Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guilty Verdict in Killing of Long Island Man

By Manny Fernandez, New York Times
April 19, 2010

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — The white teenager accused of killing an Ecuadorean immigrant in a racially motivated attack was convicted on Monday of manslaughter as a hate crime, in a case that put a spotlight on anti-Hispanic violence on Long Island.

The verdict in State Supreme Court came 17 months after the fatal stabbing in 2008 in Patchogue. The teenager, Jeffrey Conroy, was also found guilty of gang assault in the attack on the immigrant, Marcelo Lucero, as well as attempted assault on three other Hispanic men. He was acquitted of the most serious of the 20 charges against him, second-degree murder as a hate crime. [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NY Immigration Agent Pleads Guilty to Sex Coercion

By Associated Press via New York Times
April 15, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal immigration officer who was recorded demanding sex from a woman in exchange for a green card has pleaded guilty.

Isaac Baichu pleaded guilty to all the charges against him Wednesday in Queens. The 48-year-old is expected to receive a prison sentence of 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years.

The case involved a Colombian woman married to an American citizen. The woman said she gave in to one sex demand in December 2007 because she was afraid, but she used a mobile phone hidden in her purse to record the encounter.

She took the recording to The New York Times and to the Queens district attorney's office.

Baichu was arrested in March 2008 after meeting with the woman again, this time with prosecutors listening in.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

'Activist' UCSD professor facing unusual scrutiny

Last month, Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine; Brian Bilbray, R-Carlsbad; and Darrell Issa, R-Vista, sent a letter to Fox questioning whether the university should be helping illegal immigrants.

By Eleanor Yang Su, Union-Tribune staff writer
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UCSD professor Ricardo Dominguez is facing unusual scrutiny from campus police and auditors for his involvement in two divisive projects — one that helps migrants find water stored along the border and another that disrupted the UC president’s Web site through a virtual sit-in. [...]

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Across the Border, Over the Line

In this nation of immigrants and their descendants, we have become so obsessed with rooting out, locking up and packing off those whom we decide should not be permitted to remain among us that we are in danger of losing a moral center of gravity.

By Linda Greeenhouse, New York Times blog
April 8, 2010

The Supreme Court’s ruling recently that lawyers have a duty to warn their noncitizen clients about the potentially disastrous immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a criminal charge seemed so sensible that it left me wondering why a question with such an obvious answer needed to be debated by the Supreme Court in the first place. Surely if the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of effective assistance of counsel means anything, it means that lawyers must advise their clients that admitting to even a minor offense can earn a noncitizen a quick one-way ticket into what immigration law delicately calls “removal proceedings.” [...]

Read the full blog:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brooklyn, 4/15: Forum on Haiti

Discuss how the progressive community can express solidarity with the Haitian people.

Thursday, April 15th, 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture
53 Prospect Park West at 2nd Street
Park Slope, Brooklyn

(#2 or #3 train to Grand Army Plaza)
Contributions appreciated

"Images of the Earthquake"
Tequila Minsky, photo-journalist who was in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck

"The Latin American Response"
Dr. Luther Castillo, Honduran graduate of the Latin America Medical School in Havana who is in the coordination of the Cuban medical team in Haiti

"The U.S. Response"
David L. Wilson, co-editor of Weekly News Update on the Americas and co-author of The Politics of Immigration

"The Haitian Response"
Bazelais Jean-Baptiste, Seeds for Haiti and Mouvman Peyizan Papay (Papaye Peasant Movement), and
Marie Yoleine Gateau of NEGES Foundation, a community project to rebuild Léogane, the epicenter of the earthquake

Organized by the Latin America Committee of Brooklyn For Peace
For more information:

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 10: Trail of Dreams Walk-a-thon, National Day of Action for Immigration Reform

1) April 10, 2010: Trail of Dreams NY Walk-a-thon
2) April 10, 2010: National Day of Action: Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago, Lakewood (NJ), Philadelphia, El Paso, Providence (RI)


