Monday, May 21, 2018

Resistance Works, Despite the Flaws

There are a lot of problems with the resistance to Trump’s immigration crackdown: lack of coordination in the grassroots movement, faltering commitment from native-born allies, inadequate sanctuary measures in self-proclaimed “sanctuary cities.” Still, resistance measures are having an effect, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute.—TPOI editor

ICE Arrests Under Trump Are Up Significantly Over Latter Obama Years, But Pushback from California & Other ‘Sanctuaries’ Make Return to Record Peaks Unlikely

Migration Policy Institute Press Release
May 8, 2018
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has significantly revved up the immigration enforcement machinery in the U.S. interior, with arrests and deportations up about 40 percent in its first eight months over a year earlier. Yet pushback from California and cities such as Chicago, New York, Boston and Seattle makes it quite unlikely that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be able to match its record enforcement levels, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) finds in a new report.

ICE arrests and removals during fiscal 2017 were about half their peaks during the early Obama years, before that administration significantly narrowed its enforcement priorities, effectively shielding all but a fraction of the nation’s estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation.[…]

Read the full press release:
Read the report:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Judge Calls ICE on Its Lies, Sessions Decision Threatens Thousands

While the media obsessed with analyzing what Trump means by “animals,” two important stories were being overlooked. On May 15 a U.S. district judge appointed by George W. Bush ruled that ICE had behaved in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner and without any “rational explanation for its decision” in its efforts to deport DACA recipient Daniel Ramírez Medina. And on May 17 Attorney General Jeff Sessions threw out years of immigration court practice, denying immigration judges the ability to give immigrants a break by putting their cases on hold.—TPOI editor

Daniel Ramírez Medina
Bad Liars
ICE claimed a Dreamer was “gang-affiliated” and tried to deport him. A federal judge ruled that ICE was lying.

By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate
May 16, 2018
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez shot down the federal government’s efforts to strip Daniel Ramirez Medina of his DACA status. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had arrested and detained Ramirez last year, then falsely claimed that he was affiliated with a gang and attempted to deport him. He filed suit, alleging that ICE had violated his due process rights. Martinez agreed. His order barred the federal government from voiding Ramirez’s DACA status, safeguarding his ability to live and work in the United States legally for the foreseeable future. What may be most remarkable about Martinez’s decision, though, is its blunt repudiation of ICE’s main claim—that Ramirez is “gang-affiliated.” The judge did not simply rule against ICE. He accused the agency of lying to a court of law.[…]

Read the full article:

For more on Daniel Ramírez’s case:

Justice Dept. Restricts a Common Tactic of Immigration Judges
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

By Katie Benner, New York Times
May 17, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a directive on Thursday that places limits on a tool commonly used by immigration judges and could put hundreds of thousands of deportation cases that are essentially closed back on federal court dockets.

The move, issued in an interim decision, is unlikely to reopen all the cases. But Mr. Sessions said that immigration courts could not put such cases on indefinite hold by using a practice known as administrative closure, which temporarily removes a case from a judge’s calendar and delays a proceeding that could remove an immigrant from the country.[…]

Read the full article:
Read Sessions’ decision:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jeff Sessions is exerting unprecedented control over immigration courts — by ruling on cases himself

[An important piece on an underreported topic: the power Jeff Sessions has to make the immigration court system even worse than it is. And there's a real danger that he’ll use this power.—TPOI editor]
Jeff Sessions. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
The attorney general is poised to issue decisions that could determine the fate of tens of thousands of immigrants.

By Dara Lind, Vox
May 14, 2018
The fate of tens of thousands of immigrants’ court cases could rest in the hands of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

That’s not a metaphor. Sessions has stepped into the immigration system in an unprecedented manner: giving himself and his office the ability to review, and rewrite, cases that could set precedents for a large share of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants with pending immigration court cases, not to mention all those who are arrested and put into the deportation process in future.

