In early February, Keep Tucson Together (KTT) launched the “People’s Power Campaign,” which aims to protect families from raids, detention, and deportation by providing legal counsel, materials, “know your rights” information, and updates on changing immigration policies to local community members. The first three initiatives of the campaign are in action, and additional protection strategies are announced every Thursday at 5:30 at Tucson’s Pueblo High School, during KTT’s established forum and clinic for members of the local community.
The first installment of the campaign unites Tucsonans to defend our civil liberties and constitutional protections. Volunteers are in the midst of distributing bright, bold yard signs that assert that authorities must obtain and present a search warrant to access property. Homeowners, renters, and businesses can all post this sign.
The second piece of the campaign provides noncitizens with a G-28 Form, a “Notice of Representation,” which names the attorney representing that individual. This document mandates that the Department of Homeland Security correspond directly with the attorney. Additionally, individuals are carrying a letter from the attorney informing law enforcement that they have been advised not to answer any questions. KTT volunteers operate a 24/7 emergency hotline that allows clients quick access to their attorney.
The third initiative of the campaign is to support noncitizens in creating paquetes de poder (power packets), a selection of prepared legal documents requesting a hearing in front of an immigration judge and paperwork demonstrating proof and length of US residency. This packet ensures individuals and families are as prepared as they can be if they are threatened by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or other authorities.
Each year, ICE and other federal agencies detain individuals who are bystanders to planned enforcement action. These detentions are made possible because individuals offer entry to authorities without asserting their right to deny access without a valid search warrant for an individual who is actually on the premises. KTT and partners seek to end unlawful searches and seizures that threaten and tear apart local families and community.
About Keep Tucson Together
KTT is a working group of No More Deaths and a grassroots community-based project founded in October 2011. KTT operates under the supervision of cofounder and lead attorney Margo Cowan. KTT works with: DREAMers to successfully file for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals); Legal Permanent Residents to become naturalized citizens; and individuals who are in immigration removal proceedings in the immigration court to fight their deportation. KTT helped bring forward and win three recent sanctuary cases in Tucson, and stop over two hundred deportations. All of the work of KTT is free and all aspects are reviewed by volunteer attorneys and the supervising attorney Margo Cowan. KTT is driven by over 50 regular volunteers, many of whom initially came to KTT for assistance related to their own immigration case or status.