Thursday, March 22, 2018

UPDATE: Immigration Dialogue at Suffolk County Community College Postponed

UPDATE, 3/21/18: Suffolk Council Community College will be closed on March 22 due to today's snowstorm. We're hoping to reschedule the dialogue for later in the spring.

Delve into tough questions about immigration with the authors of The Politics of Immigration. 
Why are people in other countries leaving their homes and coming here? What does it mean to be “illegal”? How do immigration raids, prisons, and border walls impact communities? Who suff­ers and who profits from our current system – and what would happen if we transformed it?

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 9:30 am - 10:45 am
Montauk Point Room, Babylon Student Center,
Suffolk County Community College
Free and open to the public

Sponsored by Office of Campus Activities, Student Leadership Development, and Foreign Languages and ESL For information, call 631-451-4117. You can email the authors at

The event is part of “Suffolk Responds: Fight Ignorance, Not Immigrants,” a week-long series of programs at Su­ffolk County Community College to learn how recent decisions concerning immigration policies impact our neighbors, and how you can make a diff­erence, including:
The Impact of Rescinding TPS on Suffolk County
Suff­olk County Legislator Monica Martinez discusses the impact of rescinding Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Monday, March 19, 2018 • 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm,
Mildred Green Room, Babylon Student Center, Ammerman Campus, Selden
Pursuing the Dream
Immigrants share their stories of coming to the U nited States and their fears and hopes for the future. Speaker: France Dufoo. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 • 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm, Montaukett Learning Resource Center, Room 108, Eastern Campus, Riverhead
Know Your Rights: Due Process for TPS Holders and Undocumented People
Irma Solis of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) will explain individual’s rights when TPS holders and undocumented individuals come in contact with police or immigration enforcement officers in New York State. Wednesday, March 21, 2018 • 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, Sagtikos Arts and Sciences Building, Room 259/260, Michael J. Grant Campus, Brentwood
Film Viewing and Discussion
A film viewing and discussion of the award-winning film “Documented,” which follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine. Wednesday, March 21, 2018 • 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Mildred Green Room, Babylon Student Center, Ammerman Campus, Selden
We Are United: Rapid Response Training
Our immigrant neighbors are living in terror due to unjust deportations. It is time for people of goodwill to do something to help them. This training will provide an overview of what is happening to our immigrant friends on Long Island and what you can do to support and end deportations.
Speakers: Victoria Daza and Dick Koubek, Long Island Jobs for Justice, Friday, March 23, 2018 • 10:30 am - 1:30 pm, Mildred Green Room, Babylon Student Center, Ammerman Campus, Selden

Monday, March 19, 2018

ICE/CBP Abuse Update: Targeting Immigrants, Damage Control on Viral Video

Activist Alejandra Pablos. Photo: Pablos' Facebook 
Immigration Advocates Warn ICE Is Retaliating For Activism

By John Burnett, NPR
March 16, 2018
Activists across the country say they are being targeted by federal immigration authorities for speaking out at protests and accusing the government of heavy-handed tactics.

The Trump administration has warned that anyone in the country illegally could be arrested and deported under tough new enforcement rules. And federal officials deny allegations of retaliation.[...]

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Read how to support the No More Deaths volunteers:

Immigrant rights activist ‘targeted’ and detained by ICE during routine check-in in Arizona
ICE says that they do not target individuals for making speaking out against the agency

By Clark Mindock, The Independent
March 8, 2018
An undocumented immigrant rights organiser has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in what activists say is the latest example of the Trump administration targeting vocal members of the immigrant rights movement.

Alejandra Pablos, 32, was detained early Thursday morning during a routine check-in with ICE officials, just months after she was arrested by immigration officials at what has been described as a peaceful immigration protest outside of an ICE field office in Virginia.[...]

Read the full article:
Sign a petition for Alejandra Pablos’ release

This Mother Was Arrested in Front of Her Screaming Daughters. But She Hasn't Been Charged With a Crime.
Advocates say smuggling accusations are increasingly being used as a pretext for immigration arrests because the Trump administration has made it a priority to deport accused smugglers. But the accusations rarely get heard in a criminal court.

By Adolfo Flores, BuzzFeed News
March 18, 2018
A day after the video of her being detained by Border Patrol had more than 9 million views, Perla Morales-Luna sat in an ICE detention center accused of being part of a criminal smuggling organization.[...]

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Administrative Incarceration: The Paradox of Immigration Detention

According to the Supreme Court, immigration detention cannot legally be classified as punishment: to punish immigrants for simply being in the country unlawfully would be unconstitutional.… Yet the conditions that immigrants face in detention are similar – if not worse – to conditions in penal incarceration systems.

By Elizabeth Bird, ImmigrationProfBlog
March 12, 2018
In 2017, over 320,000 immigrants were placed in detention in the United States, awaiting determination of their immigration status. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can detain anyone who is suspected of being deportable and is deemed to be likely to abscond. This includes a range of noncitizens: individuals who have crossed the border without documentation, have overstayed their visa, or legal residents who have committed certain crimes. According to the government, immigration detention is an administrative procedure. Legally, immigration detention is not punishment, but in practice, it looks a lot like penal incarceration. Furthermore, the non-punitive nature of immigration detention results in fewer protections for immigrants than would be afforded to criminal defendants.[…]

Read the full article:

Protesters support striking detainees, April 2017. Photo: Tacoma Action Collective

Thursday, March 15, 2018

NYC, 3/15/18: Dialogue in a Time of Crisis

Join us for a participatory workshop on immigrant rights by the authors of The Politics of Immigration, as well as an information session and update on the sanctuary at Holyrood Episcopal Church, where AmandaMorales Guerra and her children have been housed since August 2017.

