Saturday, May 28, 2011

Esequiel Hernandez, Jr., May 14, 1979 - May 20, 1997

From Coalicion de Derechos Humanos | P.O. Box 1286 | Tucson | AZ | 85702

Members of Derechos Humanos were present for the sham preliminary hearing that released the four marines involved with Esequiel's murder from any criminal liability.

We have been pressing for the realization that these policies result in damage to ALL of us, including U.S. citizens, and native sons like Bennett Patricio, Jr., a young Tohono O'odham man who was killed by a Border Patrol agent in 2002, Francisco Dominguez in 2007 and most recently Ramsés Barrón Torres in January and Carlos Lamadrid in March of this year.


Fourteen years ago today, Esequiel Hernandez, Jr. was shot and killed by U.S. Marines. The 18-year old was herding goats, a mere 100 yards away from his home in Redford, Texas. We honor the memory of this young man who never got the chance to live his dreams, whose life was lost in the most tragic way.

This is an excerpt from a memorial gallery online honoring his life:

"Unknown to Esequiel or any of the other residents of Redford, a group of four Marines led by 22-year old Corporal Clemente Banuelos had been encamped just outside the small village along the Rio Grande River for three days. After watering his small flock of goats in the river, Esequiel started on his way back home when the Marines began stalking him from a distance of 200 yards.

The four camouflaged Marines were outfitted with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment and weapons. Esequiel carried an antique .22 caliber rifle - a pre-World War I, single shot rifle to keep wild dogs and rattlesnakes away from his goats. The autopsy showed that Esequiel was facing away from the Marines when he was shot. He probably never knew the Marines were watching him from 200 yards away.

Thus it was that a 22 year-old United States Marine shot and killed an innocent 18 year-old boy tending his family's goats. This outrageous act was the inevitable consequence of a drug prohibition policy gone mad. Esequiel Hernandez was killed not by drugs but by military officers of the United States government."

Today, as we remember the life of this young man who deserved the future he dreamed, let us promise to seek just border policies that protect the life and dignity of those that live on both sides of the border. Policies that would allow the military into civilian have proven to be deadly, and we cannot afford to lose our brothers, sisters, and children to policies that seek to demonize those who only seek a better life for themselves. The deaths must stop!

The gravesite of Esequiel Hernandez, Jr. Standing at this spot one can see where he was killed, where he was born and the church where he was laid out. Photo courtesy of James H. Evans.

To view the online memorial gallery, visit:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Haiti - USA : United States extends the TPS for 18 months

Haïti Libre
May 17, 2011

The United States have decided to extend for 18 months the federal program Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, allowing evacuees from the January 2010 earthquake to leave Haiti for an 18-month period to live and work in the U.S. without documentation. This program which normally was to expire on July 22, is extended from July 23, 2011 until January 22, 2013, said Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.[...]

Read the full article:

Read the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement:,0520-haititps.shtm

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Critics Call for AZ Sheriff to Resign, Be Indicted

By the Associated Press, New York Times
May 11, 2011

PHOENIX (AP) — Critics of America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff on Wednesday called for his resignation and for the federal government to indict him and take control of his office amid allegations of corruption, racial profiling, and misspending.

The call for action comes after a recent investigation revealed evidence of corruption among Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's top commanders, and emails cited in court documents showed that top deputies circulated offensive jokes about Mexicans even as they were being scrutinized over allegations of racial profiling. [...]

Read the full article:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Illinois withdraws from federal immigration program

By Antonio Olivo, Chicago Tribune
6:50 a.m. CDT, May 5, 2011

Gov. Pat Quinn and state lawmakers Wednesday cast Illinois as a sympathetic voice in the nation's volatile immigration debate with two actions that run counter to a wave of pro-enforcement measures approved or under consideration in Arizona and other states.

Quinn's office on Wednesday sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security declaring the state's formal withdrawal from Secure Communities, a federal deportation program that targets hardened criminals but has also been used against illegal immigrants arrested for misdemeanor crimes. [...]

Nearly a third of all illegal immigrants deported out of Illinois under the program have never been convicted of any crime, the letter stated, citing federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement figures. Quinn's office suspended the state's role in the program in November amid concerns about its effectiveness. [...]

Read the full article:,0,4942631.story

The Great Immigration Stalemate

By Kent Paterson, Frontera NorteSur via New America Media
April 26, 2011

Five years ago, hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of people marched in big cities and small towns across the U.S. demanding justice for the nation’s estimated 12 million undocumented residents. Hitting a high point with work stoppages on May Day 2006, the pro-immigrant protest was the largest social movement in the U.S. since the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War years.

Mounting a counter-offensive, immigration restrictionists blocked legislation in Washington to legalize undocumented persons, while at the state and local levels they enacted a smattering of immigration-related laws and ordinances. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Halt Haitian deportations

Inhumane policy makes no sense
Editorial, Miami Herald
April 18, 2011

The resumption of deportations to Haiti revives a senseless and inhumane policy by the Department of Homeland Security. The last time this occurred, in late January, at least one of the deportees died within days, prompting a nearly three-month hiatus in deportations that has now been lifted for no good reason.

Conditions in Haiti remain appalling as the nation struggles to overcome a severe humanitarian crisis. An estimated 680,000 people are still stuck in camps for the displaced 15 months after the powerful earthquake that destroyed much of Port-au-Prince in January of 2010. A cholera epidemic has affected 234,000 people and caused a reported 4,500 deaths. A recent article in the British medical journal The Lancet estimated that, “absent new interventions,” the epidemic could sicken some 800,000 people and kill 11,000. [...]

Read the full editorial:

Read about the origin of the cholera:

Sign a petition calling for a halt to the deportations:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Study estimates that illegal immigrants paid $11.2B in taxes last year, unlike GE, which paid zero

By Albor Ruiz, New York Daily News
April 20, 2011

I bet most of you didn't know undocumented immigrants contributed more - much more - to the national treasury last year than General Electric. Surprised? Yet it's true.

While GE - which earned a whopping $14 billion last year - is reported to have paid nothing, nada, zero in taxes (GE denies it), the undocumented paid billions in state and local taxes in 2010. [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tucson Students Occupy School Board Meeting to Defend Ethnic Studies

The Real News
May 3, 2011

Students in Tucson, Arizona, took over a local school board meeting in order to prevent a controversial vote from taking place on the school district's ethnic studies program. Seven current Tucson high school students and two high school alumni chained themselves to the board chairs as a large crowd occupied the meeting room and held a rally. Tucson's Unified School District has become a focal point in Arizona's heated debate over the future of its Mexican-American studies program, after House Bill 2281 banning ethnic studies in public schools was passed--a week after the passage of the notorious anti-immigration bill SB 1070. [...]

Watch the video:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Chicago: High School Students Walk Out for Immigrant Rights

By Familia Unida Latina
May 5, 2011

High Schools from Chicago Walked out in protest on May 5, demanding that President Barack Obama issue humanitarian visas to Undocumented members of our communities with US citizen spouses or children.

Watch the video:

Pro-immigrant demonstrators block traffic in Chicago
By EFE, via Fox Latino
May 2, 2011

Chicago – Pro-immigrant activists and students blocked traffic on Monday in front of Chicago city hall in a noisy demonstration of civil disobedience to demand the end of deportations and the associated separation of families. [...]

Several protesters eluded the police cordon and blocked traffic by laying down in the street for several minutes until they were removed, but not before resisting and struggling with the cops. [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, May 6, 2011

More May Day Coverage

May Day Marches See Labor Join Immigrants' Struggle for Rights
By Eduardo Soriano-Castillo, Labor Notes
May 2, 2011

In cities throughout the U.S., tens of thousands marched on May Day to demand an end to attacks on workers and immigrants.

Some traditional hotbeds of activity, like Los Angeles, turned out much smaller crowds than in previous years, while others, like Madison, saw a surge of participation as immigrants and unions joined to protest legislative assaults on their rights. [...]

Read the full article:

Wisconsin Rallies Record Number for Solidarity March
by Voces de la Frontera
May 2, 2011

Milwaukee, Wisconsin--May 2 - Under the banner of “Wisconsin Solidarity March for Immigrant & Worker Rights” more than 100,000 protestors took to the streets on Sunday afternoon to fight back against Governor Walker’s attacks on collective bargaining rights, immigrant rights, and dramatic cuts to public education and health care. [...]