1) April 10, 2010: Trail of Dreams NY Walk-a-thon

MEDIA ADVISORY (español sigue al ingles)
For Immediate Release: April 10th, 2010

Media Contact: Sonia Guinansaca,
Office: 212-627-2227 ext 248, Cell: 347-260-5844

Trail of Dreams: Immigrant Youth to Walk 250 Miles to Washington DC, Urging Passage of Dream Act

What: Inspired by the courageous walking journey to DC of four immigrant youth from Miami, five immigrant youth from NY will begin their own 250 mile walk to DC on April 10th. The group will kick off their journey on April 10th with a press conference followed by a 7.5 mile community walk-a-thon across the George Washington Bridge to Union City, New Jersey. Along the way to DC, the walkers hope to raise awareness about the issues facing undocumented youth and their families. They will join the Florida Trail of Dreams walkers on May 1st in DC. [...]

Read both announcements at:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NYC, 4/8 THU: Support the Families Without Borders Tour

On March 8 the State Department denied tourist visas to a group of thirty women from San Francisco Tetlanohcan, Mexico. The group, a community theater project, had engagements in New York and New Haven to perform a play based on the real-life stories of migrant families.

On Thursday, April 8, the day of one of their scheduled performances in New York, people will gather at the Brecht Forum in New York's West Village neighborhood to watch a brief documentary on the history of the project, observe a minute of silence on the stage where the play would have been presented, engage in a dialogue about immigration and trade practices, and sign a petition to pressure the government to reverse its decision.

**Day of Action for the Families Without Borders Tour**

Thursday, April 8, 2010, 7 pm
At the Brecht Forum, 451 West Street
between Bank & Bethune Streets in Manhattan

(take the A/C/E/L to 14th Street & 8th Avenue or the 1/2/3 to 14th Street & 7th Avenue, walk down 8th Avenue to Bethune Street and walk west to the Hudson River)

The performers are from Soame Citlalime (Nahuatl for "Women of the Stars"), a community theater group in a small town in Tlaxcala state. Using improvisation and other exploratory activities with the help of U.S.-based actor and playwright Daniel Carlton, these women created an original play, "La Casa Rosa," based on their own experiences. The play tells the story of two sisters fighting for control of their ancestral land following the death of their mother. In the background is the struggle to create consciousness and solidarity around a campaign to investigate and prevent disappearances of young migrants crossing the desert.

The IIPSOCULTA U.S. foundation (The Institute for Social and Cultural Practice and Research in Mexico), under the direction of Marco Antonio Castillo, supported the project and helped arrange the New York and New Haven tour--the "Families Without Borders Tour," which would give the performers a chance to visit family members living in New York and Connecticut. The mayor of New Haven, professors from Yale and the University of Connecticut, and many other concerned U.S. citizens wrote letters supporting the group's visa applications. But the U.S. embassy in Mexico turned down the applications, humiliating the group during an interview and making them feel unworthy of a visa to the United States.

We cannot let the United States silence more voices from Mexico. The women of Soame Citlalime deserve another chance to tell their stories. Come to the Brecht Forum on April 8 and help get the U.S. embassy to reconsider the visa application.


The speakers will include director Daniel Carlton and David Wilson (co-author, The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers)

For background on Soame Citlalime and community theater projects, go to:

For more information, contact:
Stephanie Bifolco, 516-592-1219,

Directions: 212-242-4201, &

Friday, April 2, 2010

Quake Survivors Freed From Immigration Jails

By Nina Bernstein, New York Times
April 1, 2010

More than three dozen Haitian earthquake survivors were released from Florida immigration jails on Thursday after more than two months in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rushed From Haiti, Then Jailed for Lacking Visas

By Nina Bernstein, New York Times
March 31, 2010

More than two months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, at least 30 survivors who were waved onto planes by Marines in the chaotic aftermath are prisoners of the United States immigration system, locked up since their arrival in detention centers in Florida.

In Haiti, some were pulled from the rubble, their legal advocates say. Some lost parents, siblings or children. Many were seeking food, safety or medical care at the Port-au-Prince airport when terrifying aftershocks prompted hasty evacuations by military transports, with no time for immigration processing. None have criminal histories. [...]

Read the full article: