Monday, April 29, 2013

EEUU: Avanza caso de asilo de Víctor Toro

Por Claudia Torrens, Associated Press
25 de abril de 2013

Las posibilidades de que el activista chileno Víctor Toro sea deportado de Estados Unidos se redujeron considerablemente cuando un juez garantizó el miércoles el avance de su caso de petición de asilo y fijó otra fecha en la corte de inmigración para dentro de un año.

El caso del ex guerrillero, uno de los fundadores del Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) en Chile, ha dado un importante giro en los últimos meses, cuando una junta de apelaciones revocó la decisión de una corte migratoria negándole el asilo en el 2011.[...]

Lea el artículo:,afb98a2ee314e310VgnCLD2000000dc6eb0aRCRD.html

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Trumka Calls on Obama Administration to Cease Deportations of Aspiring Citizens

Luis Santoyo, AFL-CIO Now
April 22, 2013

Sebastian Velasquez saw his family for the last time when they were helping him move into his Georgetown University dorm before the start of his first semester. A few months later, he found out that his father, mother and sister were in deportation proceedings. They were eventually deported to Colombia.

“It was a very difficult period for me because I was adapting to a different environment,” recalls Velasquez, a 25-year-old DREAMer who was brought by his family from Colombia nine years ago. “I was shipping my family’s things to Colombia. And I was sending money orders to the [Krome] Detention Center [where my family was awaiting deportation].” [...]

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day Laborers Skeptical of ‘Doesn’t Solve Anything’ Reform

By Juan Matossian, El Diario La Prensa
April 22, 2013

Translated by Emily Leavitt from Spanish
Go to original story:

Day laborers are complaining that if the immigration bill ends up requiring people to show proof of continuos work history they will end up being excluded. “Everyone knows that they pay us in cash,” said one. (Photo from Flickr, Creative Commons License)
Day laborers and domestic workers have responded to the proposed bill for immigration reform with skepticism and disappointment; they don’t believe it will help improve their situation if it gets passed.

“It doesn’t solve anything for us and it seems like they want to exclude us,” complained Roberto Menses, who has been working as a day laborer in Queens since 1991. “A work permit doesn’t guarantee us more work or even any benefits, and the requirements for obtaining residency or citizenship appear impossible for a day laborer to fulfill.” [...]

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Friday, April 26, 2013

The Families Migrants Left Behind

By Frontera NorteSur
April 19, 2013

In Mexico and Central America, thousands and thousands of families are largely forgotten in the immigration debate. They are the survivors of migrants who died in the United States or perished while attempting to cross the border. Deprived of their breadwinners, the survivors often engage in Herculean efforts to move ahead in life.

In the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, Guadalupe “Lupita” Velazquez and her three young children are among those eking out an existence in the absence of a loved one who died during a border crossing.

Velazquez was left a widow after her husband Irineo Barrita, 29, was killed together with eight other Mexican nationals-all from Oaxaca-when the driver of the van in which the group was riding attempted to flee the Border Patrol in Palmview, Texas, on April 10, 2012. Six other passengers of the packed vehicle were injured.[...]

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Demands Rise on Congress to Guarantee Immigrant Rights

By David Bacon, Truthout
April 17, 2013

Across California on April 10, activists demonstrated for immigration reform and articulated a sharply different version from any currently obtaining in the US Congress of what that reform entails.

In San Diego, California, nine activists completed a six-day hunger strike outside the Mission Valley Hilton Hotel on April 10 - the day demonstrations took place across the United States demanding immigration reform. Hunger strikers were protesting the firing of 14 of the hotel's workers, after Evolution Hospitality, the company operating the Hilton franchise, told them that it had used the government's E-Verify database to determine that they didn't have legal immigration status.

"The company says that E-Verify is making them do this, even though many of the workers have been working here for years," said Sara Garcia, a supporter and hunger striker from House of Organized Neighbors, a local community organization. "But they started firing them when the workers were organizing a union." [...]

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

NIYA Infiltrates Michigan ICE: Calhoun County Jail

Dream Activist
April 15, 2013

Claudia Munoz (A#205-001-963), an organizer with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, is currently detained at the Calhoun County Jail, in Michigan.

In a video message that she shot before her arrest and detention, Claudio states she allowed herself to be caught by Customs and Border Protection in an effort to expose the abuses that happen inside immigrant detention centers. Since Claudia has been detained inside the Calhoun County Jail for the past 10 days, she has witnesses numerous due process violations and abuses conducted by ICE officials:

Due process violations: CBP agents intentionally misinterpreted detainees in order to incriminate them, which is a violation of their due process.

Forcing detainees to agree to voluntary departure: ICE Liaison, Officer J. Jolin, was seen forcing detainees to agree to voluntary departure. Office Jolin told a detainee that “I can bring in 3 deputies and make you sign it!” in order to compel signature. Additionally, a detainee was locked away in a room ‘until he changed his mind.’ Office Jolin also threatened one man with “20-years in prison if you don’t sign.” These reports corroborate past allegations that ICE officials have forced individuals to relinquish their legal rights. [...]

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Friday, April 19, 2013

The San Diego Nine Walk in the Footsteps of Martin Luther King

Let’s be clear: big business has always been perfectly happy to hire undocumented workers as long as they were easily exploitable and cheap. It’s only when they speak up that it becomes an issue.

By Jim Miller, San Diego Free Press
April 8, 2013

The San Diego Nine picked the perfect week for a hunger strike. They may not have known it, but the ghosts of Memphis were haunting the Mission Valley Hilton. What’s the connection?

Last week was the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was murdered in Memphis where he had gone to support striking sanitation workers. As I noted in my column for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in January, the real MLK is frequently neglected in favor of a distorted picture of a vanilla saint who just wanted us all to get along. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, King was a provocateur who wanted to disturb us about America’s hypocritical racial inequality AND its shameful class divide. King died fighting for the rights of poor workers of color because he thought nothing was a better example of what he wanted the Poor People’s Campaign to be than the sanitation workers’ strike. Their fight was a call not just for legal civil rights for black people, but a cry for economic justice for all. [...]

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Historic Legal Victory to End Terrorizing ICE Raids in Homes

By Manuel E. Avendao, El Diario La Prensa
April 5, 2013

Translated by Emily Leavitt, Voice of NY

Twenty-two Latinos will receive compensation for damages from a settlement with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) as a result of illegal raids the agency carried out on Long Island in 2006 and 2007.

The $1 million settlement also requires ICE to adopt new regulations nationally that will prevent their agents from entering private homes without a search warrant.

The lawsuit, known as Adriana Aguilar et al. v. ICE, was filed on behalf of 22 New Yorkers including men, women, children, citizens, permanent legal residents, and others. It was brought to court as a result of immigration authorities conducting violent raids during early morning hours, knocking doors and demanding entry to homes in front of frightened occupants. [...]

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Monday, April 8, 2013

A New Door for Guestworkers?

By Michelle Chen, Working In These Times
April 3, 2013

The perennial impasse in the immigration debate between labor and business seems to be fading as a group of senators, working with industry and union lobbies, irons out a framework that would bring more migrants into the labor force, purportedly under a system that extends rights and protections for so-called “guestworkers.” But what the new system really means for workers depends on how it is implemented and regulated, and who is controlling the gates.

The proposed W-visa plan reportedly strikes a compromise between business’s desire for low-cost labor and union concerns (represented by the AFL-CIO in Washington) about maintaining jobs for U.S. workers and enforcing wage-and-hour laws. Aimed at less-skilled sectors like restaurant work, the W-visa would differ from previous employment-based visas in two key ways. For one, it would offer immigrants a way to petition for residency and eventually attain citizenship. And unlike much maligned temporary-worker programs, the visa would be “portable,” meaning it would not be tied to a specific workplace or employer. In theory, that would allow a worker to switch jobs without jeopardizing her legal status. [...]

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Border Drones Fall Short of Target

Review Shows Surveillance Planes and Blimps Get Light Use, Citing Staff and Equipment Shortages

By Evan Perez and Devlin Barrett, Wall Street Journal
April 2, 2013

WASHINGTON—Tightened border security is at the center of immigration proposals in Congress, and for many lawmakers that means greater use of drones and other high-tech monitoring equipment.

But tryouts of drones and blimps along U.S. borders suggest the aircraft are more expensive and complex to operate than the government expected.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, HOMS +92.31% used its drones just over one-third of the time they were available, owing to shortages of qualified staff, flight limitations imposed by regulators and other issues, according to a May 2012 report by Homeland Security's inspector general. The border agency has used unmanned planes for nearly a decade. [...}

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No More ‘Illegal Immigrants’

By Lawrence Downes, Taking Note blog, New York Times
April 4, 2013

The Associated Press has changed its stylebook entry on the term “illegal immigrant.” It now reads, in part:

“Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant.”

The new usage should quickly become apparent to readers of the thousands of newspapers and news web sites that follow, or try to follow, the AP’s rules.

Advocates for immigrants are celebrating the change. They hate the phrase.[...]

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Confronting the Amnesty Scare

By David L. Wilson, MRZine
April 5, 2013

The anti-immigrant right has been mounting a scare campaign since late January about the supposed dangers of legalizing the country's estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants.

-- "When you legalize those who are in the country illegally," Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, announced on January 28, "it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs and encourages more illegal immigration."

-- A February 4 "exclusive" on the far-right WND website described a "highly embarrassing and potentially politically explosive" report that was "suppressed" by immigration authorities back in 2000. The report shows that the legalization program in 1986 "failed . . . because it offered an incentive for more illegal aliens to come and take advantage of a future amnesty," according to the article, which quickly circulated through the internet.

-- "Top officials" in the Obama administration "are lobbying for a massive nationwide amnesty that would foster a tsunami of increased illegal immigration for generations to come," ultra-conservative columnist Michelle Malkin warned on February 27.[...]

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Two Systems of Justice: How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice

By Immigration Policy Center
March 19, 2013

There is a growing consensus that our immigration system is broken. Severe visa backlogs hurt U.S. businesses, undocumented workers are frequently exploited, and record levels of deportations tear families apart. While much energy is now focused on addressing these problems, one issue that is frequently overlooked is the structure and quality of justice accorded immigrants who are caught in the enforcement net. In reforming our immigration system, we must not forget that the immigration removal system—from arrest to hearing to deportation and beyond—does not reflect American values of due process and fundamental fairness.

The failure to provide a fair process to those facing expulsion from the United States is all the more disturbing given the increasing “criminalization” of the immigration enforcement system. Although immigration law is formally termed “civil,” Congress has progressively expanded the number of crimes that may render an individual deportable, and immigration law violations often lead to criminal prosecutions. Further, local police now play an increasingly active role in immigration enforcement. Consequently, even relatively minor offenses can result in a person being detained in immigration custody and deported, often with no hope of ever returning to the United States.

This special report is a product of the Immigration Policy Center and the Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council. It lays out the the incongruency of America's criminal justice system and its immigration justice system, and provides recommendations for how these problems could be fixed.

Read the report here.

Read the policy recommendations here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Is Gender Justice Getting Shafted in Immigration Reform?

By Michelle Chen, Working In These Times
March 25, 2013

Moua, executive director of the Asian American Justice Center, defended programs allowing families to immigrate together to the U.S. (Courtesy of the DOL)

The politics of immigration touch upon major faultlines in American society: not just the legal boundary between citizen and foreigner, but also lines of race, class, nationality, culture and, increasingly, gender. Women, who make up about half of the U.S. immigrant population and an estimated 40 percent of undocumented adults, face unique challenges as migrants. However, gender issues have gone almost entirely unremarked in official immigration-reform talks--that is, until a Senate hearing last Monday, when Mee Moua, head of the Asian American Justice Center, seized an opportunity to call out the invisibility of women in the debate.

The opening came when Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) asked bluntly which immigrant would be a better candidate for legal status: an applicant for a family reunification visa or a skilled professional from overseas? Although family visas are the channel by which generations of migrants have brought family members to the U.S., Sessions' rhetorical question suggested that skilled professionals make more desirable Americans.

Moua countered that Sessions' hypothetical reflected deep gender imbalances in the immigration system. The “less desirable” migrant, she argued, would likely be “female, would not have been permitted to get an education and if we would create a system where there would be some kind of preference given to say education, or some other kind of metrics, I think that it would truly disadvantage specifically women and their opportunity to come into this country.” [...]

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Reasonable Suspicion: Being a Latino ballplayer in Arizona

By Bryan Curtis, Grantland
March 25, 2013

This spring, Elian Herrera came to Arizona to work. Herrera is 28 years old. He was born in the Dominican Republic. He has dark skin, and though he speaks English, he does so deliberately, in a way that reveals that his first language is Spanish.

In Los Angeles, Herrera is a backup outfielder with the Dodgers. Here at spring training, he's the type of guy who could arouse "reasonable suspicion." A person who's "reasonably suspicious," according to Arizona's immigration law, is one who looks like he or she might be in the United States illegally. That means Herrera faces the same dilemma as a Latino day laborer in Nogales or a Hispanic attorney from Phoenix. If Herrera is pulled over — if he fails to use his blinker, say — a police officer can ask to see his papers.

"Right now, if they want, they can stop and ask," Herrera says. "If there's no ID, they can take you down." [...]

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