Read the full article:

May Day: San Jose Marches for Immigrant and Worker Rights
By David Bacon, Political Affairs
May 3, 2011
SAN JOSE, CA -  Immigrants, workers, union members and community activists marched on May Day in San Jose.  Marchers protested attacks on immigrants, unions and the rights of workers.

The march was organized by the May First Coalition, part of a national network called May Day United.  Many marchers were immigrants from Mexico and Central America, where May Day is celebrated as a workers' holiday every year.  Some marchers called for support for the Dignity Campaign, a proposal for immigration reform based on labor and human rights. [...]

Read the full article:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Workers demand better jobs, pay on May Day

Associated Press via NPR
May 1, 2011

Thousands of workers and immigrant laborers took to the streets on Sunday to celebrate May Day, demanding rights for those "who toil in the sun" while others pocket the profits.

The message in Manhattan — delivered with bullhorns and drums — was echoed by millions of workers around the world, from Havana to Berlin and Istanbul. [...]

Read the full article:

Workers Rally For Rights at May Day Demonstrations
NY1 News
May 1, 2011

Massive immigration protest on San Jose streets
By Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News
May 1, 2011

Thousands Participate in March for Immigrant and Worker Rights
By Ann-Elise Henzl, WUWM (Milwaukee, WI)
May 2, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day 2011 in New York City

Gather at Union Square, 12 noon
14th St. & Broadway, Manhattan
March to Foley Square for Unity Closing Rally with Central Labor Council demonstration

Demand Jobs, Legalization, No Cuts,
Stop the Deportations

Donate Funds to Help Pay for May Day Costs. Drop Your Donation at the Solidarity Center Office or Bring a Contribution to May Day

Pick Up Leaflets & Raffle Tickets at the Office!!! Build May Day!!

For more information visit or call 212.633.6646

Júntense en Union Square al 12 del mediodía
14th St. y Broadway, Manhattan
Marchar a Foley Square para la Rally de la Unidad

Demandas: Trabajo, Legalización, Fin a los Recortes, que se Paren las Deportaciones

Donar Fondos Para Ayudar a Pagar Gastos del Primero de Mayo.

Entrega su Donación a la Oficina del Centro Solidaridad
O Trae una Contribución al Primero de Mayo

Recoje Folletos y Boletos de Rifa
en la Oficina.

Para obtener más información, visite o llame al 212.633.6646

May Day Rallies Will Support Workers' and Immigrant Rights

By James Parks, AFL-CIO Now Blog News
April 27, 2011

This May Day, working people are rallying across the country to oppose attacks on workers’ rights and immigrant rights. Just as we did on April 4, working people will declare: “Somos Unos—Respeten Nuestros Derechos” or “We Are One—Respect Our Rights.”

Workers’ rights and immigrant rights are connected. CEO-backed politicians are targeting all working people—including immigrants—with their corporate-sponsored political agenda and continuing power grab. In addition to demanding protection for collective bargaining and other workers’ rights, ralliers will call for comprehensive immigration reform and passage of the DREAM Act, which would provide undocumented young people a pathway to legal residency through higher education or service in the military.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says:

These [May Day] marches are driven by the same spirit of activism and commitment that drives our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin and every other community that is now fighting back against the attacks on working people.

Trumka will speak at a march and rally of about 60,000 people in Milwaukee. Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler will address a crowd in Chicago and Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker will join a mass rally in New York City.

To find out what is happening in your community on May Day or to plan an event, visit .

Here are some other major rallies planned for May Day:

•In Boston, thousands will participate in a march that draws on the global fight for workers’ rights with the theme of “From Cairo to Wisconsin to Massachusetts Defend All Workers’ Rights.”
•In Houston, the local chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is joining with Houston United in a huge rally for workers’ rights and immigrant rights.
•In Buffalo, N.Y., working people and immigrants will march 2.1 miles from the east side of the city to the west side of Buffalo for a rally to protest the threat to close a community health clinic that supports the growing Latino community.