Thursday, September 30, 2010

Still fighting Sensenbrenner!

What we learned was the Repubicans' “dirty little secret”: they did not want to get rid of the system of undocumented labor, they just wanted to control it.

By Elvira Arellano, Familia Unida Latina
September 28, 2010

While I was in the United States, Familia Latina Unida had the opportunity to meet with the infamous Congressman Sensenbrenner. The Wisconsin Senator had introduced – and passed in the House of Representatives – the most repressive law against the undocumented. The movement had responded with the largest marches in the history of the United States. Later in the spring of that year, the movement forced the passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, only to have the Republican controlled House of Representatives refuse to even consider it. [...]

Todavía estamos luchando en contra de Sensenbrenner

Lo que aprendimos fue el “pequeño secreto sucio” de los republicanos, que es que no desean desmantelar al sistema de mano de obra indocumentada; mas bien lo pretenden controlar.

Por Elvira Arellano, Familia Unida Latina
September 28, 2010

Cuando yo vivia en los Estados Unidos, la Familia Latina tuvimos la oportunidad de reunirnos con el infame congresista Sensenbrenner. El congresista de Wisconsin había introducido en la Cámara de Representantes y logrado la aprobación de la ley más represiva en contra de los indocumentados. El movimiento había respondido por medio de las mayores marchas de protesta en la historia de los Estados Unidos. Después durante la primavera de aquel año, se logró aprobar una reforma integral de las leyes de inmigración en el Senado pero la Cámara de Representantes, en aquel entonces controlada por los republicanos, ni siquiera lo consideró. [...]

Read the full article:

Also in El Diario-La Prensa (NY), September 29, 2010:

Birthright Citizenship Is Bedrock Americanism

By Van Gosse, Huffington Post
September 27, 2010

We need to get clear: birthright citizenship was a core principle at the founding of the Republic in 1776. Yet now, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wants to hold Senate hearings on the bedrock constitutional precept that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Las mujeres de La Casa Rosa" & Last NYC Performances

Silvina Sterin Pensel, El Diario-La Prensa (NY)
September 26, 2010

La obra se montó hace un año y es la primera vez que sale de gira

El grupo ocupa casi todo el vagón; algunas dormitan, otras repasan el guión y otras conversan. En este tren rumbo a Connecticut viajan más de 20 mexicanas que en un par de horas presentarán La Casa Rosa, una obra teatral que aborda frontalmente la temática de la inmigración, sus causas y sus efectos principalmente en aquellos que quedan atrás, aquellos que no se van y se aferran a la tierra.

Devenidas en actrices, estas mujeres del pequeño pueblo de San Francisco Tetlanohcan; en Tlaxcala, son principalmente madres, hermanas, abuelas e hijas de inmigrantes que partieron rumbo al norte con la esperanza —fallida o no— de un mejor porvenir. [...]

Read the full article:

See also:
Mexican Community Theater: A Different View of Immigration

Last Three NYC Performances

Sunday September 26th, 3-5 PM at Intar, 500 West 52nd Street 4th floor, New York, NY.


Monday September 27th, 7-9 PM at Intar, 500 West 52nd Street 4th floor, New York, NY.


Wednesday, September 29th, 7:30-9 PM at University Settlement Speyer Hall, 184 Elderidge St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY.


Mexican New Yorkers Are Steady Force in Workplace

“Illegal immigrants are very convenient,” said Demetrios Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington. “Employers are quite interested in employing people who are willing to work and to overlook some labor laws.”

By Kirk Semple, New York Times
September 22, 2010

Night and day, the heavy front door rarely stops swinging. Men and women pass one another at the entrance of a four-story building on 21st Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on their way out to work, or back in for a few hours of sleep between shifts. They are line cooks, construction laborers, deliverymen, deli workers, housecleaners and gardeners. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Family Fight, Border Patrol Raid, Baby Deported

By Adam Liptak, New York Times
September 20, 2010

A few days before her daughter Rosa’s first birthday, Monica Castro and the girl’s father had a violent argument in the trailer they all shared near Lubbock, Tex. Ms. Castro fled, leaving her daughter behind.

Ms. Castro, a fourth-generation American citizen, went to the local Border Patrol station. [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Immigration Crackdown Steps Into the Kitchen

“We always, always hire the undocumented workers,” he said. “It’s not just me, it’s everybody in the industry. First, they are willing to do the work. Second, they are willing to learn. Third, they are not paid as well. It’s an economic decision. It’s less expensive to hire an undocumented person.”

