Thursday, December 31, 2009

Emergency Rally, 1/1/10: "Stop Taking Our Parents Away"

(from NYC New Sanctuary Movement)

Kids to Immigration: 2010 New Year's Resolution--Stop Taking Our Parents Away

Children of detained immigrant leader Jean Montrevil demand his release and support youth from across the country demanding an end to deportations.

WHAT: On December 30th, ICE detained for deportation to Haiti Jean Montrevil a green card holding immigrant since 1986, father of four U.S. citizen children and renowned immigrant rights activist. In solidarity with immigrant youth in Florida who are ringing in the new year by walking to DC and parents who are embarking on an indefinite fast, Jean’s children will demand their father be released and that the laws change so families are no longer torn apart. Religious leaders and community members will begin fasting and other forms of resistance until the children’s demands are met.

WHO: Jani Montrevil (wife of detained immigrant leader Jean Montrevil)
Janiah Montrevil (Jean Montrevil’s 11 year old daughter)
50 additional children of affected immigrants and concerned community members
Rev. Robert B. Coleman, Interim Chief Program Minister, The Riverside Church
Rev. Giovanny Sanchez, Senior Minister, Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit--and more!

WHEN: Friday, January 1st at 11:30am (press arrive at noon)

WHERE: Judson Memorial Church 55 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012Trains B/D/F/V/A/C/E to West 4th Street

Please bring your children and outreach to your faith community or organization!
If you'd like to join in the fast, please send the following information to Rachel at or (646) 395-2925:
-your name
-your affiliation (faith community or organization)
-how long you intend to fast
-and why.

Recent Media Coverage
Democracy Now!:

Video of Jean reporting to an ICE check-in:

Visit our website at for photos from last night's vigil, a letter from Jean's wife, and more.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

NYC Immigrant Advocates: Stop Deportation of Activist Jean Montrevil

Greencard-holding Father of Four and Immigrant Rights Leader Ripped from Family and Detained for Deportation during Holidays

(Press release from NYC New Sanctuary Movement)

December 30, 2009--Despite being a legal immigrant in the United States since 1986, and despite being the husband of a U.S. citizen and father of four U.S. citizen children, Jean Montrevil, a long time community leader and activist, was detained for deportation to Haiti this morning. Mr. Montrevil was attending a regular check in when he was detained by agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Montrevil is facing deportation for a 20-year old conviction, for which he has long since served his sentence; he has never broken any law since.

Mr. Montrevil is a leader in a variety of immigrant rights groups including Families for Freedom and the NYC New Sanctuary Movement (NY NSC) and Detention Watch Network. In his fight for justice on behalf of all immigrants, Mr. Montrevil has gained the support of U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velasquez, and also by NY State Senator Thomas K. Duane and NY State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick.

The NYC New Sanctuary Coalition has called an emergency vigil for 6 p.m. tonight outside the Varick Street ICE Detention Center (Varick and Houston Streets), which will end with a procession to Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, for a 6:30 p.m. service to demand that Mr. Montrevil be released and that ICE stops separating our families and communities. Mr. Montrevil’s wife and children will be present at the service, as well as his many community supporters.

Rev. Michael Ellick, one of Mr. Montrevil’s pastors at Judson Memorial Church, stated: “It is outrageous that ICE is trying to tear this good man from his children at this holiday season. We will not rest until Jean is released and returned to his family and until immigration agents stops tearing our families and communities apart.”

Mr. Montrevil recently applied to be granted “deferred action” on his deportation order. Such deferral is within the discretion of the NYC ICE Director of Detention and Removal Operations, Christopher Shanahan. He was detained today before even receiving a response.

Deportations to Haiti are especially controversial, since that nation suffers from economic, political, and weather-related crises that make it hard to absorb deportees. Haiti’s president has formally requested the United States to grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians, as has been granted to immigrants from other chaotic nations, but Pres. Obama has so far not supported that request.

For photos, videos, and more information on Jean:

Getting Tough on Exploitation

by Amy Traub, The Nation
November 17, 2009

Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the Obama administration would seek legal status for 12 million undocumented immigrants in early 2010. Hard-right tea party organizers reportedly switched gears immediately to denounce the move. Congressman Lamar Smith found it "ironic" that Napolitano framed the push for comprehensive immigration reform as a way to improve the economy. But Napolitano is absolutely right: reforming the nation's immigration laws to bring millions of people already participating in our economy out of the shadows would boost tax revenue, lift the economy and protect working Americans from the unfair labor market competition they now face. The biggest problem is that Congress may be dangerously slow to act: even the much-needed extension of unemployment benefits took the Senate months to approve.

While legislators drag their feet, the Obama administration can act quickly on its own to stop the erosion of middle-class jobs. Directing his agencies to enforce the nation's existing labor and employment laws more vigorously, while halting the enforcement of broken, economically harmful immigration laws is one powerful way to do it. [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ICE Agents' Ruse Operations

by Jacqueline Stevens, The Nation
December 17, 2009

Guatemalans in the Boston area are seeing spies infiltrating factories, buses with tinted windows taking away unidentifiable co-workers, and men with guns grabbing their neighbors. For these survivors of state violence, it's a traumatic reminder of the very thing they thought they had left behind. Twenty-six-year-old Julia, arrested in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid, said, "If they are taking children away and everything, then for me, that's a second war." She told her story in interviews with Professors Brinton Lykes and Dan Kanstroom of Boston College's Post-Deportation Human Rights Project.

Thirteen of the fifteen Guatemalans in the town of Chimaltenango who had organized a group on behalf of loved ones picked up by ICE in the US could not locate them. These Guatemalans, in meetings with Lykes and Kanstroom, also spontaneously brought up the decades-long civil war that ended in 1996, during which 200,000 were killed and thousands vanished. A woman who lost her son and husband in the war and who was desperate to find her grandson asked the two professors, "Are they being disappeared?" [...]

Read the full article:

See also the same author's "America's Secret ICE Castles," and read the comment from a former detainee.

Monday, December 28, 2009

On Religion: Trying to Build Bonds With Immigrant Stories

by Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times
December 25, 2009

OAKLAND, Calif.--On the last Sunday before Christmas, from an altar flanked by Advent candles and potted poinsettias, the Rev. Clarence L. Johnson preached to the Mills Grove Christian Church about the Nativity. A precise and measured man, Mr. Johnson departed just once from his typewritten text.

In the midst of recounting a certain birth in ancient Judea, the minister placed his gaze a dozen rows back into the congregation and rested it on a dark-haired woman in a patterned blouse. He called her by name, Luz, and then he went back into his sermon, to words he had surely chosen with her in mind. [...]

Read the full article:

For more on Luz Dominguez, whose case is mentioned in the article, see David Bacon's Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants; for a review, see "The Immigration System: Maybe Not So Broken."

The important work of two immigrant rights organization is also discussed, East Bay Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice and Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Report: Nativism Is Anti-American Workers

Of the 87 politicians graded 'A' by FAIR, 68% voted against increasing the minimum wage, 83% voted against extending unemployment compensation, 93% voted against equal pay for women, 94% voted against the Employee Free Choice Act, 82% voted against providing parental leave for federal employees.

by Prerna Lal,
December 10, 2009

Today America's Voice Online released a report titled "The Anti-Worker Truth about the Anti-Immigrant Lobby" and held a teleconference with experts regarding the recent anti-immigrant exploitation of economic woes to scapegoat immigrant workers.

The report analyzes the voting records of 87 politicians in the 110th Congress on labor issues who received an A from the anti-immigrant hate-group FAIR. It proves in clear terms that politicians who blame immigrants for unemployment do not hold the best interest for American workers. [...]

Read the full article:

For more on the anti-immigrant right's claim to support U.S. workers, see:
Why They Hate Immigrant Workers, and Why We Love Them

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dear Santa: What Part of Illegal Don't You Understand?

Dear Mr. Santa Claus,

This is an open letter from William Gheen, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee, Jim Gilchrist founder of The Minuteman Project, Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE, Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Buchanan, the members of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, and most Republicans, along with some Democrats, in the U.S. Senate.

