René Meza Huerta remains in custody of federal immigration agents four days after Tucson Police pulled him over for a traffic violation, and organizers there are working on a campaign to demand his release.
Along with him, immigrants rights activist Raúl Alcaraz Ochoa was also arrested after he put himself under a Border Patrol vehicle in an attempt to prevent the immigration agents from detaining Meza Huerta in front of five of his six children.
“We are demanding that René is released,” Alcaraz Ochoa said Tuesday night in a brief phone conversation.
This incident exposes how Arizona’s draconian antiimmigrant law SB1070 impacts working communities of color in that state, as Sean Arce said.
“This is an everyday occurrence here in Tucson. They happened before 1070 went into effect. And now this type of detentions, apprehensions, are commonplace. It has just heightened since 1070 went into effect,” he said.
Arce, who witnessed the arrest, took several photographs of Ochoa Alcaraz getting arrested after he was pepper-sprayed and taken from underneath the immigration truck.
The activist was released the following day and was present at a rally held outside the Tucson Police Department, as Cindy Carcamo reported for Los Angeles Times.
Ochoa Alcaraz demanded the release of Meza Huerta and explained to Tucson News Now why he threw himself under the truck.
“I felt it was necessary to do this to bring spotlight to detentions and family deportations,” said Ochoa.
René Meza Huerta’s arrest is also a very telling evidence of who immigration officials under President Barack Obama era are going after: the working people.
A bigger picture of this can be seen in the data Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) released today.
Over 75 percent of those for whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a hold at local jails, through programs like Secure Communities or laws like SB1070, were never convicted of any crime.
During last week’s State of the Union Address, President Obama lauded his enforcement and deportation program and called it the foundation of real immigration reform.
“Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made — putting more boots on the Southern border than at any time in our history and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.”, he said.
Yet, this so-called ‘progress’ is far from what the community needs, and the communities are getting ready to fight back. One of their battles will focus on freeing René Meza Huerta.