By Sarah Kershaw, New York Times
September 7, 2010

FOR a man facing the possibility of up to 30 years in prison, almost $4 million in fines and the government seizure of his small French restaurant here, Michel Malecot has an unusually jovial and serene air. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Are Immigrants "Good for the Economy"?

by David L. Wilson, MRZine
September 18, 2010

U.S. progressives have expressed a great deal of concern about the effects of anti-immigrant hysteria in the general population, from criminal attacks on immigrants to vicious legislation like Arizona's SB 1070. But instead of just condemning the hysteria, maybe we need to ask ourselves what we've been doing to counter it.

Not very much, according to one experienced immigrant rights organizer. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Claims Of Border Program Success Are Unproven

by Ted Robbins, National Public Radio
September 13, 2010

[This is the second in a three-part series that takes an in-depth look at a little-known program that is pushing the boundaries of the American justice system along the U.S.-Mexico border: Operation Streamline. NPR's Southwest correspondent Ted Robbins has spent the past three months analyzing court data and documents on the program.]

The Border Patrol says three measures prove Operation Streamline is a success. First, it says, few of those convicted try to cross the border again. Second, it points to the decrease in the total number of people being apprehended crossing illegally. And third, the government says Operation Streamline has allowed it to concentrate on more serious crime. [...]

Read the full article:

Passaic no permitirá redadas

[The mayor of Passaic, NJ, has announced that the city will not cooperate with the federal government's immigration raids.]

Cristina Loboguerrero, El Diario-La Prensa (NY)
September 13, 2010

Ciudad santuario se compromte a reforzar protección de inmigrantes

PASSAIC, NJ – El alcalde de Passaic, Alex Blanco, realizó una alianza con tres gobernadores electos de México para garantizar que ningún inmigrante residente o que trabaje en Passaic sea arrestado por las autoridades de inmigración.

"Ni inmigración ni las redadas son bienvenidas a Passaic", dijo enfáticamente Blanco, explicando que Passaic fue declarada "ciudad santuario" hace tres años, pero actualmente "estamos públicamente reforzando nuestro compromiso de proteger a los inmigrantes". [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Diminishing Returns

I feel like the immigrant rights movement has gotten really good at communicating to elected officials, to immigrants themselves, and to people that nominally care about immigrants. However, we have not been able to effectively communicate to people that are legitimately on the fence or falling off the fence to the other side.

By Subhash Kateel, Organizing Upgrade
September 1, 2010

In 2006 and again in 2008 I wrote pieces inspired by friends and colleagues working on the ground predicting the coming Immigrant Apartheid. In 2006, I laid out that a set of institutions was developing to ensure that immigrants, non-citizens specifically, “would permanently have less rights than citizens.” [...]

Read the full article:

Full Calendar for "La Casa Rosa," September 2010

Dear Friends,

For those of you who missed the standing room only NY premiere at the Wings Theater on August 8th, below are some audience responses to the show (as if you needed more encouragement). And at long last, here is the final and complete schedule of the Families Without Borders tour of "La Casa Rosa."

All performances are free, though we are gratefully accepting donations because...

"La Casa Rosa" has been invited to Arizona State University as the featured performance of a multi-national conference on SB 1070 (Arizona's controversial immigration law). While the conference sponsors have been generous and supportive, airfare and visa extensions even for a truncated troupe will stress their budget, so we are hoping to raise some additional funds on our own to make sure that the voices of these women can be heard in Arizona.

Thank you all one more time for your supportive messages throughout this year-long process. We couldn't have done it without you and we are really looking forward to sharing the final product with you at these special, upcoming events.

Daniel Carlton

September Program / Calendario de Septiembre
All performances are FREE / Todas presentaciones son GRATIS

Monday, September 20th, 7-9 PM at Yale (theater located inside Morse College and Ezra Stiles College) off Tower Parkway, New Haven, CT.

Wednesday, September 22nd, 7-9 PM at Coop Arts High School, 177 College Street, New Haven, CT.


Thursday, September 23rd, 11 AM-1 PM at University of Connecticut at Storrs, Storrs, CT.

Saturday September 25th, 2-4 PM at Queens Art Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York.


Sunday September 26th, 3-5 PM at Intar, 500 West 52nd Street 4th floor, New York, NY.


Monday September 27th, 7-9 PM at Intar, 500 West 52nd Street 4th floor, New York, NY.


Wednesday, September 29th, 7:30-9 PM at University Settlement Speyer Hall, 184 Elderidge St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY.


For more information, please contact Stephanie at

If you are bringing a large group to a performance, please RSVP. learn more about:
-"Families Without Borders" breaks borders, reunites families!
-to meet the actors of the play from Mexico, Soame Citlalime
-to read previous Press Releases

**La Casa Rosa is looking for volunteers for September to help with each performance, in addition to pre-performance tasks such as outreach, production, and community organizing. Please respond to this email if you are interested in volunteering.

Deported AIDS Patients

Frontera NorteSur (FNS)
September 8, 2010

Health officials in the northern Mexican border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, routinely attend persons suffering from AIDS and deported from the United States. Armando Covarrubias Trevino, chief of the Ambulatory Center for the Prevention of AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, told the Mexican press that six deported AIDS victims were seen by Mexican health and immigration officials in Reynosa during the month of August alone. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

With Papers or Without - the Same Life in a Labor Camp

By David Bacon, New America Media
August 31, 2010

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (8/29/10) - On a ranch north of the Bay Area, several dozen men live in a labor camp. When there's work they pick apples and grapes or prune trees and vines. This year, however, the ranch has had much less work, as the economic recession hits California fields. State unemployment is over 12%, but unemployment in rural counties is always twice what it is in urban ones. Unemployment among farm workers, however, is largely hidden.

In the case of these workers, it's hdden within the walls of the camp, far from the view of those who count the state's jobless. Because they work from day to day, or week to week, there are simply periods when there's no work at all, and they stay in the barracks. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Number of illegal immigrants in U.S. drops, report says

By Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post
September 1, 2010

A deep recession and tougher border enforcement have led to a sharp decline in the number of immigrants entering the United States illegally in the past five years, contributing to the first significant reversal in the growth of their numbers in two decades, according to a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The number of illegal immigrants entering the United States plunged by almost two-thirds between 2005 and 2009, a dramatic shift after years of growth in the population, according to the report. [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mexican Community Theater: A Different View of Immigration

by David L. Wilson, MRZine
September 3, 2010

In a small, crowded theater in New York's West Village the night of August 8, a group of thirty indigenous women from central Mexico finally got a chance to perform their play before a U.S. audience.

The cast, members of the community group Soame Citlalime ("Women of the Star" in Náhuatl), had spent the past year creating "La Casa Rosa," a 90-minute drama about the impact of immigration on their village, San Francisco Tetlanohcan, east of Mexico City in the state of Tlaxcala. An April tour in New York and New Haven, sponsored by the New Haven-based Institute for Social and Cultural Practice and Research in Mexico (IIPSOCULTA U.S.), had to be cancelled at the last minute when the U.S. embassy in Mexico City denied the group's application for visas. [...]

Read the full article:

Placing the Massacre of Migrants at the Feet of U.S. Immigration Control & Trade Policies

From Arnoldo Garcia, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
August 27, 2010

Dear NNIRR members, partners, allies & friends,

Migrant workers continue paying a heavy price as a result of the volatile mixture of the U.S. militarization of immigration control and border communities, the criminalization of migration, the expansion of NAFTA or “free” trade under the “Merida Initiative,” a war on drugs and national security.

On Tuesday, August 24, 2010, devastating news reports began trickling out about a horrific massacre of some 72 international migrants that took place in Mexico. Armed members of a drug cartel had kidnapped these Central and South America migrants. The cartel gunmen were trying to extort ransom money from them to let them continue on their dangerous journey to the U.S. with the hope of reuniting with their families and seek work to survive.

The drug traffickers had tied the migrants’ hands behind their backs and then executed them by shooting them in the back. One migrant who survived the execution, although gravely wounded, dragged himself miles when he stumbled upon a military checkpoint on a highway and alerted them. Some 200 soldiers were mobilized and went to the farmhouse where a heavy gun battle ensued, leaving one soldier and three drug cartel gunmen dead. Then the soldiers made the grisly discovery of the migrants’ bodies, 58 men and 14 women—migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Brazil—who been slaughtered inside a farmhouse close to San Fernando, a small farming community in the Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas and about a 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.

Epidemic of Abuse and Exploitation of Migrants
The Mexican government’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reports that more than 10,000 migrant kidnappings have been reported in the first six months of 2010 in Mexico. Yet, the CNDH and the Mexican government have not worked to effectively protect migrants, expose the abuses and prosecute the traffickers and their collaborators in the police, military and other government entities.

Drug traffickers and smugglers, as well as police and military, often hold migrants hostage and force them to pay high ransoms before they are allowed to continue usually on the last leg of their journey to the U.S. The CNDH said that in the first half of 2009, when only some 9,000 migrant kidnapping cases had been reported, corrupt government officials and police, organized crime, traffickers and other criminals extorted as much as $25 million dollars from kidnapped migrants.

When migrants make it to the U.S.-Mexico border, they fare no better. The U.S. deliberately funnels migrants into the deserts and mountains of Arizona and parts of New Mexico and Texas. Here at the border they are subjected to another layer of abuse. They are thrown into the hands of smugglers and other traffickers who have no second thoughts about abandoning individuals, who are often injured or suffering severe exhaustion, in the wilds, where migrants face a certain death either by extremes of heat or cold.

As a result of criminalization and few if any options to regularize their status or migrate with rights, U.S. and international migration control policies make migrant workers easy targets for exploitation and criminal attacks and extortions, where they live and work or whether in they are in transit or in the U.S.

Although Mexico is a signatory to the “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families,” the Mexican government’s de facto policies and treatment of migrants is a bloodied mark on the convention. The U.S. is not a signatory to the migrant workers’ human rights convention. U.S. immigration enforcement and services, bound up to the U.S. politics of national security, are rife with abuses and human rights violations.

Mexican and U.S. policies, collusion through inaction, and their own impunity have created a situation where thousands of migrants are being subjected to extremes of abuse. The massacre of migrants in Mexico shows that drug traffickers have “diversified” their wares to include humans. They act with impunity, either as a result of official corruption or collusion that turns a blind eye to the exploitation, and results in the unfortunate death of migrants “funneled” by U.S. policies through the deadly desert and mountainous areas of the border.

Migrants who survive the journey only slightly fare better. Once out of the clutches of traffickers and smugglers they face a gauntlet of unscrupulous police, elected officials and employers who prey upon them. Or they are further criminalized and are hunted down, filling the dungeons of prisons, euphemistically called “detention centers.”

What is to be done?
What is to be done? Certainly, we should call for the investigation and prosecution all the abusers and those in government who collaborated in this heinous crime. But even this will not be enough. To prevent further abuses will take historic efforts on our and the immigrant rights and justice movements’ part. It will mean organizing to make the U.S. and Mexican governments decriminalize migration and demilitarize immigration control and border communities. These demands also have to expose the root causes and push back on economic and trade policies that undermine communities and forcibly displace workers and divide families.

For now we ask everyone to take a minute to reflect on this horrendous massacre of innocents and to respect those migrants among us who have survived this odyssey – just to be with their families, to work and support their families and communities back home.

Arnoldo Garcia
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Red Nacional Pro Derechos Inmigrantes y Refugiados
310 8th Street Suite 303
Oakland, CA 94607
Tel (510) 465-1984 ext. 305
Fax (510) 465-1885

READ NNIRR's latest human rights report Guilty by Immigration Status:

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tucson Groups Launch "Yo Soy Testigo/I Am a Witness"

From Derechos Humanos in Arizona

Español Sigue Abajo

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2010
Contact: Kat Rodriguez, Derechos Humanos: 520.770.1373
Jason Aragon, Pan Left Productions: 520-792-9171
Lynda Cruz, Migra Patrol-Copwatch: 520-344-3270

Tucson Grassroots Organizations Launch a Community-wide Campaign to Document Law Enforcement Abuse and Racial Profiling

Press Conference
Thursday, September 2, 2010
11:00 AM
631 S. 6th Avenue, Tucson, AZ

Tucson- Local grassroots organizations join together to launch a community-wide campaign to report collaboration between local and state law enforcement and the Border Patrol. Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Pan Left Productions, and Migra Patrol-Copwatch will announce the details of the Tucson campaign to document racial profiling and abuse.

The Yo Soy Testigo (I am a Witness) campaign includes a phone number (520-261-5890) where Tucson residents can call to report incidents of racial profiling, which will be immediately transmitted to Migra Patrol- Copwatch, which will send volunteers to the scene to document the situation. The effort is focusing specifically on instances where the local and state law enforcement officers are inquiring about immigration status and calling the Border Patrol.

