboard, which went up today on I-70B by Rimrock Marketplace in front of Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A. The board is west-facing and visible to traffic coming into town. It will be up for one week. Take photos with it while you can.