He’s doing this by taking cases from the Board of Immigration Appeals — the Justice Department agency that serves as a quasi-appellate body for immigration court cases — and referring them to himself to issue a decision instead.[…]

Read the full article:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

People’s Press Conference and Update on Ravi Ragbir’s Case

From: Ravi’s Defense Committee
May 10, 2018

People’s Press Conference

Tomorrow, May 11th at 10 AM, the New Sanctuary Coalition invites you to a People's Press Conference, during which statements & testimonials will be read by people & their families who have been impacted by detention and deportation. At Foley Square in Lower Manhattan.

An Update from Ravi's Legal Team

On Friday, May 4th, we had an evidentiary hearing about whether there were fundamental errors during Ravi's old criminal case, which led to his deportation order.

As his legal team, we know that Ravi and the New Sanctuary Coalition fight every day to preserve due process and access to courts for noncitizens fighting deportation. In that regard, the hearing itself was a victory. It was the first time - in over a decade - where Ravi has been able to tell his story to a judge. We are grateful for that opportunity, and hopeful that justice will be done.

It was a long day of testimony and taking evidence, and our entire team is so grateful for all your support- from those who came out to Newark for this hearing or for past hearings, to those who joined in last week's Jericho Walks, and to all those who sent their positivity our way. Your presence and love has been so meaningful.

The judge did not issue a decision on Friday, and allowed both sides to submit post-hearing briefing. We do not expect a decision until after final briefs are due on June 22nd. Ravi's stay of removal extends at least until a decision is issued.

His check-in with ICE originally scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed to July 27th. To all those who were planning to come out tomorrow to accompany him, we encourage you to attend the People's Press Conference instead (details above).

Again, our sincerest gratitude.

In solidarity,
Ravi's Legal Team

Sunday, May 6, 2018

“Resistance at Tule Lake” National TV Broadcast Premiere on May 6th

Resistance at Tule Lake
April 30, 2018

We are so happy to announce that our national broadcast premiere is coming up this Sunday on the WORLD channel!

The opportunity to have this hidden history come to life in living rooms across the country is a large step forward in expanding the narrative of the incarceration experience during WWII for thousands of Japanese Americans - our neighbors, our friends, our very own family.

WORLD Channel's 56 minute broadcast of Resistance at Tule Lake will air on Sunday, May 6th at 7pm EST / 4pm PST as part of May's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Help spread the word and tune-in this Sunday!

We are getting the full version of Resistance at Tule Lake ready for a DVD release in Summer/Fall 2018! We have screenings scheduled in Los Angeles and Sacramento for the month of May, so keep a look out for more updates.

Visit us at! For further information, inquiries and screening requests, contact director-producer Konrad Aderer at

Monday, April 30, 2018


Rally and March | Washington Square Park

Rally: 12:30PM
March: 2:00PM
(route TBA, we will join with Fight Together! Strike to Win! May Day NYC 2018 afterwards!)

On May Day, join the Freedom Cities Movement as we carry on the legacy of the Immigrant Worker Justice Tour in our struggle for freedom and liberation!

Freedom Cities is about making entire cities, towns, and communities safe for immigrants, Black people, Muslims, Queer+Trans folks, workers, and all oppressed communities. Our liberation is inherently tied together, it's all of us or none of us!

We all deserve to live with dignity and have the opportunity thrive without fear of physical or economic violence at the hands of the corporations, vigilantes or government.

Rally and March | Washington Square Park
Rally: 12:30PM
March: 2:00PM
(route TBA, we will join with Fight Together! Strike to Win! May Day NYC 2018 afterwards!)

To endorse:

Current Endorsers/ Patrocinadores:

New York Worker Center Federation
Million Hoodies
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Co-op Cafe
ICE Out of Courts- NYC
Families for Freedom
Immigrant Defense Project
Decolonize This Place
Rhiza Collective
Retail Action Project
SOA Watch
New Economy Project
NYC Democratic Socialists of America
Food Chain Workers Alliance
International Women's Strike NYC/ Paro Internacional de Mujeres NYC
Jewish Voice for Peace-New York City
Queens Neighborhoods United
Coalition To End Broken Windows
Hater Free NYC
Copwatch Patrol Unit - CPU" 
People's Cultural Plan
New York Communities for Change
UNO: United Neighbors Organization
Laundry Workers Center
DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving
Hater Free NYC


¡El Primero de Mayo, únase al Movimiento de Ciudades Libres, quienes continuará la tradicion de la Gira de Justicia para Trabajadores Inmigrantes, en nuestra lucha por la libertad y la liberación!

