Sunday, August 26, 2007

Stop the ICE Raids!

For the last several months, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has stepped up raids of workplaces and communities around the US. On August 22, ICE agents carried out a raid targeting current and former workers at the Smithfield pork plant in North Carolina. It was the second ICE raid targeting Smithfield workers since last January. The workers at Smithfield have been trying to organize against workplace abuses for over a decade. These ICE raids are creating a climate of fear that discourages organizing.

Jobs with Justice is organizing a fax protest campaign to stop the workplace raids. You can send a protest fax through their website at


By David Bacon
The Nation, web edition

August 23, 2007

"At the Woodfin Suites in Emeryville, California, the hotel threatened no-match firings after workers began demanding compliance with the city's living wage law. At the Cintas Laundry chain, plant mangers fired hundreds of employees last year in no-match checks during UNITE HERE's national organizing drive. The list goes on and on. [...]

"Now the Bush administration says that vastly increased checks will become a fact of life in every U.S. workplace. [...]"

Read the full article at

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How we can help two immigration activists

1. Donate to support Elvira Arellano's struggle

Immigration officials detained Elvira Arellano in Los Angeles on Aug. 19 and deported her to Mexico. She is currently staying with friends in Tijuana.

Arellano is the president of the Chicago-based immigrant rights organization Familia Latina Unida. For one year she stayed in the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago in defiance of a deportation order that would have separated her from her son, a US citizen. She left the church on Aug. 15 to continue her activism by speaking out on immigration issues in different cities, starting with Los Angeles; she had intended to end her tour with a prayer vigil in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC on Sept. 12.

You can help Arellano and her work by donating to:

Adalberto United Methodist Church
2715 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622


Centro Sin Fronteras
2300 South Blue Island Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608

Familia Unida Latina

2. Write a letter for Bronx activist Victor Toro

Immigration authorities detained longtime Bronx activist Victor Toro while he was traveling near Buffalo, NY in July. Toro is a Chilean who fled his home country after being imprisoned and tortured by Augusto Pinochet's military regime. Toro's next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12 in Buffalo.

His supporters are urging people to write letters to Immigration Judge Montante asking him to reassign the hearings to New York City. You can email the letters to Attorney Carlos Moreno, The following is a sample letter:

Hon. Philip J. Montante
US Department of Justice
Immigration Court 130 Delaware Avenue, Suite 410
Buffalo, NY 14202

Re: Victor Toro, A 88 187 516

Dear Judge Montante,

I have known Mr. Toro for __ years. Mr. Toro is highly respected within his community for all the work he does for the underprivileged of our community.

I have been informed by Mr. Toro's attorney, Carlos Moreno, Esq., that Mr. Toro's case has been assigned to you. I respectfully request that you consider granting Mr. Toro's request for a change of venue to New York City.

Mr. Toro is 65 years old and in poor health, and moving between New York City and Buffalo would be a real hardship for Mr. Toro and an unbearable drain on his scant resources.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Immigrant workers in a Chicago factory: Victory on the picket line

Lee Sustar and Orlando Sepulveda report on a victorious strike by immigrant workers in Chicago who walked out over threats to terminate them based on immigration status--and the implications of this struggle for the labor and immigrant rights movement

Socialist Worker August 17, 2007

See previous article:

Friday, August 17, 2007

Elvira Arellano: "I will go to Washington, D.C., on September 12"

Elvira Arellano, who took sanctuary in a Chicago church last year so that she would not be deported and separated from her son Saul, announced on August 15 that she was ending her stay in the church.

Press Release, August 15, 2007

From: La Familia Latina Unida/Sin Fronteras
Latino Families United/Sin Fronteras


“We cannot just sit by and watch our families be torn to pieces for the next three years. I cannot.

“The Congress must act in September to stop the separation of families, the torture of 4 million U.S. citizen children, the raids and deportations, the no match sanctions. They must act to stop the hatred.”

Surrounded by national movement and religious leaders, the families and children of Familia Latina Unida and her church, Elvira Arellano marked the one year anniversary of her time in sanctuary with her announcement that she would travel to Washington D.C. on September 12th.

“Out of fear and hatred of an enemy you cannot find you have set out to destroy our lives and our families. As you knocked on my door, you are knocking on thousands of doors, ripping mothers and fathers away from their terrified children."

Familia Latina Unida released proposals for action they are asking Congress to take in September. “While the road to citizenship is desirable, it is not our priority. Our priority is to keep our families and our communities together. We believe that these proposals provide an interim solution to the current crisis. We cannot wait three years until after the election."

The proposals include a safe harbor visa for parents of U.S. citizen children, a temporary work visa for those now employed here without papers, a reopening of 245i, the child citizen protection act, the dream act and Ag Jobs. "We recommend that consideration of the controversial guest worker program be put off and that labor needs be met through expanding existing temporary worker programs. While these proposals are under consideration, we call for an immediate moratorium on raids, deportations and separations of families.”

”When I entered sanctuary, I promised God that I would stay here and raise my son in his country no matter what the consequences. God has protected me for this long year, but I cannot sit by now and watch the lives of mothers and fathers like me and children like Saul be destroyed. I believe in my heart that the people of this nation do not, in their hearts, want to destroy our lives, our families and our communities. I believe, however, that we must come forward in the witness of faith to bring a resolution to this crisis.

“Therefore I have made my decision. On September 12th, I will go to Washington D.C.. I will go to pray and fast in front of the Congress. I will go with my Bible and my son and I will read to him from the Holy Scriptures as I do everyday.

“If this government would arrest me and separate me from my son, let them do it in front of the men and women who have the responsibility to fix this broken law and uphold the principles of human dignity.”

Ms. Arellano called for people around the country to join her in Washington on September 12th and called on people of conscience everywhere to observe the 12th by refraining from work, school and shopping. “Instead, on that day, let us be joined together in prayer everywhere.”


Join Elvira Arellano and Saul in Washingon, D.C.


2 P.M. TO 8 P.M.
for a prayer vigil on the Mall, in front of Congress

Wherever you are on September 12th:

For more information, visit:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Article: August 11 protests at Jersey day laborer hiring site

"Members of the pro-immigrant Residents Against Racism showed up to counter-protest an anti-illegal immigration group, the United Patriots of America, which holds weekly rallies on the Dumont side of Columbia Avenue. The UPA has targeted the location for more than a year because of a day laborer pick-up spot across the street in Bergenfield.."

Eveleyn Shih
The Record
Sunday, August 12, 2007

For more information on Residents Against Racism's monthly solidarity rallies, go to our earlier posting:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Immigrants overall have much lower per capita health care expenditures than native-born Americans..."

"...and recent analyses indicate that they contribute more to the economy in taxes than they receive in public benefits. In a study from the RAND Corporation, researchers estimated that undocumented adult immigrants, who make up about 3.2% of the population, account for only about 1.5% of U.S. medical costs."

Susan Okie, M.D
"Immigrants and Health Care — At the Intersection of Two Broken Systems"
The New England Journal of Medicine, August 9, 2007.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Excerpts from The Politics of Immigration in Immigrant's Weekly

Excerpts from The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers appeared in Immigrant's Weekly, published by the American Immigration LLC, in the issues of August 6 and August 13, 2007 .,0806.shtm,0813-guskin.shtm

Friday, August 10, 2007

Immigrant workers go on strike over Social Security "mismatch" letters

"In July, a group of Cygnus workers, with the support of the vast majority of permanent and temporary co- workers, approached management about a wage increase. Management's response was to tell workers that they had to resolve mismatched Social Security numbers by August 10. If they couldn't, they'd be fired."

by Orlando Sepulveda
and Shaun Harkin and Lee Sustar

The Socialist Worker

Saturday, August 11, 2007: Pro-Immigrant Picket in Bergenfield, NJ


Join Residents Against Racism at a Pro- Immigrant Vigil
8:00 am to 10:00 am
Corner of Columbia and Washington Aves.
Bergenfield, NJ

Anti-immigrant organizations across New Jersey have focused their efforts to push the so-called "287 G" legislation, which would train and empower local police to enforce immigration laws and lay the groundwork for deportation. They have also set up vigils across from day laborer gathering points to harass the workers.
Residents Against Racism and North Jersey Anti-Racist Action have been organizing against 287 G. Both groups have taken part in weekly pro-immigrant pickets in Bergenfield and stand up to the anti-immigrant United Patriots of American and NJ Citizens for Immigration Control actions.
On August 11th, we hope to build a much larger pro-immigrant demo. Let’s show the people of Bergen County that residents support the rights of immigrant workers and oppose 287 G!


Driving Directions: Rt. 4 (East or West) to the Teaneck Rd. Exit toward Bergenfield. Teaneck Rd. becomes Washington Ave in Bergenfied. Take a left at Columbia Ave. (Stop n Shop) at the Bergenfield/Dumont border. Park in the Stop n Shop parking lot.
Bus Directions (from NYC): NJ Transit bus #167 from Port Authority.

For more information, contact Greg at 201-803-7574,
or visit:

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Once we answer these questions, we will not be the same country."

"Will local communities share political power with newcomers? Will workers be able to organize to turn low-paying labor into real jobs? Will children go to school knowing their teachers value their ability to speak two or three languages as a mark of their intelligence, not their inferiority?

"Those who fear change are right about one thing. Once we answer these questions, we will not be the same country."

David Bacon
"Time for a More Radical Immigrant Rights Movement"
The American Prospect, web edition, 7/24/07