Friday, July 31, 2015

"Dreams Deported": Book on Immigrant Youth and Families Campaigning Against Deportation

Edited by Kent Wong and Nancy Guarneros

Dreams Deported: Immigrant Youth and Families Resist Deportation is a UCLA student publication featuring stories of deportation and of the courageous immigrant youth and families who have led the national campaign against deportations and successfully challenged the president of the United States to act.

This is the third book on this topic published by the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education. The first book, Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out, was the first in the country written by and about undocumented immigrant youth. The second book, Undocumented and Unafraid: Tam Tran, Cinthya Felix, and the Immigrant Youth Movement, is a tribute to Tam and Cinthya and captures the voices of a new generation who are coming out of the shadows, making history, and changing our country.

"This powerful collection illuminates some of the real stories behind our national deportation crisis that demands an immediate and compassionate response."
—Marian Wright Edelman, president of Children’s Defense Fund

"This book illustrates the urgency of building a broad-based movement for basic human rights for all. The time is long overdue to end not only mass incarceration but also mass deportation in America."
—Dr. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

"My music video “Wake Me Up” features Hareth Andrade, one of the courageous immigrant youth featured in this book. Hareth represents a new generation of immigrant youth activists who are standing up, speaking out, and making change."
—Aloe Blacc, Grammy-nominated recording artist

"Dreams Deported conveys our immigrant experiences of inspiration, struggle, and resistance, using the powerful tool of transformative, intimate storytelling. While US incarceration and deportation levels have hit record highs, a growing movement for justice has emerged from the shadows of fear and family separation."
—Sofia Campos, United We Dream

ISBN 978-0-9836289-5-8

To order the book, go to:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Judge blasts ICE, says immigrant children, parents in detention centers should be released

By Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times
July 25, 2015

A federal judge has ruled that hundreds of immigrant women and children held in holding facilities should be released, finding their detention “deplorable” and in grave violation of an earlier court settlement.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said federal authorities had violated key provisions of an 18-year-old court settlement that put restrictions on the detention of migrant children.

The ruling, released late Friday, is another blow to President Obama’s immigration policies and leaves questions about what the U.S. will do with the large number of children and parents who crossed the border from Latin America last year.

The Obama administration is detaining an estimated 1,700 parents and children at three detention facilities, two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania.

In her 25-page ruling, Gee blasted federal officials, saying that children had been held in substandard conditions at the two Texas detention centers. She found “widespread and deplorable conditions in the holding cells of Border Patrol stations.” In addition, she wrote that federal officials “failed to meet even the minimal standard” of “safe and sanitary” conditions at temporary holding cells.[...]

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Access Judge Gee's decision:

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stop Securing the Border and Start Valuing Migrants' Lives

Above all, we need to remember that border enforcement isn't just a counterproductive waste of taxpayers' money; it's also lethal.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
July 27, 2015

US billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not the only politician intent on barricading the southwestern border of the United States. Calls for "regaining control of our border" are commonplace in US political discourse, routinely repeated by both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. The most recent proposal for "comprehensive immigration reform" is a good example. The bill, which passed the Senate in June 2013 but was blocked by House Republicans as "dangerously liberal," included provisions for doubling the current number of Border Patrol agents and adding $30 billion to the border enforcement budget over the next ten years.

The general public overwhelmingly backs these calls for more enforcement. While a survey the Pew Research Center conducted in May found respondents generally supportive of immigrants - 72 percent said undocumented people now living here should be allowed to stay - 80 percent thought "a lot" or "more" could be done to reduce unauthorized immigration at the borders.

This support continues despite a complete lack of evidence that an increase is necessary or that it would be effective - or even that there's an actual "crisis" of people crossing the border. What the facts show, on the contrary, is that the current policy is expensive and counterproductive and needs to be rolled back.[...]

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Las Ciudades de Santuario/Sanctuary Cities

(Engish Version Follows Below)

Por Elvira Arellano
11 de Julio, 2015

Cuando entré en el santuario en 2005 el Consejo Municipal de Chicago expresó su apoyo y declaró que Chicago ya era una “ciudad de santuario” en la cual la policía municipal negaría cooperar con los agentes federales de inmigración. Cuando el gobierno federal empezó a implementar su programa de “Comunidades Seguras” la importante del movimiento de las ciudades de santuarios aumentó, pues el gobierno empezaba a compartir su información con corporaciones municipales de policía, y empezó la práctica de retener a indocumentados arrestados hasta permitir que los agentes de inmigración los recogiera.

