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Boughton’s 287g betrayal

Cross post from HatCityBLOG

Lost among stories about the weather are the recent 287g actions that have transpired in the city.

Although the mayor and supporters of the program on the city council assured the public that the program would be used to catch “dangerous criminals” and not used to for raid, sweeps and round-up of law abiding residents, the 287g action that took place on Dec 9 2010, where several immigrants were detained although there was no warrant for their arrest, was not what Boughton promised.

As more people who fought against the implementation of 287g in Danbury speak out about this latest incident, local activist Gulamhusein Abba expressed his concerns about the matter and asked me if I would publish his words…

The recent ICE raids in the city, with the participation of the local police, (made in pursuance of the 287(g) partnership the City entered into with ICE in September, 2009), were perverse and despicable. They made a mockery of the spirit of Christmas which speaks of love, compassion, charity and peace, and during which we piously mouth words of Jesus, like “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and make every effort to be with our entire family and help others unite with theirs.

As against this, ICE agents, and our own local police, on December 9, burst into houses while people were still asleep, dragged some out of their beds, handcuffed them and took them away, without telling those left behind where they were being taken or what the charges against them were.

Both, ICE and DPD have been tightlipped about the names of those arrested or the charges against them.

However, according to reliable sources, in this first exercise of the Danbury 287(g) program, only one of the five arrested had a history of criminal convictions. Two Hispanics who were arrested appear to have been collateral arrests.

We, the residents of Danbury, have been betrayed by Mayor Boughton, Chief of Police Al Baker and others. They have gone back on the solemn assurances given when they were seeking to persuade the Common Council and the residents of Danbury to approve the City’s move to enter into a partnership with ICE.

We were assured then that the partnership would be used only to detain and deport undocumented immigrants who were involved in criminal activity, there would be transparency in the operation of the program, a committee/panel would be appointed to oversee the program.

None of this has happened.

We must hold the Mayor and the Chief of police accountable.

Gulamhusein Abba