It is no longer news that the killing of George Floyd, an innocent black man, by police in Minneapolis has led to nationwide protests. And naturally, both black and non-black American residents of Caribbean descent are showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement against racism, police brutality and legal injustice. But is it safe for undocumented residents to join in these public rallies where they risk being arrested?
Undocumented individuals who are arrested at rallies risk losing their statuses and work permits, and even being deported. And this risk is even higher as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced that they will be assisting local, state, and federal law enforcement officers in their confrontation of the “lawless actions of rioters.”
A CBP spokesperson claimed that it was more about “preservation of life and safety” than “carrying out CBP’s immigration enforcement mission.” But the risk remains, and it is a real threat to undocumented residents and mixed-status homes.
Yet, a lot of the people in question still choose to show up. Nonetheless, there are other ways that they can show their support if you are undocumented. Those vulnerable to public protest can instead donate to relevant organizations. Finding out what Black Lives Matter protest organizers need are also good places to start.
Additionally, you can collect supplies such as masks, sunblock, goggles, water, hand towels, hand sanitizers, gloves, and first aid kits for protesters. Providing transportation and childcare for those in need will also be highly appreciated. You can even volunteer to be an emergency contact to help notify loved ones in the event of arrests and ensure that bail funds are organized.
Meanwhile, it is of the essence that you and your loved ones are informed about the history and notable cases of police bias and anti-blackness in America.