Boston organizers fight ICE, DCF

“Supporters gathered Jan. 9 in front of the John F. Kennedy Federal Building here to demand justice for local activist Siham Byah, who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at a routine check-in with immigration services in November. Her son was also taken into the custody of the Massachusetts Department for Children and Families (DCF), who then refused to place him in the care of the family chosen by Byah.

Byah herself was sent to the Bristol County jail, run by hated Sheriff Thomas A. Hodgson, a rabid racist who is known for offering the labor of inmates to build Trump’s border wall. Hodgson has been blasted for the harsh conditions in his jail, which include poor heating and ventilation, bad water quality and rampant difficulties with visitor access.

After nearly two months in this facility, where she and other detainees resorted to using bottles filled with warm water to endure the cold in the unheated cells, Byah was deported without warning. She arrived in Morocco with nothing but the clothes on her back, having been denied the chance to say goodbye to her son or even to notify her attorney.”

Boston organizers fight ICE, DCF


ICE detains mother from Morocco living in Nahant- Boston Globe

“Immigration authorities took a 40-year-old single mother from Nahant who originally hails from Morocco into custody Tuesday and are looking to deport her, her attorney confirmed.

Siham Byah, who has lived in the United States since 1999, was taken into custody at a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Burlington, said her lawyer, Matt Cameron of East Boston.

Byah has an 8-year-old son who is a US citizen, Cameron said. Cameron said the son was in state custody Tuesday.

Cameron said he was not given any explanation for why ICE took her into custody. He was told it was a ‘D.C. decision,’ he said.”



From Sihams Lawyer

“My client Siham Tinhinan Byah is now a political prisoner of the United States. Her detention by ICE this morning was totally unexpected, completely unwarranted, and in direct violation of established ICE policy.

I was able to speak with Siham a few minutes ago, and she wants to let her many friends and supporters know that she will be on a hunger strike until she is released. She is deeply appreciative of your calls and commitment to show up for her.

When I asked her case officer what they intended to do with her eight-year-old son–still in school as I write this–he said that they “assumed” that local family would take him. He also admitted that he had made arrangements with Lynn DCF. I have no words for this.

I have known Siham for several years now. She is a fighter. She is an activist. She is unapologetically unafraid to stand up to injustice, racism, misogyny, and discrimination of every kind wherever she finds it. She was a leader in the Boston Occupy movement, and has been organizing for and with causes she believes in for many years.

I was told today that the decision to detain Siham without warning or opportunity to leave voluntarily (as they have given everyone else in her situation since Trump) came directly from DC, and was not up to the New England Field Office.

We are immediately filing a legal challenge, but the most important thing right now is for this mother to be home with her young son. They are very close, and I can’t even begin to imagine how he is going to take this.”