Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Thousands call for end to classless treatment of immigrants by federal officials

If you feel a little dusty after the historical rally on the National Mall you can take some time today and Saturday to thank the folks who spent Thursday and yesterday holding a rally at the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department.

These guys are members of the United States Migrants and Unaccompanied Children Coalition and they’re here today to call on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do one of two things – 1. Put a stop to his push to criminally prosecute unaccompanied minor immigrant children for the “crime” of being in the United States without their parents; or 2. Put a stop to his continuous attacks on sanctuary cities.

Yesterday’s demonstration with U.S. Senator Tom Carper was part of a $1 million organized, nationwide campaign to stand up for the rights of immigrant children, tourists, immigrants, and Americans who are not able to obtain a driver’s license because of Sessions’ policy and some areas which his Justice Department refuses to acknowledge, like the 14th Amendment.

Please join our rally today at 5pm (Eastern) right at the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and 9th St., NW. RSVP here.

The activists say that “jul6” is the day that certain groups will have a rally in D.C. to call for non-violent protesters to be released from jail as well as to stop the prosecution of the separated immigrant children. They specifically named the following immigrants as victims of violent crimes.

• Sudanese Refugee Hamed Ahmed Hasan – In a U.S. District Court Thursday, Alamgir Zaidan was sentenced to 40 months in prison for conspiring to support a terrorist organization, a charge that included supporting al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based group. Last year, Zaidan had sent money to numerous al-Shabaab cells around the world via the U.S.-based PayPal-owned money-transfer company, Western Union. Additionally, Hamed Ahmed Hassan, who was sent by the United States, recently waived his right to a jury trial and told U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in writing that Zaidan received orders from al-Shabaab to pay the survivors of a deadly Ethiopian-born immigration reform conference he had attended in Minneapolis in 2010. Hamed is being held in a detention center in Tacoma, Washington.

• Two Eritrean Refugees who left the Eritrean capital, Asmara, in March 2016 in search of asylum and were deported, Berhane Massalem and Nekhail Nassar – A week after being deported from the United States, Berhane Massalem had used his American identity cards and Social Security number to report for his June 2 reentry test in Seattle, Washington. Berhane stopped taking the test when his American learning skills dipped and went on to enroll in the University of Washington’s online degree program. Just a month after reapplying for his student visa, Berhane was deported to his home country of Eritrea in late June. He was apprehended by the Ethiopian government at Asmara airport on June 28. For months, Berhane had received numerous letters from immigration officials in the United States that informed him that he was unable to attend his 10th grade graduation ceremony. He has been held in that country since. Teklehaimanot Gebremeskel, another Eritrean refugee, who asked to be deported, was also arrested and deported to Ethiopia on July 17. Teklehaimanot’s father is missing in the Eritrean capital of Asmara and some of his relatives have already been arrested. A 23-year-old Ethiopian American, Emegnu Tesfaye, has been accused of intentionally firing a weapon into the air that killed one refugee, Berhane Massalem, and severely injured his friend. As a result of Teklehaimanot’s arrest, some of his fellow Eritrean refugees returned to their homeland, while another Eritrean citizen, Destas Tekeste, who contacted CNN for help, was deported from the United States.

The United States’ Migrant and Unaccompanied Children Coalition is an international coalition of over 500 organizations that includes refugees, immigrants, communities of color, and religious institutions in the United States and Canada.

CNN contributed to this report.

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