The rapidly expanding collaboration between police and immigration authorities has a devastating impact on low-income queer and transgender immigrant communities. Federal programs such as “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) and the Criminal Alien Program, which effectively bring immigration authorities into every precinct and jail, have greatly increased the risk of deportation. Because of profiling, criminalization and stereotyping, low income queer and trans people and people of color are forced to interact with the police on a daily basis regardless of their actions. As a result, they are that much more likely to get caught up in criminal-immigration systems and eventually deported. While legislation that limits the effects of local police and ICE collaboration is useful, we need to be thinking more deeply about de-linking these systems entirely. We cannot rely on a racist, transphobic criminal legal system to decide who is allowed to stay in this country.
Listen to Pooja Gehi in an interview on Out-FM to learn more about the issue and what’s happening on the ground in New York.