Note: Many of the definitions below are not necessarily comprehensive. Some individuals may choose to define terms in a different manner. Others may use other words not included here to describe their identities. These definitions are intended help you learn and work collaboratively with everyone at ActionCamp.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between a local government entity and the Department of Homeland Security under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under this agreement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) briefly trains local enforcement agents, who are then granted limited immigration enforcement authority to investigate, apprehend, and/or detain deportable immigrants. The scope of authority that a 287(g) agreement gives to local governments depends on the specific agreement and is not supposed to override constitutional protections.
A world view is that the able-bodied are the norm, and that people who have disabilities must either strive to become able-bodied or should keep their distance from able-bodied people.
A predisposition towards adults, which is seen as biased against children, youth, and all young people who are not addressed or viewed as adults.
Stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups because of their age.
A term used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to refer to any non-citizen apprehended by ICE through the criminal justice system, regardless of how minor or how long ago the alleged offense occurred or whether the non-citizen was ever convicted of a crime. A “criminal alien” can be someone who is undocumented, someone who is applying for a green card, or a green card holder with U.S. citizen family. So-called “criminal aliens” are aggressively targeted for deportation before and after they have served any sentence. Deportation is not part of the criminal sentence, and oftentimes immigrant defendants do not realize that a guilty plea may result in deportation.
The federal cabinet department charged with “protecting” the United States. Through the Department of Homeland Security Act, DHS absorbed most of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and took on its duties in 2003. DHS split immigration-related duties between three separate agencies under its control: services (Citizenship and Immigration Services), enforcement (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and border patrol (Customs and Border Protection).
Expulsion of a non-citizen from the United States. People who can be deported include non-citizens (including green card holders) with past criminal convictions; visa overstays; refugee/asylum seekers; and those who enter the U.S. without inspection (for example, by crossing the border unlawfully). Once removed, a non-citizen faces legal bars that prevent their return, sometimes permanently.
ICE’s most effective tool to seal the pipeline of the criminal justice system to the deportation system. A detainer serves as a request to a jail or prison to hold a suspected non-citizen for ICE to pick up or to notify ICE when the jail or prison intends to release the person (for example, after criminal bail is paid, the case is disposed of, or the criminal sentence has been served). Federal regulations provide that a jail or prison can hold someone for only 48 additional hours (not including weekends or holidays) based on an ICE detainer. However, jails and prisons frequently violate this 48-hour rule. After conviction, detainers often affect non-citizen defendants’ access to programs or their detention classification. The use of detainers is expected to rapidly escalate.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees that a person or their belongings will not be searched by the government without cause. When considering whether a search is reasonable, courts look at: (1) the dangerousness of the crime or illegal item the officer suspects you have; (2) the reason why the officer is searching you or that particular area; and (3) the extent to which the search invades your private, personal space. Students in school can only be searched when there is “reasonable suspicion” that the student is committing a crime or has something that is illegal to have at school.
The Fourth Amendment also provides the right to be free from unreasonable seizure (arrest or detainment) and excessive force by law enforcement.
A range of negative attitudes and feelings toward individuals that identify or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Discrimination is based on sexual identity, and may be expressed as harassment, bullying, or may be covert and institutionalized.
Nationwide FBI-operated computerized database, which was originally created to enable federal, state, and local law enforcement to identify suspected criminals with outstanding warrants. In 2002, Attorney General Ashcroft authorized using this criminal tool for civil immigration purposes, by entering the names of people with old deportation orders and individuals who did not comply with special registration into the NCIC system; the legality of this practice is being challenged.
National security is a term used to describe threats (actual or planned) to the security of U.S. political and economic systems dominated by a White, male-ruling class. The National Security system has been used as a pretext for government agencies such as the FBI, CIA, DHS and NSA to create registries, incarcerate, torture, and engage in warrantless surveillance using “smart” technology to monitor the public and private activity of people of color, Muslims, political activists and other groups who dissent against U.S. systems of oppression. In addition to the federal agencies, local police departments like the NYPD, LAPD, Chicago PD, have adopted this pretext and conduct their own surveillance, share information and collaborate with federal agencies.
When harsh school policies and practices lead to students not being able to attend and participate in schools. This is a way to re-define “drop-out” that places the responsibility with schools, not young people.
The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.
A response to harms that asks who was harmed, what are the needs and responsibilities of those affected, and how do all affected parties together address needs and repair harms. This is an alternative to exclusionary school discipline practices.
The harsh school policies and practices combined with an increased role of law enforcement in school that leads to out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests being increasingly used to deal with student misbehavior, especially for minor incidents, leading to huge numbers of children and youth being pushed out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
An ICE program (in partnership with local law enforcement agencies) that checks a person’s fingerprints against both immigration and criminal databases at the time of arrest or booking. If a person is matched to a record indicating some immigration history, ICE and the jail are automatically notified. ICE then decides what enforcement action will be taken, including whether a detainer will be issued. The process from fingerprint submission to issuance of a detainer takes approximately four hours. ICE enters into agreements with the State Identification Bureaus, which process fingerprints and then provide Standard Operating Procedures to the police and jail.
A range of negative attitudes and feelings towards transgender individuals based on their gender identity and expression.
An informal term to describe non-citizens who have no government authorization to be in the U.S. Undocumented people include people who crossed the border without permission, people who came on valid visas but then remained past their authorized period of stay, and former green card holders who were ordered deported. An “undocumented” person might have received work authorization (for example, upon filing an application for asylum or other status), but that does not necessarily mean they are considered “documented” for immigration purposes. Avoid using “illegal” to describe any individual.
A deep-rooted and irrational hatred towards people from other races, cultures, or towards the unfamiliar.
Zero tolerance policies require mandatory consequences or punishments (such as suspension and expulsion) for certain behaviors. This term is often used to refer to all harsh discipline policies that contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.