We have just received word from the North Pole that you have been delivering presents to the United States all of these years without adhering to the proper legal immigration procedures. We ask you, Mr. Claus, the same question we ask of all illegal aliens in America, "What part of ILLEGAL don't you understand?" [...]

Read the full letter:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Arrested for Working: ICE Raids Newburgh, NY Airport

New York State Community Groups condemn recent raid at Stewart Airport
December 22, 2009

Milan Bhatt: 845-331-6615
Betsy Palmieri: 914-977-3295

The Workers' Rights Law Center of NY and Hudson Valley Community Coalition strongly condemn the recent raid at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY. In the early hours of December 17th, in the midst of the holiday season, over a dozen workers of Empire Warehouse Solutions were swept away and detained in the Orange County Jail, a facility that recently entered into a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The whereabouts of several workers are still unknown. Immigrant and worker advocates are well-aware of the disturbing trend of mass workplace raids in states such as Iowa and Mississippi and increasing cooperation nationwide between local law enforcement and immigration authorities. The sting at Stewart Airport could not have set a more dangerous precedent for New York, a state with one of the country’s highest immigrant populations and one that has historically been a leader in protecting their rights.

Low-wage immigrant workers in New York, already vulnerable to wage exploitation and other abuse, will now face heightened fear when showing up to work. Last Thursday’s raid also ripped apart entire families in the region, many of whom were comprised of U.S. Citizens. Advocates throughout the region and state reject any new policy by ICE in New York that accelerates the detention and deportation of hard-working immigrant populations. Those who have been devastated by this raid are our neighbors-the fabric of our communities and the driving force in many sectors of our local economy. They deserve to be treated fairly and humanely. As Congress last week has once again taken up the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, it is critical that New York continue to model pro-immigrant policies, not practices that punish hard-working communities for political gain.

Also posted on the Diginity & Due Process Blog .

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Holiday Shopping Time, While the Peace of the Graveyard Marches On

And if it makes you uncomfortable to read this while you would prefer to think about your last-minute Christmas shopping, that's fine, as long as your discomfort leads you to action.

by Jane Guskin, Huffington Post
December 21, 2009

In Colombia there is an expression: la paz del cementerio - the peace of the graveyard.

This is the kind of peace that powerful forces enjoy when everyone who resists them is dead and buried.

Colombia's government and its military and paramilitary forces have spent decades working diligently for this kind of peace. The country is so intent on achieving it that its even dispensed with the graveyard. According to Senator Gloria Inés Ramírez, more than half a million people have been forcibly disappeared in Colombia in the past 33 years.... Of the cases investigated so far, fewer than 2,500 bodies have been located, mostly in mass graves.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Call for Immigration Reform With Human Rights for Immigrants

For Immediate Release
December 17, 2009
Colin Rajah 510-465-1984 ext. 306
Laura Rivas 510-465-1984 ext. 304

On International Migrants Day, December 18:
U.S. Immigrant Rights Groups Call for Immigration Refor That Recognizes Dignity and Human Rights of Immigrants

(Oakland, CA) Immigrant rights groups urged today, International Migrants Day (December 18) that the U.S. government adopts immigration policy reforms and practices that recognize and respect the dignity and human rights of all immigrants, regardless of status. The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) commended Rep. Luis Gutierrez for introducing landmark legislation in the House of Representatives to reform immigration policiesthis week but also called for an end to existing policies and programs that criminalize and abuse immigrant communities. [...]

Read the full press release:

ACLU: Workers and Same-Sex Couples Need Protection in CIR

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Unveiled
Bill Addresses Longstanding Problems in Immigration Enforcement Practices but Fails to Protect Workers and Same-Sex Couples

December 16, 2009
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312;

WASHINGTON – Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), along with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, introduced late Tuesday HR 4321, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), legislation that takes major strides toward repairing America’s broken immigration system. The American Civil Liberties Union strongly supports responsible reforms to U.S. immigration policy and calls on Congress to ensure that any legislation protects the civil rights, civil liberties and human rights of everyone in the United States, regardless of his or her immigration status. [...]

Read the full press release:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Immigration Bill Is Introduced in House

by Randal C. Archibold, New York Times
December 15, 2009

The on-again, off-again drive to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws moved back to Congress on Tuesday with the introduction of legislation that would open a path to legal status for millions of illegal immigrants.

The bill, introduced by Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois, was seen as the opening volley in what Democrats and Republicans expect to be a hard-fought battle. President Obama has pledged to take up the issue early next year; efforts to overhaul the laws during George W. Bush’s presidency failed despite the backing of Mr. Bush and some Republicans. [...]

Read the full article:

For a downloadable summary of the bill:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

America's Secret ICE Castles

by Jacqueline Stevens, The Nation
December 16, 2009 (January 4, 2010 edition)

"If you don't have enough evidence to charge someone criminally but you think he's illegal, we can make him disappear." Those chilling words were spoken by James Pendergraph, then executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of State and Local Coordination, at a conference of police and sheriffs in August 2008. Also present was Amnesty International's Sarnata Reynolds, who wrote about the incident in the 2009 report "Jailed Without Justice" and said in an interview, "It was almost surreal being there, particularly being someone from an organization that has worked on disappearances for decades in other countries. I couldn't believe he would say it so boldly, as though it weren't anything wrong."

Pendergraph knew that ICE could disappear people, because he knew that in addition to the publicly listed field offices and detention sites, ICE is also confining people in 186 unlisted and unmarked subfield offices, many in suburban office parks or commercial spaces revealing no information about their ICE tenants--nary a sign, a marked car or even a US flag. [...]

Read the full article:

Alleged Police Cover-Up Adds Shocking Angle to the Racist Murder of Luis Ramirez

by Joshua Holland, AlterNet
December 16, 2009

It was always difficult to comprehend how a jury could find the young Pennsylvania men who brutally murdered Luis Ramirez -- a Mexican immigrant and father of two young children -- during the hot summer months of 2008 not guilty. The six young men surrounded Ramirez, shouted racial slurs at him and beat him to death.

If federal charges bear out, the result should come as little surprise; justice was apparently not served in the case. As attorney Patrick Young writes, many in the community would have had you believe "that the racial epithets hurled at Ramirez did not make this killing a hate crime.

"They also expect you to see no unfairness in the fact that the initial investigation into the crime was carried out by the partner of a cop who was sleeping with the mother of the young man accused of killing Ramirez. Or that the first person arrested in the incident was a Latino who tried to come to Ramirez's rescue." [...]

Read the full article:

See also:
Federal Charges Are Filed in Killing of Immigrant
by SeanN D. Hamill, New York Times
December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mass Firings--The New Face of Immigration Raids

"President Obama is responsible for putting us in this situation," she charges angrily. "This is worse than an immigration raid. They want to keep us from working at all."

by David Bacon, The Progressive
December 2009/January 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA (12/10/09) -- Ana Contreras would have been a competitor for the national tai kwon do championship team this year. She's 14. For six years she's gone to practice instead of birthday parties, giving up the friendships most teenagers live for. Then two months ago disaster struck. Her mother Dolores lost her job. The money for classes was gone, and not just that.

"I only bought clothes for her once a year, when my tax refund check came," Dolores Contreras explains. "Now she needs shoes, and I had to tell her we didn't have any money. I stopped the cable and the internet she needs for school. When my cell phone contract is up next month, I'll stop that too. I've never had enough money for a car, and now we've gone three months without paying the light bill."

Contreras shares her misery with eighteen hundred other families. All lost their jobs when their employer, American Apparel, fired them for lacking immigration status. [...]

Read the full article:;action=read&id=366

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Immigrant Laundry Workers on Strike in MA

Centro Presente Stands in Solidarity with Striking Immigrant Workers

Somerville, MA, Dec. 11 - Over 400 immigrant workers of Angelica Textile Services in Somerville initiated a strike on Thursday, December 10th at 11:00 am. A national corporation, Angelica provides laundry and linen services to area hospitals and healthcare facilities through its Somerville facilities located across the street from the offices of Centro Presente on Inner Belt Road in East Somerville.

The strikers had been working without a contract since December 1st. Negotiations between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1445, representing the workers, and the company stalled on the provision of a living wage and improved benefits, including parental leave and affordable healthcare. Of the 450 workers, mostly immigrants, only 23 did not join the strike on the first day.

Beginning at 6:00 a.m. the strike continued into the frigid evening until midnight and resumes today at 6:00 am. Centro Presente will maintain its doors open to the workers for the entire time period to provide a respite from the frigid temperatures. The staff of Centro Presente have also literally stood with the workers on the picket line.

Today, Friday December 11th there will be a larger rally at 11:00 a.m. in front of the offices of Angelica at 30 Inner Belt Road at noon, come and show support for these brave workers as they fight for Justice!

Patricia MontesExecutive Director
Centro Presente17 Inner Belt Road
Somerville,MA 02143

617-629 47 31 Ext. 211

Friday, December 11, 2009

Feds Tighten Guest Worker Departures

Immigration News from Frontera NorteSur (FNS)
December 11, 2009

In a pilot project, the Department of Homeland Security’s US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has started requiring foreign guest workers to leave behind identifying information at two Arizona ports of entry. Launched December 8, the new exit system applies to holders of H-2A and H-2B visas.

According to a CBP press release, the pilot program kicked off this week at the San Luis and Douglas ports of entry bordering the Mexican state of Sonora. Under the federal requirements, departing guest workers will stop at a kiosk to scan their visas and fingerprints and return their 1-94 arrival/departure forms. Instructions for completing the process will be in both Spanish and English.

“The goal is to ensure that temporary workers comply with the requirement to leave the country when their work authorization expires,” the CBP stated. “The program will also help secure US borders more effectively and streamline existing guest worker programs.”

As of this week, any foreign guest worker in the H-2A and H-2B programs and admitted entry to the US at San Luis or Douglas will also have to leave the country at the same location.

The Arizona pilot program came as the CBP reported that more than 205,000 H-2A and more than 58,000 H-2B visa admissions were granted during Fiscal Year 2009. Compared to earlier statistics cited in a newsletter published at the University of California at Davis, H-2A admissions of temporary agricultural workers were up significantly in 2009.

According to UC Davis’ Rural Migration News, in Fiscal Year 2008 there were 173,100 H-2A admissions, mostly of Mexican nationals. In FY 2007, 87,300 H-2A admissions were registered, while 46,400 were counted for FY 2006.

On the other hand, H-2B visas, which are granted to workers in fields such as gardening, landscaping and tree planting, experienced a drop off in 2009. Rural Migration News earlier reported 110,000 H-2B visa admissions in FY 2008 and 155,000 in FY 2007.

Sources: US Customs and Border Protection, December 10, 2009. PressRelease.
Rural Migration News, April 2009.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University Las Cruces,New Mexico
For a free electronic subscription email:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rethinking Trade Policy for Development: Lessons From Mexico Under NAFTA

“There is increasing international recognition that trade policy in the Western Hemisphere should be overhauled,” conclude the authors, based on this comprehensive review of Mexico’s economic performance under NAFTA. “Now is the time for the U.S., Canadian, Mexican, and other developing country governments to take a fresh look at NAFTA’s experience and shape trade and development policies to better meet the needs of their people in a manner that respects the right to development, job creation, and the environment.”

By Eduardo Zepeda, Timothy Wise, and Kevin Gallagher, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
December 2009

Mexico’s disappointing experience with NAFTA underscores the need to reform trade agreements between the United States and developing countries.

Despite an increase in trade, foreign investment, and productivity since NAFTA took effect in 1994, Mexico has been disappointed by slow economic growth and weak job creation. In addition, recession in the United States is hitting Mexico particularly hard, given its dependence on its northern neighbor. [...]

Read the full article:
Read the report:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NYC, 12/13/09: "Farmingville" screening

Resistance Cinema, in collaboration with the New Sanctuary Movement, presents:

Farmingville (2004, 78 minutes)

Produced and Directed by Catherine Tambini and Carlos Sandoval, Camino Bluff Productions Inc. & CatTails LLC.

Special guest speaker: Janis Roshuevel, Director of Families For Freedom

When: Sunday December 13, 2009 1pm
Where: Community Church of NY Assembly Hall, 40 East 35th Street, New York, NY (between Madison & Park Avenues, 6 train to 33rd Street & Park Avenue, D/F/N/Q/R to 34th Street-Herald Square)
Admission: Free, donations appreciated

Light refreshments will be served

Explore the issue of immigration in film and discussion

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, "Farmingvile" is a provocative, complex, and emotionally charged look into the ongoing nationwide controversy surrounding a suburban community, its ever-expanding population of undocumented immigrants, and the shocking hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers.

Janis Roshuevel will speak on:
"Everyone Is Responsible for Immigrant Justice"

Families For Freedom
Founded in September 2002, Families For Freedom is a New York-based multi-ethnic defense network by and for immigrants facing and fighting deportation. We are immigrant prisoners (detainees), former immigrant prisoners, their loved ones, or individuals at risk of deportation. We come from dozens of countries, across continents. FFF seeks to repeal the laws that are tearing apart our homes and neighborhoods; and to build the power of immigrant communities as communities of color, to provide a guiding voice in the growing movement for immigrant rights as human rights.

Information: 718-843-0515, &

Paraguay named "illegal immigrant" to consular post

by Pedro Servin, Associated Press
December 2, 2009

ASUNCION, Paraguay — Paraguay named an undocumented U.S. immigrant to run its consulate in New York, discovering his illegal status only when the man returned home to get his diplomatic papers and was denied a U.S. visa.

Paraguay's foreign ministry acknowledged Wednesday that it was a mistake to name Augusto Noguera as the consulate's "first official," but said President Fernando Lugo annulled the decision as soon as he was informed of the U.S. Embassy's visa denial.

Vice Foreign Minister Manuel Maria Caceres told The Associated Press that the decision to name Noguera as a diplomat Sept. 21 was made in good faith since the ministry didn't know of his legal status in New York. [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Arrests of illegal immigrants along border drop 25%

By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times
November 25, 2009

Reporting from San Diego - Arrests of illegal immigrants along the California-Mexico border declined 25% this year as a weak economy and bolstered enforcement efforts appear to be discouraging treks north, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Tuesday.

The downward trend is evident across the Southwest border as apprehensions fell to levels not seen since the early 1970s. The U.S. Border Patrol arrested 556,000 people last year, 152,200 of them in California, according to statistics released for the federal fiscal year ending Sept. 30. [...]

Read the full article:,0,5713070.story

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"ICED Out": an important new report from the AFL-CIO

Report: Unbalanced Immigration Enforcement Hurts All Workers’ Rights
by James Parks, AFL-CIO Blog

October 27, 2009

Some of the Indian workers from the Signal International shipyard, who rallied in front of the White House in 2008, were singled out for investigation by immigration officials.

When Josue Diaz, an immigrant worker and his co-workers protested the inhumane and illegal working conditions at a construction site in Texas, their employer called local police and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security. But the law enforcement officials didn’t enforce the workers’ rights or penalize the employer. They arrested the workers. [...]

Read the full article:

Read the full report:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Immigration Detention System Lapses Detailed

by Nina Bernstein, New York Times
December 2, 2009

Growing numbers of noncitizens, including legal immigrants, are held unnecessarily and transferred heedlessly in an expensive immigration detention system that denies many of them basic fairness, a bipartisan study group and a human rights organization concluded in reports released jointly on Wednesday.

Confirmation of some of their critical conclusions came separately from the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general, in an investigation that found detainee transfers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were so haphazard that some detainees arrived at a new detention center without having been served a notice of why they were being held, or despite a high probability of being granted bond, or with pending criminal prosecutions or arrest warrants in the previous jurisdiction. [...]

Read the full article: