Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CNN/ORC poll: Americans break with Trump on immigration policy

Although this is just one poll, it’s in line with other recent surveys showing a majority of the population supporting legalization—despite the anti-immigrant rhetoric from government and much of the media. However, a majority also continue to back the deportation of “criminal aliens”—pointing to an area where the immigrant rights movement needs to work harder.—TPOI editor

By Tal Kopan and Jennifer Agiesta, CNN
March 17, 2017

Washington (CNN)Americans disagree with President Donald Trump's immigration priorities, according to a new CNN/ORC poll, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying they'd like to see a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants rather than deportations.

Trump has made tough border security and strict enforcement of US immigration laws a focal point of his campaign and presidency -- using some of his first executive orders to pave the way for far more deportations and detentions as well as ordering the construction of a Southern border wall.
But a CNN/ORC poll released Friday finds that the public is actually moving in the opposite direction since Trump has won election.[...]

Read the full article:

Read the poll results:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Foreign Workers of Mar-A-Lago

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, murdered H-1B worker

Trump opposes the use of guest workers “as cheap labor”—except for his own use of guest workers as cheap labor. This article is a good exposé of Trump’s hypocrisy, but the writer buys into the arguments of guest worker proponent Giovanni Peri that tech H-1B workers are “good for the economy.” No doubt these workers are much better paid than Trump’s hotel workers, but they’re still basically exploited in the same way as less skilled guest workers. And they too can be victims of violence-prone U.S. racists—TPOI editor

By Sheelah Kolhatkar, New Yorker
March 20, 2017 Issue
When it comes to America’s technology industry, Donald Trump takes a dim view of foreign workers. “I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program”—it provides visas for technical and skilled employees—“and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers for every visa and immigration program,” he said in a statement a year ago. “No exceptions.”

When it comes to the hospitality industry, though, Trump is much more, well, hospitable. His Administration recently made it harder to get H1-B visas, but he has expressed no objection to the visa category that hotels and resorts use—the H-2B—to attract low-cost, low-skilled seasonal labor. In fact, at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach club, the visas are still in active use. Why the exception to the no-exception rule?[…]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

¿Ha llegado el momento para la desobediencia civil?/Time for Civil Disobedience?

¿Ha llegado el momento para la desobediencia civil?

Elvira Arellano
Por Elvira Arellano, Sanctuary Movement
14 de Marzo, 2017
(English version follows below)
Muchas de las tácticas de desobediencia civil que se empleaban en el contexto del movimiento pro derechos civiles y en el movimiento para acabar con el “apartheid” en Sudáfrica no se han empleado mucho en la lucha para los derechos de los indocumentados. El motivo es que, por supuesto, los indocumentados no han querido exponerse a las acciones represivas de los que los pretenden deportar. El “santuario” debe considerarse como una excepción, y no se olviden que las acciones de santuario se tomaron conjuntamente entre personas sin y con papeles.

Este lunes pasado el congresista Luis Gutiérrez y mi pastora Emma Lozano, juntaron ocho lideres para reunirse con el director de ICE (la Migra) en Chicago. Como no pudieron conseguir respuestas satisfactorias a sus preguntas sobre el futuro del programa DACA y los resultados de varios casos de personas amenazadas con la deportación, el Congresista y los otros integrantes de la delegación optaron por permanecer y llevaron a cabo un plantón en la mera oficina de la Secretaría de Seguridad Interna.[...]

Time for Civil Disobedience?

By Elvira Arellano, Sanctuary Movement
March 14, 2017
Many of the tactics of civil disobedience which were used in the civil rights movements and in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa have not been used in the struggle of the undocumented. The reason is that the undocumented have not wanted to put themselves in the hands of those who would deport them. Sanctuary was an exception – and sanctuary was an action taken jointly by those with and those without papers.

This Monday, Congressman Luis Gutierrez and my pastor, pastora Emma Lozano, assembled eight leaders to meet with the Director of ICE in Chicago. Unable to get answers to their questions about the future of DACA and the outcome of several deportation cases, the Congressman and the delegation determined to stay, staging a sit in in the midst of Homeland Security offices.[….]

Monday, March 13, 2017

Update: Illinois Congressman Ends Chicago Immigration Office Sit-in

“They were scared to arrest us because they know our cause is just. We ended our sit in but we will #resist,” Rep. Gutierrez tweeted.

By Odette Yousef, Associated Press via WBEZ
March 13, 2017
CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez has ended a sit-in at a federal immigration office in Chicago where about a dozen activists demanded no future raids and reconsideration on a deportation case.

Gutierrez and others stayed several hours beyond Monday's scheduled meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.[...]

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Chicago Sit-in Opens CD Campaign Against ICE Raids, Mass Deportations

Chicago activists, local religious leaders, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez have been sitting in at the Chicago ICE offices today to protest the mass deportation policy. They reportedly expect to be arrested after 5 pm. We’re posting a statement below from Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras along with links to news articles.—TPOI editor

The campaign of civil disobedience begins today.
Statement of Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras, March 13, 2017

Rev Emma Lozano, Co-chair of Familia Latina Unida and pastor of the first sanctuary church in the nations today joins with Congressman Luis Gutierrez and a group of committed religious leaders, elected officials and community leaders to begin a new phase in the struggle against mass deportations and separation of families. We cannot simply sit by, march and hold press conferences while this administration tears apart our families and our communities.