El movimiento resistió. Ciudades en todo el país aprobaron medidas que prohibieron que sus policías retuvieron presos para ser transferidos las autoridades migratorias. Pudimos citar los casos de miles de personas que fueron detenidas por infracciones de tránsito, entregadas a los agentes migratorios, y luego deportados, separándolos de las familias que trabajaban para apoyar.[...]

By Elvira Arellano
July 11, 2015

After I went into sanctuary in 2005 the Chicago City Council went on record in my support and declared Chicago a “sanctuary city” in which local police would not work as agents for the federal immigration department. The idea of a sanctuary city grew in importance as the federal government began the secure communities program, merging information sharing with local police departments and creating the policy of “holding” undocumented arrestees until ICE could come and pick them up.

The movement fought back. Cities across the country passed legislation barring their police forces from holding arrestees for ICE detention. We cited thousands of people who were picked up on traffic violations, turned over to ICE, deported and separated from the families they were working to support.[...]

Read the full article/Lea el artículo completo:!topic/sanctuarymovement/kTY7V-XD5GE

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Opinion: Vaccination of immigrants without consent in Dilley was flagrant abuse

What is egregious about the vaccine issue is the complete disregard for the idea that these women have control of their own bodies or the bodies of their children. What is egregious about the vaccines is the rejection of the idea of consent. What is egregious about the vaccines is that a private prison corporation is profiting from the abuse and control of these innocent children and mothers. What is egregious about the vaccines is that ICE thinks that they can act with impunity.

By Aseem Mehta, Fox News Latino
July 10, 2015

On the evening of Friday July 3, we became aware of a particular incident of our government’s systematic mistreatment of hundreds of young, captive children and their mothers. A spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) noted that about 250 detained children were administered adult doses of the hepatitis A vaccine in an immigration detention camp in Dilley, TX. The agency was quick to minimize this mistake, immediately asserting that “no adverse reactions are expected.”

Yet, this flippant dismissal offers us little in the way of clarity – let alone explanation or empathy – and prompts us to ask: what exactly happened in Dilley? And why?

I am working to provide legal services with the CARA Project there, where nearly 2,000 children and mothers are incarcerated by the federal government after seeking asylum. How did asylum seekers get dosed with potentially harmful amounts of vaccine by the federal government?[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Human rights advocates to Senate: Central American aid package could violate internationally-protected refugee rights

For immediate release:
July 8, 2015
Laura Embree-Lowry
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)
(202) 521-2510

Sixty organizations call on Senate to uphold international protections for asylum-seekers, end U.S. policies that contribute to regional violence and inequality

Washington, D.C. – In advance of Senate’s markup of the FY16 State and Foreign Operations bill on Thursday, over sixty U.S. organizations sent a letter calling on members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to rectify potential violations of international protections for Central American refugees that were introduced by House Republicans in their draft bill.

Leading religious, labor, and human rights organizations warn that conditions included in the House’s bill that would require Central American countries to take action, including militarization of their national borders, to stop migrants from leaving the region in order to receive continued US assistance violate core tenets of international law that protect the freedom to leave one’s country.[...]

Read the full press release at:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Judge: Family of Mexican teen killed by Border Patrol agent can sue in U.S.

Fox News Latino, from Associated Press
July 10, 2015

TUCSON, ARIZONA (AP) – The mother of a Mexican teen killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in a cross-border shooting can continue a lawsuit in the case, a federal judge has ruled.

The civil rights case against Agent Lonnie Swartz over the death of 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez will go forward after U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins denied a part of his motion to dismiss the case.

An attorney for Swartz argued that Rodríguez was not protected by the U.S. Constitution because he was in Mexico at the time of the shooting.

In a similar case in Texas, a federal appeals court ruled that a teen killed in Mexico by a border agent in El Paso was not protected by the Constitution.

But Collins wrote he respectfully disagrees with that finding.[...]

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Court Greenlights Detainees' Forced Labor Class Action Against GEO

English and Spanish Media Contact: Nina DiSalvo Phone: (970) 403-5694


July 8, 2015

Landmark Ruling: Immigrant Detainees’ Class Action Claims For Forced Labor, Unjust Enrichment May Proceed Against The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO)

Denver, CO – In an historic ruling, a multi-million dollar federal class action lawsuit filed by nine federal immigrant detainees against private prison contractor The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO) received the green light to go forward on Tuesday. The lawsuit, filed by current and former immigrant detainees held in Aurora, Colorado, accuses GEO of violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), and demands millions of dollars in damages for forced labor and unjust enrichment. This is the first time in history that a court has held that a for-profit immigrant detention contractor may be held liable for violating the TVPA.[...]

