A message from the team at MomsRising

At MomsRising we’re always looking out to make sure that mothers and families are treated fairly in our nation.  The other day I saw a video that shocked me: Two young children crying, alone in a car, reaching out for their mother who’d been taken away by deputies wearing ski masks after being stopped for a minor traffic violation.[1]  The images haven’t left me.  A nightmare, right?  Never in America? Wrong.

A local NBC news report described the incident through the eyes of a witness, “…the deputies were wearing ski masks and detained the children’s mother for about an hour while her children watched, crying.”[2]
Who’s in charge of these deputies!?

It turns out that the person in charge knew exactly what was going on.  Sheriff Arpaio has been cited repeatedly for gross civil rights violations and racial profiling of both citizens and non-citizens in the name of immigration enforcement, and when questioned about his tactics, he said that under his jurisdiction, “it was not unusual for law enforcement officers to wear ski masks while on duty.”[2,3]

In the video the young girl is asked, “What did the sheriff tell you?” The little girl said, “To be quiet, but I couldn’t ’cause I wanted to go with my mommy.” [2]  And here’s what Mary, a MomsRising team member said after seeing the video,  “We may not all be on the same page about immigration policy, but we do all agree that children and mothers shouldn’t be treated this way.”

Regardless of where immigration policy stands, no one should be treated that way. We’ve all got to stand up against this inhumane treatment of families. This type of treatment of women and families simply isn’t acceptable.

*Watch the video and join us in urging the Department of Justice to investigate Sheriff Arpaio’s tactics at:  http://www.momsrisingaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26817

-Please forward this [post] to friends and family now so they too can take action too.  We need to put a spotlight on this inhumane treatment with as many people paying attention as possible in order to get an investigation.

Together we can do something about this.  Sheriff Arpaio is out of control in Maricopa County, Arizona, and it’s going to take all of us, and then some, standing up to say that this type of treatment has got to stop.
With over 2,700 lawsuits against him, a history of virulently anti-Latino and anti-immigrant tactics, and 40,000 felony warrants outstanding in his jurisdiction, Sheriff Arpaio has fostered a climate in which real criminals roam free while his deputies cross the line by using tactics that violate civil rights in the name of immigration enforcement.[4]

The voices of mothers are needed right now to say clearly that all mothers and children need to be treated with respect and fairness.

*Don’t forget to watch the video and sign on now to urge the U.S. Department of Justice investigate Sheriff Arpaio at: http://www.momsrisingaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26817

Mothers taken away from young children by men in ski masks, and people being marched in shackles through town to electric fenced “tent cities” in the desert [5] crosses the line of humane treatment.  Let’s help put a stop to this.

Thank you – Kristin, Joan, Katie, Dionna, Mary, Ariana, Anita, Ashley, Donna, Roz, Julia, and the MomsRising Team
 
[1] See the video and take action: http://www.momsrisingaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26817

[2] February 5th, 2009: http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2009/02/05/20090205motherarrested02052009-CR.html 

[3] From “Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America’s Children”: Approximately five million children have an undocumented parent; however, the vast majority of these children are U.S. citizens and under the age of ten.  Despite efforts to mitigate harm to children by changing the manner in which raids and other immigration enforcement actions are conducted, children continue to be placed in harm’s way.
[4] http://www.americasvoiceonline.org/page/content/sheriff
[5] February 5th, 2009: http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2009/02/05/20090205motherarrested02052009-CR.html, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/opinion/04wed2.html , http://vivirlatino.com/2009/03/04/thousands-protest-racist-sheriff-joe-arpaio-in-arizona.php

p.s. MomsRising joins the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (http://www.ndlon.org), National Council of La Raza (http://www.nclr.org), America’s Voice (http://americasvoiceonline.org/page/content/sheriff), and many others in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to begin a federal investigation into Sheriff Arpaio’s tactics. 

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek, Change.org, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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