#UnmaskHate Campaign Sheds Light on Sheriffs’ Role in Criminalizing and Deporting Community Members

For Immediate Release: June 17, 2020 
Contact: Arianna Rosales, media@ilrc.org

#UnmaskHate Campaign Sheds Light on Sheriffs’ Role in Criminalizing and Deporting Community Members 

Organizations and advocates launch statewide social media and visual action campaign 

06.17.2020 - This week, more than 10 organizations and advocates across the state of Texas launched #UnmaskHate, a social media and visual action campaign to shed light on the role sheriffs play in criminalizing Black and brown communities and separating families. 

This campaign is part of a larger, ongoing effort across the state of Texas to expose the many ways in which Texas sheriffs work hand-in-hand with the federal government to carry out an anti-immigrant agenda.

Last week, ICE out of Tarrant, a coalition in Tarrant County, began #FindTrumpsPuppet tour, a visual action to share the truth about the 287(g) program in the days leading up to the County’s vote on whether or not to extend its contract. The #UnMaskHate campaign’s first visual action took place on Tuesday in front of the Tarrant County Courthouse. Photos are available upon request. 

One more visual action will take place in a different city by the end of the week. 

Said Carolina Canizales, Senior Texas Campaign Strategist at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center: 

“Texas sheriffs have a long history of disproportionately criminalizing Black and brown communities and working hand-in-hand with ICE. In this moment, as we stand with Black people and allies across the country in protesting the anti-Black and white supremacist roots of law enforcement, we also recognize that all policing agencies - from local police, to sheriffs, to ICE and CBP - are branches of the same racist system and must be unmasked and defunded.” 

Said Juana Guzman, Texas Organizer with RAICES: 

“It is important that we call out what the 287g program and all forms of ICE-police collaboration are doing, fulfilling a white supremacist agenda. We must take a stand and actively work against police brutality, mass incarceration, and mass deportations, as they are all rooted in hatred and dehumanization of our Black and brown communities. We must put an end to the long history of law enforcement working to protect white people's interests at the expense of our community's safety." 

Said Divya Babbula, member of ICE out of Tarrant County: 

"Sheriff Bill Waybourn of Tarrant County campaign and continued support of the 287(g) program is the perfect example of an elected official enacting the racist federal deportation agenda on the local level. We must ‘unmask’ the hate he has brought upon immigrants in Tarrant and we must demand he stops draining local resources in deportation programs and instead invest in our communities.” 

Background: Currently, 25 counties across the state of Texas are involved in a 287(g) contract. The 287(g) program delegates specific immigration enforcement authority to designated officers within the local law enforcement agency, thereby draining public resources in order to further extend the reach of Trump’s deportation machine. All 287(g) contracts nationwide expire on June 30, 2020 and are up for renewal.