LatinaLista — Conducting warrantless and aggressive work site and home raids, detaining raid victims without granting them access to legal counsel or allowing contact with their family members by phone, property seizures for construction of the border wall, building detention facilities, detaining families in these facilities, ignoring the health needs of detainees, racial profilingâ€¦the list goes on as to the numerous acts the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been accused of in undertaking their objectives to achieve an agenda for ensuring national security.
In the process, the DHS has become regarded as an instrument in violating the civil and human rights of both citizens and non-citizens in the country. Yet, the most disturbing fact is that DHS receives very little oversight for its actions nor has it been held accountable â€” until now.
The grassroots organization, The Rights Working Group, wants Americans to hold the DHS accountable for their actions feeling that everyone’s freedoms are endangered by such policies. So on June 19, they are spearheading a national campaign called “Night of 1,000 Conversations.”
The hope is that people will assemble together in churches, homes, offices, coffee shops, etc. to discuss how civil liberties and human rights have been impacted by the aggressive tactics of the DHS. In turn, the campaign wants to send DHS the message of how important the preservation of these liberties and rights are by asking DHS to:
1) End immigration raids that lock up people without due process.
2) Ensure humane detention conditions and access to a trial.
3) Provide fair and efficient mechanisms to end the backlog in processing citizenship applications by September 2008.
At the same time, the campaign wants to raise awareness and educate people about what is happening in communities across the country, engage people to speak out for democratic principles and create a grassroots momentum that could impel changes in DHS policies.
Anyone or group can participate in the Night of 1,000 Conversations by visiting the website and downloading the toolkit available in both English and Spanish. There is also a petition available for download to have participants sign and send to the DHS asking for a change in policy.
This campaign is not just democracy in action but it’s about enforcing American patriotism as well.
It’s one thing for the government to be responsible in securing national security but we should all protect the rights and liberties that still make the US the envy of other countries and for which we’ve always staunchly defended.