Major Victory for Immigrants’ Rights in RI: An End to “ICE Holds”

After 3 years of organizing by RI Jobs With Justice, The Olneyville Neighborhood Association, and other members of the Todos Somos Arizona (We Are All Arizona) Coalition and allies, Governor Chafee issued an executive order last week preventing the RI Department of Corrections from handing people over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This massive victory will dramatically limit deportations in our state, helping to quell the fear undocumented workers and family members live with everyday.

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Antonio Mejia (center), released from prison after being held nearly 7 months for a charge of driving without a license. Before the executive order, Antonio would have been given over to Immigration Agents if he had paid bail, but today he walks free.

As a member of the Todos Somos Arizona (We Are All Arizona) coalition, RI Jobs With Justice has built strategic alliances between faith, labor and community organizations to show a united front against exploitation and fear. And now, after years of hard work, the tide has shifted in Rhode Island towards justice for immigrants.

But we still have much work left to do to ensure that all Rhode Islanders can live and work without fear. We will continue to fight to ensure all Rhode Islanders can get to work using a valid driver’s license. We appreciate the work of everyone who has participated in this campaign, and hope that you all continue to engage in the fight for immigrants’ rights and workers’ rights.