Thursday, March 15, 2018, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
Free admission; $5 suggested donation

We don't want our family members, friends, and neighbors hauled away and deported. Many of us are
actively working to defend community members from deportation, like Ravi Ragbir, leader of the NYC New Sanctuary Coalition, and Amanda Morales Guerra, who has been in sanctuary at Holyrood Episcopal Church in Washington Heights since August.
But do we really understand the system we are fighting against? Do we have the tools to respond effectively to tough questions from family members, co-workers, and others who don't share our views? For example:
  • Why do so many people come here “illegally”? Why don't they just wait in line?
  • If someone committed a crime in this country, why shouldn't they be deported?
  • Don't unauthorized immigrants push down wages for everyone?
  • Can we really afford to have so many immigrants here?
  • Isn't our current immigration system color-blind?
  • What would an alternative system look like, and how do we get there?
Bring your questions and thoughts to this participatory workshop facilitated by Jane Guskin and David Wilson, authors of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers (Monthly Review Press 2017). Together we will strengthen our skills and deepen our understanding to engage more effectively in dialogue around immigration issues.

The sanctuary information session will be led by Renee Colwell, volunteer coordinator at Holyrood Episcopal Church, who will share with neighbors how they can help.

Word Up:      347-688-4456,            

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Interesting Stats on Immigration, Crime and E-Verify

According to Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the right-libertarian Cato Institute, crime statistics from Texas show that immigrants there, both documented and undocumented, have lower conviction and arrest rates than the native-born. In a separate post, he cites a paper suggesting that implementation of E-Verify in Arizona has led to higher rates of criminal activity by undocumented immigrants. —TPOI editor
Criminal Immigrants in Texas: Illegal Immigrant Conviction and Arrest Rates for Homicide, Sexual Assault, Larceny, and Other Crimes

By Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute
February 26, 2018
President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deport most illegal immigrants who encounter law enforcement, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is attempting to withhold federal funds from local police departments that do not cooperate with DHS in that effort.1 Underlying both actions is the belief that illegal immigrants are a significant source of crime.2 This brief uses Texas Department of Public Safety data to measure the conviction and arrest rates of illegal immigrants by crime. In Texas in 2015, the criminal conviction and arrest rates for immigrants were well below those of native-born Americans. Moreover, the conviction and arrest rates for illegal immigrants were lower than those for native-born Americans. This result holds for most crimes.[…]

Read the full article:

E-Verify Could Have Increased Crime in Arizona

By Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute
February 28, 2018
Illegal immigrants who can’t work are more likely to commit crimes in order to support themselves, according to a superb new paper by Matthew Freedman, Emily Owens, and Sarah Bohn that is forthcoming in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.  They examined administrative data from Bexar County, Texas and found an increase in felony charges filed against residents who were most likely to be illegal immigrants after the Immigration Reform and Control Act made it unlawful for illegal immigrants to work in the United States.[…]

Read the full article:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Activist Ravi Ragbir urges West Village churchgoers to help immigrants facing deportation

“So how can you help?…This is where I’m going to start challenging you. You can create a space where you can help someone. You can make a phone call. You can write a letter. You can tweet. You can just talk to someone about a fact, about what they are saying wrong. Talk to someone when they are saying propaganda.”

Ravi Ragbir. Photo: Tequila Minsky
By Edgar Sandoval and Reuven Blau, New York Daily News
March 4, 2018
Immigration rights activist Ravi Ragbir — who is being threatened with deportation — urged churchgoers Sunday to speak up against the anti-immigration wave sweeping the country.

“There are many people with green cards who are facing deportation,” he told a packed Judson Memorial Church in the West Village.[…]

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

ICE Raids Reportedly Blocked in Bay Area

ICE claims that some 800 immigrants were spared detention this week because Oakland’s mayor publicly announced that she’d been tipped off about imminent raids. If this is true, the anonymous source and the mayor have set an example for public officials around the country. Meanwhile, the ACLU charges that ICE is pushing ahead with John Kelly’s plan to separate children from their parents in order to discourage asylum seekers. Does anyone remember when the GOP was the “family values” party?—TPOI editor 
Protesters block entrance San Francisco ICE office. Photo: Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group
US immigration attacks Oakland mayor for warning of raid that arrested 150
Agency chief likens mayor to ‘gang lookout’ over early public alert that helped 800 avoid arrest

The Guardian
February 28, 2013
A day after agents confirmed that more than 150 people in California were arrested in immigration raids, a federal immigration official lashed out at the Oakland mayor who gave a public warning ahead of the raids, saying it was “no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’”.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) chief, Thomas Homan, speaking to Fox and Friends on Wednesday, said that the warning from the mayor, Libby Schaaf, helped about 800 people avoid arrest. He also said the justice department was looking into whether Schaaf obstructed justice.[…]

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Update: ICE protests start, Schaaf calls out ‘racist myth’ of Trump administration
“We’re here to stand for justice and due process for all people,” said Anand Singh, president of Unite Here! Local 2 union.

By Julia Prodis Sulek, David Debolt Tatiana Sanchez, Bay Area News Group
February 28, 2018
The Bay Area became ground zero Wednesday for clashes over immigration, with people gathering in San Francisco to protest widespread immigration raids this week while Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf became the target of federal officials considering whether she should be jailed for warning the community that a sweep was coming.[…]

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A mother and child fled Congo fearing death. ICE has held them separately for months, lawsuit says.

By Derek Hawkins, Washington Post
February 27, 2018
For nearly four months, immigration officials have unlawfully held a Congolese asylum seeker and her 7-year-old daughter in detention centers thousands of miles apart, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged in a lawsuit Monday.

The mother arrived with her child in San Diego in November and told border agents she left the Congo in fear for her life, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.[…]

Read the full article: