FLOOD THE LINES!
Thank you for joining our campaign to stop ICE, help our neighbors, and create safer communities for everyone in Massachusetts. You can add a weekly reminder to your Google, Apple, or Outlook calendar by clicking here.
We want you to commit to making 2-3 calls on Wednesday, every Wednesday, every week until our demands are met. By being persistent and flooding the lines, we are interfering with Senator Rosenberg and ICE’s ability to ignore us and continue business as usual.
Below you can find details about each call and a basic script, along with specific talking points that you can use, which will allow you to spice up your message with different arguments each week. You can read straight from the script if you would like, but we encourage you to speak with your own words using the scripts as a guideline for what points to hit.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR CALLS! They are working so keep it up. Here’s what we know:
Stan Rosenberg—Safe Communities Act:
Staffers have told callers that the bill is being “reworked” in committee so that it that can be voted on positively by the House and survive a potential veto by the governor, and that Senator Rosenberg has been quietly supportive of the process and working to see it through. Callers should stress that we do not see a watered-down bill that will put residents of our community and their families at more risk.
Request for Medical Attention for Niberd Abdalla
Callers may hear that Niberd is getting medical attention. We have been told that this is inconsistent. When people “forget” about him, he does not get treatment. So keep calling, even if the sheriff’s office says that he is getting what he needs.
Release of Niberd Abdullah and Francisco Rodriguez:
The goal here is to try to reach a person at ICE and to keep the phone calls coming all day to prevent them from going about their regular business. The best number at the moment to call is 781-359-7500, #3. Some callers have been deflected and asked to submit requests in writing. You can choose to do that—or not.
These are the numbers we will be calling:
To support Safe Communities Act: Massachusetts State Senator and Senate President Stan Rosenberg: (413) 584-1649
To demand the release of Niberd and Francisco: New England Regional ICE Office: (781) 359-7500 Ext. 3
To demand access to proper medical attention for all ICE detainees: Suffolk County Sheriff Tompkins: (617) 704-6507 (Extra Credit)
Call #1: Make Stan Take A Stand! Support the Safe Communities Act!
Stan Rosenberg represents Northampton, Amherst, Hadley, Hatfield, Pelham South Hadley, Bernardston, Colrain, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Leverett, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell, Whatley, and Royalston. He is a Democrat who has refused to take a position on the MA Safe Communities Act, a bill that would restrict local and state police departments from cooperating with ICE. You can read about what the Safe Communities Act does in detail with this helpful one-pager provided by the ACLU.
Right now, the bill is in the Senate and House Committees on Public Safety and Homeland Security. In order to move a bill out of committee, the Chairs need to take an “internal poll” of their committee members to report favorably, favorably with changes, unfavorably, or recommend study. Their deadline to conduct this poll is February 20th, but we need it sooner.
Stan Rosenberg does not typically co-sponsor bills so he can “act as a power broker” but as President of the Senate, he can put pressure on the committee to hold the poll and move the bill forward. So far he has given a statement that he supports “a bill like the Safe Communities Act” but has not come out in support of specifically the Safe Communities Act.
Call Stan Rosenberg: (413) 584-1649 and tell him to declare his support for the Safe Communities Act, and use his position to push the bill through committee.
Hello my name is [name], (If Stan is your senator: I am constituent living in [Town]) and I am calling to ask you to lend your strong support for specifically the Safe Communities Act and pressure the chairs of the committee on Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security to stop stalling and move the bill forward.
Thank you, and I’ll be keeping in touch.
Mix-ins and talking points, pick one or two to use each week:
- Mass-deportations are a racist and inhumane injustice, which our state should have no part in.
- Massachusetts will not lose any federal funding. A federal court ruling found that Attorney General Jeff Sessions cannot take funding away from Sanctuary Cities.
- Massachusetts stood up against the Fugitive Slave Act in 1793, even though it was federal law, and the time has come again to stand up and continue that legacy.
- It is not a criminal offense to be undocumented and state officials have no obligation to enforce federal misdemeanors.
- When our undocumented community members do not live in fear, it makes a safer community for us all.
- (If Stan is your senator) You are President of the senate but you are also our representative. It is unfair that our representative will not represent our voice at the state-level.
- (If Stan is your senator) I vote and I’ll remember how you respond in this time of crisis.
- (If Stan is your senator) When I vote, I want someone who takes a strong stand.
- Safe City ordinances only do so much. Most MA residents frequently commute and travel outside their home cities. A statewide measure is the only way to protect everyone, even residents of Safe Cities.
- The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for police to comply with ICE retainer orders, and requested legislation to uphold the ruling. Please do the work that the court has asked you to do.
- Even the police want the Safe Communities Act. Chiefs of Police from Somerville, Cambridge, and many other cities have spoken out in support.
- California already has passed similar legislation, and they are not suffering negative consequences. We must do the same if we want to keep our reputation as a progressive state.
- Every day that you remain complacent, you are doing active harm to people like Niberd Alzendi Abdalla, who has lived in Western Massachusetts for over forty years. He lived in Northampton actually, which is your district, and he is now locked in a Suffolk detention center slowly dying of a respiratory illness which he is receiving no medical attention for. ICE still plans to deport him, just for being undocumented, even though he will likely die in transit to Iraq, where he fled at age 15 due to persecution for being Kurdish.