As in the days of the civil rights movement we find ourselves up against a white nationalist power structure which seeks to drive Latinos from the country or into submission. This is an administration which has no moral compass to guide them. The fate of families, of U.S. citizen children deprived of a mother or father, is not regretted, it is celebrated by this administration.

Years of negotiation with the Republican Congress have brought us often to the brink of a solution – but each time they pulled back. This is not a matter of law it is a matter of humanity – and the lack of it. We believe that we speak for the majority of people in this country who oppose these deportations and separation of families. Only the peculiar states rights structure of elections has put us in the hands of those without compassion or a sense of justice. When the actions of government no longer reflect the will of the people then people of conscience must act.

We have no alternative now but to begin mass campaigns of civil disobedience across this country. Those of good conscience will join the U.S. citizen family members and neighbors of the undocumented. We will explore a full range of tactics to bring the deportations to a halt.

We are not criminals. We are not terrorists. We are workers and we are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. If we have to fill up the jails of this country to remind this nation of its basic humanity – then that is what we will do.

The campaign of civil disobedience begins today.

Rep. Gutierrez Handcuffed After Refusing to Leave Meeting with ICE

By Shelby Bremer, NBC Chicago
Photo: Rep. Gutierrez's office
March 13, 2017
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez was briefly handcuffed after refusing to leave a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Chicago, saying he planned to risk arrest by staying at the agency’s office in The Loop until demands are met.

The Democratic congressman led a sit-in following a meeting that began around 10 a.m. Monday with a delegation of activists that included about 22 advocates, attorneys, community leaders and other local elected officials, according to Gutierrez's spokesman Douglas Rivlin.[...]

Read the full article:

Congressman Gutierrez, activists stage sit-in at Chicago ICE office

By Tony Briscoe, Chicago Tribune
March 13, 2017
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez and a delegation of activists and lawyers have staged a sit-in at the regional offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement after their demands were not met during an hourlong meeting Monday with agency officials.

Gutierrez met with ICE's acting regional director Monday morning to discuss immigrants living illegally in the Chicago area and around the nation. The meeting was Gutierrez's first with ICE officials under the Trump administration, and he hoped to get details about the agency's enforcement policy as well as to advocate against deportation orders for several detained immigrants.[...]

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Local Activists Continue to Organize Resistance to ICE Raids

Media attention has shifted away from the government’s deportation campaign since the well-publicized raids in mid-February. However, ICE agents continue to detain people, and the resistance movement appears to be consolidating on the local level.—TPOI editor
Photo:Lauryn Gutierrez / Rewire
Organized resistance is forming to Trump's immigration crackdown

Kate Morrissey, San Diego Union-Tribune
March 1, 2017
Organized resistance to President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown is coming to San Diego, as advocacy groups are beginning to organize a rapid response network that could include hotlines, “solidarity teams" and even safe houses.

Meant to protect unauthorized immigrants, the network would be similar to what activists in other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, are working to implement.

Unauthorized immigrants have dealt with increased fear and anxiety since Trump signed his first executive orders on the subject, revising the policy of former President Barack Obama to focus on those who had committed crimes other than illegal entry. San Diegans forming a support network hope to ease fears.[…]

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In Trump Strongholds, An Effort Is Underway to Keep Immigrants Safe

By Cristian Benavides, NBC News
March 10, 2017
NEW YORK - In historically conservative Staten Island, where President Donald Trump won 57 percent of the vote, residents are readying their homes to keep immigrants protected from being deported.

People like Ruth, a local educator who didn't want her full name used so Immigration and Customs Enforcement could not identify her, are becoming part of a network to offer refuge to families at risk of deportation and do so in areas where Trump enjoyed strong political support.

“It's immoral to take children away from their parents,” Ruth said. “People came here illegally because there was no decent pathway to come here any other way.”[…]

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San Francisco restaurant owners offer employees sanctuary workplace

By Joshua Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner
March 10, 2017
San Francisco restaurants are joining a national movement to establish sanctuary workplaces for undocumented employees and ensuring business owners know their rights if federal immigration officials raid their establishments.

In less than three months in the White House, President Donald Trump has increased fears of mass sweeps by federal immigration officials and penned an executive order to slash federal funding for cities like San Francisco that provide sanctuary laws to not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.[…]

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Sustained Efforts of Activists Pay Off as Daniela Vargas Is Released From ICE Custody

Daniela Vargas
The release of Daniela Vargas is a victory for the immigrant rights movement, but Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Dreamer and father from Seattle, remains in detention. United We Dream has already delivered over 50,000 petitions to Secretary Kelly to demand Daniel’s release. The organization is calling for supporters to circulate the petition and gather still more signatures.TPOI editor

By Yara Simón, Remezcla
March 10, 2017
Last week, the story of Daniela Vargas – a 22-year-old woman possibly facing deportation without a trial – rallied the activist community. Today, immigration advocates are celebrating her release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Vargas, who arrived in the United States at age 7, saw her dad and brother arrested by ICE officials a few weeks ago. She hid in her closet, but ICE broke into her house and handcuffed her. They eventually let her go. But because she was awaiting the renewal of her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status – which grants immigrants brought to the United States at a young age the right to work and attend school – Vargas felt shaken.

Daniel Ramirez
She went into hiding, but re-emerged last week to publicly speak about ICE targeting her family at a press conference. As a friend drove her away from the event, immigration officials stopped the car and detained her – a move many saw as retaliatory.[...]

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