Read the full press release at:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Seven myths about immigration

[The immigration situation in the United is different from the one in the United States, but the misinformation from politicians and the media is pretty much the same.--TPOI]

By Ian Sinclair, openDemocracry
July 7, 2015

A confession: I don’t find immigration very interesting. In fact in many ways I find it quite dull. I know, I know, it is an important topic, but shamefully I have real trouble garnering enough enthusiasm to follow the latest developments as closely as I know I should. However, the level of debate surrounding immigration leading up to May’s General Election frustrated me so much I felt I should write some kind of response to the ignorant assertions and straight out lies endlessly repeated across the media, often with little push back from presenters or the audience.

The misinformation ranges from the blatant and sometimes racist (Nigel Farage and UKIP passim) to more subtle forms such as the implicit assumptions behind the right-wing policy proposals coming out of the mouths of so-called respectable, centrist politicians. For example, Labour’s proposal to make EU migrants wait for two years before claiming out of work benefits is based on the false assumption a large number of people are coming to the UK to claim benefits.

Labour’s caving in to the right on immigration means many of the lies have gone unchallenged, with the debate moving sharply to the right.[...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Detained immigrant children given adult dose of hepatitis A vaccine, none hospitalized

Fox News Latino, from Associated Press
July 5, 2015

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – About 250 immigrant children were given an adult dose of a hepatitis A vaccine at a Texas detention facility where they were being held with their mothers, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

The vaccines were administered this week, but none of the children has been hospitalized or had any adverse reactions, ICE officials said Saturday

ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said health care professionals will monitor the children over the next five days for any potential side effects, though none are expected.

"Parents at the facility were advised and counseled by medical professionals about potential side effects, with services made available in multiple languages," Rocha said in a statement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hepatitis A virus can cause liver infection and is usually transmitted among individuals and through the consumption of contaminated food or water.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Report: Border Patrol Union Officials Working with Hate Groups

By Doug Porter, San Diego Free Press
June 30, 2015

A newly released report from the Center for a New Community (CNC) says there is a systemic pattern of behind-the-scenes collusion between officials of unions associated with the Border Patrol and prominent anti-immigrant hate groups.

Last year’s protests in Murrieta, California are cited in “Blurring Borders: Collusion between Anti-Immigrant Groups and Immigration Enforcement Agents” as an example of Border Patrol agents coordinating with anti-immigrant forces. On July 1st, 2014, anti-immigrant activists used civil disobedience to block federal buses carrying refugee women and children to a Border Patrol processing center.[...]

Read the full article:

Read the report:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Donald Trump backlash: 'I love Mexico' but promises border wall if elected

By Martin Pengelly, The Guardian
June 28, 2015

As the aftershocks of his campaign launch attack on Mexico and Mexicans rumbled on, Donald Trump used an interview on Sunday to say “I love Mexico”.

The business mogul-turned-White House hopeful subsequently said, however, that once in office he would if necessary do “something very severe” to make Mexico pay for his promised border wall between the two countries.

Launching his bid for the Republican nomination in 2016 at his business HQ in New York, Trump was discussing his views on immigration when he said: “[Mexico is] sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists.”

Responses included official condemnation, the withdrawal by TV network Univision from Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, a golf course ban and the creation in Mexico of a Donald Trum-campaign. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Number of Homeless Latino Immigrants Grows

LaChapel said that since 2010, the number of homeless immigrants in search of a piece of bread and some hot soup has increased rapidly in his church.

By Zaira Cortés, El Diario/La Prensa
June 29, 2015

Translated from Spanish by Marianna Breytman for Voices of NY

His tattered clothes scream for help through all of their open seams, but their cries don’t get the pity of passersby hurrying along. He doesn’t remember his name, but they call him Pepe Sopo in the Bronx. He introduces himself as a hopeless Mexican without a ceiling above his head. “I am tired of this bloody life,” he whispers, hiding a toothless smile with his calloused hand. “The only thing I have is the street.”

Pepe says that he is in his 40s, lacking the privilege of having a memory. He may have been born in 1972, but he doesn’t have any identity documentation that confirms his age. He looks older, with his skeletal body, consumed by hunger and addiction, and the deep wrinkles in his dark skin.