Call #2: Call ICE and demand they release Francisco Rodriguez and Niberd Alzendi Abdalla!
Francisco was detained at his ICE check-in even after complying with ICE’s requests for the check-in, and he now faces imminent deportation to El Salvador. We are demanding that Francisco be immediately released from detention and not be deported so that he can present new facts about his asylum claim.
Mr. Rodriguez has lived in the US since 2006. He is a father of two American citizen children and has a baby on the way. He is a member of his children’s school parent committee, of the community organization Chelsea Collaborative, of the Church Tabernaculo Biblico Seguidores de Jesus, and a union member of 32BJ SEIU (Service Employees International Union) at MIT. Mr. Rodriguez Guardado pays his taxes and contributes to his community, church, children’s school and at work. He is a beloved member of Chelsea. His mother, who is currently a permanent resident, will become a citizen next year and shortly after she will petition for her son’s pathway to residency and eventual citizenship. More about Francisco
Niberd is a 57-year-old man, born in Iraq, who immigrated to the US at age 15 (41 years ago) on a student visa. His family experienced persecution in Iraq due to their Kurdish ethnicity and democratic activism: Niberd was bullied and beaten, close family members were kidnapped, and his brother and cousin were killed. His parents and sister came to the US many years after Niberd with Kurdish refugee status, but Niberd did not attain refugee status after his initial student visa expired.
Niberd lived primarily in Northampton, caring for his elderly parents in Easthampton and working different jobs. He is father to one son who serves in the US Navy. He and the mother of his child, Ellen Shanley, met in 1979 and began dating, but after she became pregnant, her father forced them to separate. They reconnected in 2010 and are now engaged.
Niberd applied for asylum in 2010 and was denied, and his appeal was rejected in 2012. He checked in every six months with ICE, and at his June 8 appointment, he was taken into custody. His lawyer filed for a stay of deportation, which was rejected last week. At the moment, Niberd is protected under a class action stay of deportation covering approximately 1,400 Iraqis at risk of deportation. Niberd’s lawyers are making plans to further fight his individual case. Niberd has very severe health concerns related to his respiratory system and his doctor believes he would not get adequate treatment if deported.
Call the New England Regional ICE Office and demand they end their inhumane detention of Niberd Alzendi Abdalla and Francisco Rodriguez
Call at least one of these numbers a week:
- New England Field Office Director Chris Cronen: (781) 359-7526
- New England Regional ICE Office: (781) 359-7500 Ext. 3
- Gary Roltsch, the officer assigned to Francisco Rodriguez: (781) 359-7500 Ext. 7625
- Community Relations officer Alexia Koplewski: (781) 359-7511
Hello, my name is [name] I am calling to demand that Francisco Rodriguez, A# 099-665-463 and Niberd Alzendi Abdalla A# 090233750 be immediately released from detention. Francisco Rodriguez has been an involved member of our community for over a decade and we demand he be released from detention and not deported so he can present new facts about his asylum case. Niberd Aldendi Abdalla, who came here when he was just 15 years old, has been a member of our community for 41 years. He has severe respiratory health problems and we demand that he be released and not deported so that he can get proper medical attention.
Mix-ins and talking points, pick one or two to use each week:
- Francisco and Niberd pay taxes and work jobs. Neither has committed any crime so why are they incarcerated.
- Niberd was his mother’s primary caretaker. She died while he was incarcerated and unable to care for her, and he was not allowed to be with her as she passed or attend her funeral. Her unnecessary death is on your conscience.
- Francisco is so ingrained in his community, he’s even on the parent committee as his children’s school.
- Niberd would likely die on the trip to Iraq if you deport him. His death would be by your hands.
- Francisco is a father of two, both of whom are US citizens. His mother is set to legally become a citizen next year.
- Niberd is engaged to a US citizen, the mother of his child who is also a US citizen.
- How do you sleep at night, knowing that you are killing innocent people,
- Any other information from their backstories that you find compelling.
Call #3 for Extra Credit: Call Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins and Demand Proper Medical Attention for ICE Detainees
Sheriff Steven Tompkins is responsible for all detention facilities in Suffolk County, including the one where Francisco and Niberd are being held. We know that those detained by ICE in Suffolk County are not given access to any medical attention, except in the best case scenarios where they may be given a single acetaminophen (Advil).
Call Sheriff Tompkins (617) 704-6507 and demand that detainees receive medical attention
Hi, my name is [name] and I am calling to demand that you instruct all detention facilities in Suffolk County to give proper medical attention to detainees. Those detained by ICE in Suffolk County have not been receiving proper medical attention. As one example, Niberd Alzendi Abdalla A# 090233750, an Iraqi refugee who has lived in Massachusetts for 41 years and has committed no crime, is slowly dying of a respiratory illness and is not being allowed to see a doctor or receive his medications. As sheriff of Suffolk County you are responsible for the conditions of all detainees in Suffolk County, including Niberd. Niberd’s death will weigh on your conscience if you do not take action and give him, and every other detainee, proper medical care while held in custody.
Feel free to use any mix-ins from call #2. You can also find creative ways to ask him how he can sleep at night, etc.
Thank you for standing up for justice! Remember! We are doing this every week until our demands are met. See you next week!