Muslims in Fresno – Taking a Stand Against Injustice and Oppression
Listen to our podcast interview with Reza Nekumanesh to learn about the successes and struggles of the Muslim American community in Fresno, his views on the Muslim obligation to stand against the oppression of the innocent, and his reflection on a visit to an ICE detainment facility.
About Our Guest (Reza Nekumanesh)
About Faith in the Valley
Faith in the Valley is a new faith-based grassroots community organization in California’s Central Valley of 120 congregations representing over 100,000 families in Fresno, Kern, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Their work is led by volunteer leaders who are among the people most impacted by equity issues: low-wage workers, young people, immigrants, and the formerly incarcerated.
About the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno
Since its opening in 2001, the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno has worked to promote an un-distorted, sincere and peaceful image of Islam and the American Muslim community. They have worked to do so by building community and relationships with religious organizations and centers, schools and districts, civic leaders and offices, and more.
Want to learn more about the US ICE Detention Centers?
- “ ICE was created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. ICE now has more than 20,000 law enforcement and support personnel in more than 400 offices in the United States and around the world.”
- “The agency has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion, primarily devoted to three operational directorates — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA). A fourth directorate – Management and Administration (M&A) – supports the three operational branches to advance the ICE mission”
- “The number of individuals detained by ERO is driven by enforcement actions taken by ICE and apprehensions made by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In FY2018, 396,448 people were initially booked into an ICE detention facility, an increase of 22.5% over FY2017. Book-ins to detention resulting from CBP arrests increased by 32% over the previous year, illustrating a surge in illegal border crossings. ICE’s interior enforcement efforts resulted in a 10% increase in book-ins resulting from ICE arrests”
- “Our immigration detention system locks up hundreds of thousands of immigrants unnecessarily every year, exposing detainees to brutal and inhumane conditions of confinement at massive costs to American taxpayers. Recently, mothers and children, who are mainly asylum seekers fleeing violence in Central America, have been detained in family detention centers.”
- “Over the last several years, the use of detention as an immigration enforcement strategy has increased exponentially, and immigrants, including lawful permanent residents and asylum seekers, have been detained for prolonged periods of time without any finding that they are either a danger to society or a flight risk.”
- “The government is spending millions of dollars to lock up people whose detentions serve no purpose. In addition to being cruel and unnecessary, prolonged immigration detention makes it nearly impossible for individuals to fight their cases—including those with legitimate claims for legal status in the United States.”
- “In recent years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained and deported record numbers of people from the United States. Many of ICE’s removal tactics take away even the right to a fair hearing in court, as the government rushes to judgment and tries to ram people through a rubber-stamp system that ignores individual circumstances. These enforcement programs pose a variety of threats to civil liberties: They implicate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the constitutional guarantee of due process, and the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and freedom from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and national origin. ICE’s enforcement practices also impose heavy social costs, tearing American families apart and undermining community trust in law enforcement.”
- “The Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), operate in a vast zone stretching 100 miles from any land or sea border. This includes entire states such as Florida and Maine as well as almost all of the country’s top metropolitan areas. CBP’s militarization of the border region has produced rampant abuses ranging from racial profiling to excessive force. CBP uses interior checkpoints and roving patrols located far from the border to apprehend individuals who are not recent border crossers. “
- “The ACLU is working to ensure that U.S. immigration enforcement is transparent and accountable to the American public.”
Iqama Magazine is a quarterly publication dedicated to connecting and empowering the Muslim communities of the United States
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