Ciudades Libres, se trata de hacer ciudades enteras, pueblos y comunidades seguras para inmigrantes, negros, musulmanes, personas queer + trans, trabajadores y todas las comunidades oprimidas. Nuestra liberación está inherentemente unida, ¡somos todos o ninguno de nosotros!

Todos merecemos vivir con dignidad y tener la oportunidad de prosperar sin temor a la violencia física o económica a manos de las corporaciones, los vigilantes o el gobierno.

Rally y Marcha | Parque Washington Square
Rally: 12:30 p.m.
Marcha: 2:00 p.m.

Para Patrocinar:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Why Does DHS Want to Prosecute Asylum Seekers With Kids?

The Department of Homeland Security has now made it clear that its policy really is to separate parents from their children when they enter the U.S. to seek asylum. The policy will be implemented by prosecuting the parents if they attempt to cross the border anywhere except at a legal port of entry. This comes as a caravan of asylum seekers, mostly from Central America, prepare to cross the border into California today. The Trump administration has hyped the planned entry—by some 100 people, mostly women and children—as some sort of foreign invasion.

The plan to prosecute people for illegal entry, a misdemeanor, comes right after Huffington Post’s Roque Planas published an article about the way these prosecutions take resources away from the prosecution of far more serious federal crimes. The crimes that will get less attention include bank fraud, gun smuggling, money laundering—crimes that benefit people like bankers, arms manufacturers, and real estate moguls who sell to money launderers…. –TPOI editor

The invading caravan in Tijuana. Photo: Ariana Drehsler/BuzzFeed News
Top Homeland Security officials urge criminal prosecution of parents crossing border with children

By Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post
April 26, 2018
The nation’s top immigration and border officials are urging Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to detain and prosecute all parents caught crossing the Mexican border illegally with their children, a stark change in policy that would result in the separation of families that until now have mostly been kept together.

If approved, the zero-tolerance measure could split up thousands of families, although officials say they would not prosecute those who turn themselves in at legal ports of entry and claim asylum. More than 20,000 of the 30,000 migrants who sought asylum during the first quarter — the period from October-December — of the current fiscal year crossed the border illegally.[…]

Read the full article:

At the U.S. border, a diminished migrant caravan readies for an unwelcoming reception

By Nick Miroff, Washington Post
April 27, 2018
TIJUANA, Mexico — The American president, a former real estate mogul, does not want Byron Garcia in the United States. But the Honduran teenager was too busy building his own hotel empire this week to worry much about that.

Vermont Avenue and Connecticut Avenue were his. Now he was looking to move up-market.[…]

Read the full article:

Jeff Sessions Wants to Make the Justice Department More Like ICE
But the attorney general’s plans come at a cost.

By Roque Planas, HuffPost
April 26, 2018
When Tim Purdon became U.S. attorney for North Dakota in 2010, he had a priority: improving public safety on the state’s four Indian reservations. Prosecuting violent crimes on Indian reservations falls to the Justice Department, and Purdon himself had worked similar cases as a public defender before taking on the U.S. attorney job.

But when Purdon took office, he found that more than a third of his criminal caseload consisted of immigration prosecutions, even though North Dakota lies more than 1,000 miles from the border with Mexico. Despite the state’s proximity to Canada, the defendants were by and large Latin Americans who’d been caught in the U.S. after getting deported. The cases were easy to win. All prosecutors needed was to present paperwork proving the prior deportation. But the cases sapped time away from Purdon’s prosecutors, whom he’d have rather tasked with crimes on the reservations or white-collar cases.[…]

Read the full article: