If you're in Wisconsin, make a practice today of talking with people around you about the fact that a rogue, armed agency of the federal government - Immigration and Customs Enforcement - entered into cities throughout WI last week without notifying local officials and terrorized an entire community. Look out for ICE agents and if you see them, take video and warn everyone in the vicinity. Know your rights and help others to know and understand their rights.
Talk to people around you about the fact that children, mothers, fathers, parents, partners, community members have been terrorized and traumatized.
Beyond the direct impact on the 11 individuals who were detained in Madison and their families, let's talk about how many children went to school on Monday morning after sitting in their homes all weekend hiding, frozen, confused, terrorized.
How many children went to school hungry because their families were scared to leave their homes for fear that an armed federal agent would profile, arrest, detain and deport them - take them from the streets and rip them away from their families and their lives.
The fact that our neighbors have been deeply traumatized and had their lives forever changed this weekend should be reason enough to raise concern. But since we have been so desensitized to human suffering, especially when the humans suffering have been strategically dehumanized through labels like "illegal" and other racist, xenophobic rhetoric, another way to think about the impact is to think about the suppression of human potential that this kind of terror has.
Thousands of children went to school this week in a state of acute trauma and were unable to learn. These are not disposable humans - these are people with gifts, skills, talents that are contributing to our state in every sense of the word.
This kind of state terrorism not only deepens fear across the board and sows seeds of hate, it also suppresses people's capacity to contribute to our community and our economy.
Silence and avoidance by people who are not directly impacted by this state terrorism is a form of complicity.
Using fear and terror to address the problems of our broken immigration system is barbaric. Separating families is cruel and brutal and there is no justification.
So please talk about it, engage with your neighbors and co-workers. Donate to the Dane County Immigrant Assistance Fund to help support deportation defense. I have seen and heard so many stories of people in our community protecting each other and keeping each other safe. Ask how you can get involved and support each other during this crisis in our community.