In the wake of the recent ruling by a Phoenix judge to grant an injunction on portions of SB 1070, which prohibits the creation of a new crime and police enforcement of federal immigration law, the Yo Soy Testigo Campaign intends to show that the reality is that the Tucson and South Tucson police departments, Pima County Sheriff, DPS, and other local agencies have been implementing such programs for years.

"We must shed the light on the fact that people have been living in fear of deportation and it's only getting worse," says Jason Michael Aragόn of Migra Patrol-Copwatch. "We are committed to resisting these injustices, and invite the community to be part of this campaign to document the oppression of our families and neighborhoods."

The Yo Soy Testigo campaign is a joint effort to encourage the active participation of the Tucson and South Tucson communities in reporting incidents of racial profiling and abuse on the part of law enforcement. The phone line will be staffed by volunteers of Derechos Humanos, who will document the reports coming into the hotline and notify members of Pan Left and Migra Patrol-Copwatch, who will be dispatched to the scene with cameras.

"We must not allow these injustices to continue to fill us with fear and silence. It is imperative, for the well-being of our communities, that we stand up and denounce these violations of human and civil rights" said Pati Moreno of Derechos Humanos. "We will expose this discrimination and racism, and move our communities toward justice and peace."


Para Su Publicación Inmediata
30 Agosto 2010
Contactos: Kat Rodriguez, Derechos Humanos: 520.770.1373
Jason Aragon, Pan Left Productions: 520-792-9171
Lynda Cruz, Migra Patrol-Copwatch: 520-344-3270

Organizaciones de Base Lanzan una Campaña Comunitaria Para Documentar Abusos de Autoridad y Perfil Racial en Tucson

Rueda de Prensa
Jueves, 2 de Septiembre del 2010
11:00 AM
631 S. 6th Avenue, Tucson, AZ

Tucson- Organizaciones de base locales se unen para lanzar una campaña comunitaria para denunciar y documentar la colaboración entre los departamentos de policía locales y la Patrulla Fronteriza. Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Pan Left Productions, y Migra Patrol-Copwatch darán a conocer los detalles de la campaña en Tucson para documentar la discriminación racial y el abuso.

La Campaña de "Yo Soy Testigo" (I am a Witness) incluye un número de teléfono (520-261-5890), donde los residentes de Tucson puedrán llamar para denunciar los casos de discriminación por perfil racial. La denuncia se transmitirá de inmediato a Migra Patrol-Copwatch, quien enviará voluntarios al lugar para documentar la situación. El esfuerzo se centrará específicamente en los casos en que los agentes de la policía pidan información acerda del estatus migratorio de las personas y llamen a la Patrulla Fronteriza.

A raíz de la decisión reciente de una jueza de Phoenix para eliminar ciertas porciones de la ley SB 1070, que prohíbe la creación de un nuevo delito y la ejecución de de las leyes federales de inmigración por parte de la policía, la campaña "Yo Soy Testigo" tiene la objetivo de mostrar cómo es que en realidad los agentes policiales han estado aplicando este tipo de programas desde hace años.

"Debemos enfatizar el hecho de que la gente ha estado viviendo con el temor de ser deportados y que esta es una situación que continúa empeorando", dice Jason Michael Aragόn de Migra Patrol-Copwatch. "Estamos comprometidos a resistir estas injusticias y a invitar a la comunidad a ser parte de esta campaña para documentar la opresión de nuestras familias y vecindarios."

La campaña Yo Soy Testigo es un esfuerzo conjunto para fomentar la participación activa de la comunidad del sur de Tucson y Tucson en la documentación y reporte de los incidentes de perfil racial y abuso por parte de los servicios policiales. La línea telefónica será atendida por voluntarios de Derechos Humanos, organización que documentará los reportes que lleguen a la línea de ayuda y notificará a los miembros de Pan Left y Migra Patrol-Copwatch, quienes serán enviados a la escena con las cámaras.

"No debemos permitir que estas injusticias sigan llenándonos de miedo y silencio. Es imprescindible, para el bienestar de nuestras comunidades, que nos pongamos de pie y denunciemos estas violaciones de los derechos humanos y civiles ", aseguró Pati Moreno de Derechos Humanos. "Vamos a exponer este tipo de discriminación y racismo, y a hacer que nuestras comunidades caminen hacia la justicia y la paz."


Yo Soy Testigo/I am a Witness
Comunidades Uniéndose a La Resistencia
Communities Uniting To Resist