Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stop S-Comm, protect immigrant victims

Petition against the "Secure Communities" program from Jackie Mahendra and

When an L.A. woman named Isaura Garcia finally worked up the nerve to call 911 -- after two years of brutal beatings by her husband -- her fingerprints were sent to a federal database for immigration checks. Even though Isaura only called the police to protect herself, she was quickly targeted for deportation under a program known as “Secure Communities,” or S-Comm.

Isaura is just one of the tens of thousands of immigrants in the United States who reports crimes to the police. They are put at serious risk by S-Comm, the controversial deportation program that forces collaboration between local police and federal immigration agents.

This is one reason why Illinois has pulled out of the program -- and why communities in Maryland, New York, and California are challenging it. It's also a reason why Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey demanded a thorough investigation into the program. And why the federal government is finally preparing one.

Given all the controversy, it's unbelievable that this mass deportation program is still spreading across the country, with new programs taking root every month.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network has already gathered 2,500 signatures on its petition demanding a moratorium on the so-called “Secure Communities” program, at least during this pending investigation. Will you add your name now?

Luckily for domestic violence survivor Isaura Garcia, a host of great organizations went public with her case, and she no longer faces deportation. Still, Isaura worries – and rightly so -- that many other women stuck in violent situations like hers will be forced simply to bear the abuse rather than run the risk of being banished from their families in the U.S.

Not only is this unjust, but it makes entire communities less safe when residents are afraid to turn in criminals and work with the police to solve violent crimes.

Stand with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and sign the petition on calling for an immediate moratorium on the dangerous S-Comm program:

Thanks for taking action,
Jackie and the Team

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