Saturday, May 21, 2016

Women and Children First: Homeland Security Targets "Family Units" for Deportation in May and June

By Danica Jorden, Z Communications via Truthout
May 17, 2016

After January's raids that tore teens from their families and plucked them off buses on their way to school, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is about to embark on a renewed quest to arrest and deport Central Americans who applied for refugee status in the United States in the summer of 2014. According to sources reported by Reuters on May 12, 2016, and confirmed by DHS a day later, the agency is sending Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents out on a second wave of raids against immigrants, this time with the specific aim of apprehending and imprisoning Central American women and their children, or "family units" and unaccompanied minors.

An article by Julia Edwards published by Reuters on Thursday referred to internal papers that were revealed to the news agency concerning the upcoming operation. "Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now told field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day 'surge' of arrests focused on mothers and children who have already been told to leave the United States, the document seen by Reuters said. The operation would also cover minors who have entered the country without a guardian and since turned 18 years of age, the document said. Two sources confirmed the details of the plan."

Despite assurances by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson that "we will offer vulnerable populations in Central America an alternate and legal path to safety in the United States," the impending actions seem to be anything but.[...]

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Obama’s Cruel Decision to Resume Mass Deportations

By Dan Kovalik, Huffington Post
May 16, 2016

According to NPR, “U.S. immigration officials are planning to detain and deport immigrants who were part of the surge of Central Americans who crossed into the U.S. illegally over the past two years . . . .” And, lest one believe, as the Office of Homeland Security is claiming, that this has anything to do with national security, “immigration agents are mainly targeting young mothers with small children, and unaccompanied youths who turned 18 after they entered the U.S.” This deportation will be carried out through “‘a months-long series of raids in May and June.’”

Sending mothers and young children back to countries from which they are fleeing violence is immoral and cruel as Pope Francis has recently emphasized. It is also illegal, as the U.S. is required under international law, for example under Article 14(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to accept such refugees who are fleeing from persecution in their home counties. And, when one considers the U.S.’s role in creating the conditions of persecution these refugees are fleeing, the immoral and criminal nature of Obama’s planned course of action is crystal clear.

Put quite simply, the U.S. owes these refugees a home in light of the fact that the U.S. has mercilessly destroyed their home countries over the past century or so. Let’s take the case of Guatemala for starters, where the U.S. supported a series of brutal military dictatorships after overthrowing its democratically-elected President back in 1954.[...]

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

ICE-FREE NYC Condemns The Raids // ICE-FREE NYC Condena A Las Redadas

May 13, 2016

Yesterday Reuters reported on a new surge of immigration raids “a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children…The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.”

We know from experience that these immigration raids are facilitated by the NYPD, most recently in the Bronx where Homeland Security Investigations (a division of ICE) led a raid against “gang members” on the early morning of March 27, 2016.

This is why ICE-FREE NYC stands in unyielding solidarity with our all migrant and non-citizen communities resisting the continued war against our Diasporas. Please sign and share our petition to Mayor De Blasio demanding a NYC free of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Stay tuned to future actions and collaborations through our Facebook and Twitter.[...]

Read the ICE-FREE NYC statement:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

NYC, 5/18/16: Salvadoran professor on US-sponsored militarization in Central America

Dangerous Journeys: How US-sponsored militarization in Central America in fueling a human rights crisis

Join us for a conversation with Moisés Gómez, professor and researcher at the Central American University
Wednesday, May 18th at 7pm
At The Base
1302 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11221

For more information:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Is it an Immigration Detention Facility or a Child-Care Center?

In the latest fight over whether detaining migrant children is illegal, a Texas judge has blocked the state from issuing a child-care license to an immigration detention center.

J. Weston Phippen, The Atlantic
May 6, 2016

The largest immigration detention center in the United States has a gym with Zumba classes, a beauty salon, playgrounds, and a school for kids. It also has barracks-style housing and the tall chainlink fencing of a prison.

The U.S. has three family detention centers, used to hold migrant children and their mothers as they apply for asylum, and the two largest are in Texas. One is in Dilley, the other in Karnes. They’re both dusty towns between San Antonio and the Mexican border, and together they have about 3,500 beds.

The facilities have been at the center of a legal fight in Texas courts this week. The issue is whether one of these centers could or should be considered a child-care facility. The Obama administration has tried to get Texas to grant its Karnes County Residential Center a child-care license, arguing that the designation would serve in the best interest of immigrant children, who are held there as they’re screened for asylum. But immigration advocates hope to shut down the centers, which they view as prisons––or at the very least, they want the children released. This strange-sounding struggle over a label is about legal semantics, but it’s also about how the U.S. chooses and is allowed to treat migrant children.[...]

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

El Nuevo Triángulo de Poder/The New Triangle of Power

El Nuevo Triángulo de Poder
Por Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
28 de Abril, 2016
(English Version follows below)

A menudo el triángulo aparece como un símbolo místico en la cultura indígena mesoamericana, por ejemplo en las pirámides. El triángulo simboliza el balance, la armonía, y la unidad de distintas fuerzas, además del poder que surge de tal unidad.

Actualmente se está surgiendo un nuevo triángulo en el movimiento popular. Este triángulo tiene tres componentes: Un movimiento en contra del encarcelamiento masivo, un movimiento en contra de las deportaciones masivas, y un movimiento en contra del prejuicio en contra de los musulmanes. El crecimiento de la unidad de estos tres movimientos está unificando las comunidades latinoamericanas, afronorteamericanas, caribeñas, asiáticas, y medio orientales en los Estados Unidos. La unificación de la consciencia de que “ningún ser humano es ilegal” con la consciencia de que “las vidas afroamericanas importan” está produciendo una dinámica muy poderosa especialmente entre la juventud de nuestras dos comunidades. Los ataques en contra de los musulmanes se ha revelado como un movimiento en contra de gente de color, y por lo tanto, activistas musulmanes se han integrado también en la consciencia de los nuevos movimientos.

En el pasado estos tres movimientos no estaban siempre unidos. Nos temíamos unos a los otros. Hubo celos y sospechas.[...]

The New Triangle of Power
By Elvira Arellano, Familias Unidas
April 28, 2016

The Triangle appears often in mystery symbols of the indigenous (Mesoamerican) culture, for instance in the Pyramids. The triangle is a symbol of the balance, harmony and unity of different forces – and the power that comes from that unity.

Today, there is a new triangle forming deep in the movement of the people: a triangle of three movements – a movement against mass incarceration, a movement against mass deportation and a movement against Islamaphobia. The growing unity and collaboration of these three movements are bringing together the African American, Latino/Latin American, Caribbean, Asian and Middle Eastern communities in the U.S. The growing together of the Black and Brown Lives Matter consciousness and the “No Human Being is Illegal” consciousness is producing something very powerful, especially among the young people of our community. The attack on Muslims has been exposed as movement against people of color and Muslim activists have become part of the culture of the new movements.

These three movements were not always joined. We feared each other. We were jealous and suspicious of each other.[...]

Lea el artículo completo/read the full article:!topic/sanctuarymovement/3tlCptQGIkw

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bill Clinton’s shameful legacy on immigration: “Terrible” laws he signed “rip apart” families and authorize unjust detention, Human Rights Watch says

Rights group says 1996 laws created a system of mass detention and abuse for refugees and migrants

By Ben Norton,
April 27, 2016

Clinton-era immigration laws “have subjected hundreds of thousands of people to arbitrary detention, fast-track deportations and family separation,” Human Rights Watch says in a new report.

The rights group says two 1996 immigration laws signed by President Bill Clinton have created a system in which refugees and migrants face detention and fast-track deportation without adequate consideration from U.S. authorities.

Human Rights Watch is calling on the U.S. Congress to repeal provisions in these two laws.

President Clinton signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, or AEDPA, in 1996. Human Rights Watch says the legislation “greatly expanded the grounds for detaining and deporting immigrants, including long-term legal residents,” authorizing for the first time fast-track deportation procedures, which are now frequently used in the U.S.[...]

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