“It’s quite strange that you’re interested in when I was born because no one cares that I’m going to die,” he said. “We die without anyone praying to our sweet, little God for our souls.”[...]

Read the full article in English:

Read the original in Spanish:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The True Story of a Texas Prison Riot

And how our rush to lock up immigrants has overwhelmed the federal prison system.

By Seth Freed Wessler, The Nation
June 23, 2015

The Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, Texas, is now empty. As of late May, a single security guard sat in a small car in the entrance to the parking lot. It has been like this since prisoners so ransacked the facilities in a February riot, cutting and burning holes in the Kevlar domes that held them, that the Federal Bureau of Prisons declared it “uninhabitable.” The agency moved the inmates to other prisons and declined to renew its contract with the private corrections company that ran the facility. Nearly all of the 400 employees were terminated.

Willacy’s operating company, Management & Training Corp., says the riot was plotted by inmates and was unavoidable; the SWAT team it deployed to control inmates, a measured response to prisoner unrest. This version of the story, which has circulated in the press since the days after the riot, is at best a partial truth, and one that obscures the company’s own aggression. A fuller account of the events at Willacy points to deep problems with the federal government’s management of a soaring population of immigrants it incarcerates for border crimes.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, July 3, 2015

Immigrants' Lawsuit Over Post-9/11 Detention Is Revived; Ashcroft and Mueller to be Deposed

By Adam Liptak, New York Times
June 17, 2015

Saying that high-ranking Bush administration officials may have taken part in grave constitutional violations after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday revived a long-running lawsuit brought by immigrants, most of them Muslim, who said they were subjected to beatings, humiliating searches and other abuses in a Brooklyn detention center.

"The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy," Judges Rosemary S. Pooler and Richard C. Wesley wrote in a joint opinion for a divided three-judge panel of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

"Holding individuals in solitary confinement 23 hours a day with regular strip-searches because their perceived faith or race placed them in the group targeted for recruitment by Al Qaeda violated the detainees' constitutional rights," the judges said.[...]

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Agentes de Migra Fuera de Control/Confront Rogue ICE Agents

Agentes de Migra Fuera de Control
Por Elvira Arellano
17 de junio, 2015

(English Version folows below)

Mientras que esperamos para que las cortes federales fallen a favor de las órdenes ejecutivas del presidente Obama, el presidente ha mandado que el departamento de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE) suelte a todas aquellas personas que calificarían para un aplazamiento según aquellas órdenes. El Jefe del Departamento de Seguridad Interna (Homeland Security), Jeh Johnson, ha dicho que esta “acción por discreción” debe llevarse a cabo lo más pronto posible. Es una política beneficiosa y las familias que, si se llega a implementar, podrán quedar unificadas, merecen que se cumpla en forma total y completa.

Las familias lo merecen pero muchas veces no lo están recibiendo. Acompañados por el congresista Luis Gutiérrez, hace poco tuvimos una reunión con los agentes encargados de la oficina de ICE en Chicago. Cuando en caso de ellos se les apela un fallo, estoy segura que van a responder conforme a las órdenes dadas por el presidente Obama. Pero la reacción de los agentes que trabajan para ellos es otro asunto.[...]

Lea el artículo completo:

Confront Rogue ICE Agents
By Elvira Arellano
June 17, 2015

While we wait for the courts to clear President Obama’s executive orders ICE is under instruction from the President to release those who would qualify for deferments under those orders. The head of Homeland Security has said that this “discretionary action” should happen at the earliest stage possible of the process. It is a good policy and the families that will be kept together deserve its full, complete and thorough implementation.

The families deserve it - but often they are not getting it. We recently met with the agents in charge of the Chicago office along with Congressman Gutierrez. When an appeal for a ruling is made to them I am convinced they will follow the guidelines set out by the President. The agents that work for them are a different story.[...]

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Suit alleges U.S. violates rights of immigrant detainees

By Emile Schepers, People's World
June 15 2015

An important class action suit was filed in United States District Court for the District of Arizona last week alleging that U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement (CBP) officials have been massively violating the constitutional and human rights of detainees in Border Patrol lockups in the Tucson, Arizona sector of their operations.

The suit, filed by three specific plaintiffs as representative of a class of at least 75 and potentially tens of thousands, was filed by attorneys for the law firm of Morrison and Foerster LLP, the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Council of Arizona, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.[...]

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