Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taking a Hard Line: Immigrants and Crime

“The amount of dishonesty revealed in this process would make anyone question whether ICE recognizes it’s operating in a democracy,” Ms. Uribe said.

By Julia Preston and Kirk Semple, New York Times
February 17, 2011

After months of internal wrangling and confusion over an ambitious nationwide program allowing state and local police agencies to identify immigrants with criminal records, Obama administration immigration officials have decided to take a hard line against communities that try to delay or cancel their participation in the program, according to documents made public late Wednesday.

The program, Secure Communities, was initiated in late 2008 and is a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s strategy for enforcing immigration laws. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Undocumented Immigrants Stand Up to Chipotle

by David Bacon, The Nation
February 11, 2011

Last month six hundred workers at the Chipotle fast food chain were fired in Minnesota.

Their crime? Working.

In the last two years, thousands of others have been fired for the same offense—1800 young women at Los Angeles sewing machines, 500 apple pickers in eastern Washington, hundreds of janitors in Minnesota and California. They're all victims of the administration's "softer" immigration enforcement strategy. [...]

Read the full article (but note that The Nation incorrectly referred to the Dignity Campaign as the "Dine With Dignity Campaign):


No one knows where the next layoffs will be, but Chipotle workers in New York are nervous.

Arde la situación en Chipotle
Zaira Cortés, El Diario-La Prensa
17 de febrero, 2011

NUEVA YORK — Ante la revisión de documentos de inmigración a los trabajadores de 60 sucursales de Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. en los estados de Virginia y Washington, empleados neoyorquinos temen una posible inspección en los establecimientos de la localidad.

En días pasados, Chipotle despidió a cientos de trabajadores en Minnesota después de que el Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés) detectara "documentos sospechosos" tras una investigación de los formularios I-9, los cuales verifican si el personal labora legalmente.

El gerente general de una sucursal de Chipotle en Manhattan, quien se negó a dar su nombre, comentó que gerentes del Área Triestatal de Nueva York viajaron a Minnesota para brindar apoyo a los ejecutivos en esta ciudad.[...]

Read the full article:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Justice for Brisenia

Border vigilante guilty of murdering nine-year-old
By David Usborne, The Independent (UK)
February 16, 2011

A former beautician turned self-appointed border vigilante has been found guilty of murdering a nine-year-old girl and her father after bursting into their home in search of drug money to finance her group's operations.

Shawna Forde, who claimed to be the head of a group that would "kick down doors and change America" may now face the death penalty after the verdict by a jury in Arizona. [...]

Read the full article:

Justice for Brisenia! CDH Holding Press Conference on Forde Conviction
by Coalición de Derechos Humanos

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2011

Coalición de Derechos Humanos (520) 770-1373

Press Conference:

Justice for Brisenia!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011; 11:00am
At El Tiradito Shrine
(Cushing and Main Streets)
Tucson, AZ

Tucson-The Coalición de Derechos Humanos, southern Arizona organizations and national allies extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Brisenia Flores, and hope that today's verdict will help in the healing process. Many have been quietly and anxiously monitoring the trial of Shawna Forde, head of the Minutemen American Defense. Forde was the mastermind behind the planned home invasion, robbery and murder of the Flores family in order to fund their racist activities; Raul and Brisenia Flores, his nine year-old daughter, were shot and killed. Today, Forde was found responsible for her actions-she was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder and other related charges. Her accomplices are scheduled for March and June trials. [...]

Read the full press release:

For more on the murder of Brisenia Flores:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

After a False Dawn, Anxiety for Illegal Immigrant Students

By Julia Preston, New York Times
February 8, 2011

MILWAUKEE — It was exhilarating for Maricela Aguilar to stand on the steps of the federal courthouse here one day last summer and reveal for the first time in public that she is an illegal immigrant.

“It’s all about losing that shame of who you are,” Ms. Aguilar, a college student who was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States without legal documents since she was 3 years old, said of her “coming out” at a rally in June. [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Orphaned in Mexico, trapped in ICE limbo

Girl, 3, awaiting asylum after grandmother, mom slain

By Susan Carroll and Dudley Althaus, Houston Chronicle
Febryary 2, 2011

The little girl is captured in a photo taken after her mother's murder, dressed in a frilly pink dress and clutching a grape lollipop, her face nestled in her grandmother's chest.

The grandmother, Marisela Escobedo, looks determined in the snapshot, taken at one of many protests she staged to demand justice for her 16-year-old daughter, Rubi Frayre, whose presumed killer walked free despite confessing to her murder.

It was at one of those protests that a gunman hunted down Escobedo, 52, and shot and killed her just steps from the state capitol building in Chihuahua City on Dec. 16. And in that moment, 3-year-old Heidi Barraza Frayre, the toddler photographed in the pink dress, became — for the second time in her short life — both a victim and a symbol of the deadly violence consuming Mexico.

The little girl now sits in a Houston shelter for immigrant children, separated from her remaining family, surely unable to understand much about the asylum request that has been filed on her behalf. [...]

Read the full article:

Amigos de las Mujeres de Juárez is asking for letters to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
For more information, write or go to

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Senators look for immigration deal

Immigration reform is 'in the infant stage,' Lindsey Graham said.

By Carrie Budoff Brown,
February 7, 2011

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have rekindled their alliance on immigration reform, taking some early steps to test the political will for addressing the contentious issue this year.

Their call list hasn’t focused so much on House and Senate members who’ve been reliable pro-immigration votes in the past. Instead, they’re looking to a strange-bedfellows mix of conservative and liberal constituencies that can provide a “safety net” of support, as Graham put it, once the issue heats up. [...]

Reead the full article:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Haiti: Deportee Dies, the Displaced Are Forgotten

Weekly News Update on the Americas
Issue #1066, February 6, 2011

A Haitian national with symptoms of cholera died in Haiti just two days after his Jan. 20 deportation from Florida by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Wildrick Guerrier was one of 27 Haitians repatriated in ICE’s first deportation of Haitian immigrants since an earthquake devastated southern Haiti in January 2010 [see Update #1064]. Immigrant rights advocates had warned about the dangers of resuming deportations, especially after a cholera epidemic struck Haiti in mid-October. “This is death by deportation,” Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC) executive director Cheryl Little said in a Jan. 31 press release. [...]

Read the full article:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

11.2 Million Illegal Immigrants in U.S. in 2010, Report Says; No Change From ’09

Conservative lawmakers...argue that birthright citizenship...encourages illegal immigrants to sneak in to have babies here in order to gain American citizenship for them. The Pew report found that about two-thirds of the illegal immigrant parents of the newborns had been living in the United States for at least five years.

By Julia Preston, New York Times
February 1, 2011

About 11.2 million illegal immigrants were living in the United States in 2010, a number essentially unchanged from the previous year, according to a report published Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington.

Despite continuing high unemployment among American workers, record deportations by the Obama administration and expanding efforts by states to crack down, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the work force — about eight million — was also unchanged, the Pew report found. Those workers were about 5 percent of the American work force. [...]

Read the full article:

Read the Pew Hispanic Center report: