Press Releases

Press Release September 30, 2015Contacts: Olga Tomchin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n // Yadira Sanchez, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n #FreeAbuelito: Community Pressure Stops Deportation of Beloved Grandfather On the early morning of September 23rd, ICE agents raided the home of 67-year-old grandfather Apolinar ("Abuelito Poly") Sanchez Cornejo and his wife Vicky in Pico Rivera, CA. Abuelito Poly was in the car about to go to work at an auto-body shop in Montebello when ICE agents suddenly surrounded him. They tried to convince Abuelita Vicky to come out of the house but she refused. Abuelito was put in handcuffs and in a deportation van. Through immediate and massive community mobilization including using the #FreeAbuelito hashtag on Facebook, flooding the ICE Field Office phone lines and voicemail, and emails from about 1,000 people to local and national ICE officials, Abuelito was taken off the deportation van and returned home that same day. Abuelito had been the victim of a fraudulent immigration lawyer in the 90s, resulting in him getting a deportation order without knowing it. Because of a citizen son, a lack of criminal record, and residence in the U.S. since 1992, he would qualify for President Obama's Deferred Action for Parents (DAPA) program. "Abuelito does not fall into ANY of ICE's enforcement priorities, proving yet again that ICE is a rogue agency that does not even follow its own internal standards," says Olga Tomchin, Deportation Defense Coordinator and Staff Attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). "ICE cannot be trusted to be on our streets, in our jails, or in our communities." Abuelito Poly and his wife Vicky have been married for 44 years. They have three sons, seven grandchildren, and no immediate family in Mexico. Every day, Abuelito still works at an autobody shop in Montebello, CA. His granddaughter Yadira Sanchez is an undocumented organizer for the Immigrant Youth Coalition, through which she fights deportations. His son Alvaro Sanchez is an advocate for environmental justice, affordable housing, and community development. Alvaro explains, "When I heard ICE detained my dad, I feared nothing could be done. However, the incredible community response that demanded my dad be returned to his family shows that not only is this issue deeply felt, but people are willing to do something about it." The fight is not over. Abuelito still risks deportation and has a court hearing next month. His petition has now been updated to demand that ICE dismiss the removal proceedings: Abuelito…
Press Release September 29, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n REACTION: Will North Carolina Become a New National Symbol of Hate? Durham, North Carolina—In response to the North Carolina General Assembly's sending anti-immigrant bill HB 318 to Governor Pat McCrory, Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, President of El Centro Hispano, made the following statement: "North Carolina risks going down Arizona's unwise path of exclusion and hate. While the rest of the country celebrated with the Pope a message about mercy and resisting polarization, these legislators choose to stain North Carolina's reputation nationally and put us on a dangerous path to deliberate racial profiling and exclusion. "Like Donald Trump, these legislators have demonstrated they are more interested in headlines than public safety or community well-being. Will North Carolina become a new national symbol of hate? We ask that Governor McCrory be wise enough to reject the path of hate and opportunism, and immediately vetoes this extremist piece of legislation. "As members of NDLON, we will support and accompany any and every immigrant who fights back in defense of human and civil rights. Such despicable legislation is never acceptable, and where our families and our communities are threatened, we will not back down." ###
For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross PostingsDate: Friday, September 25, 2015Contact: Salvador Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n   NDLON Reaction: There is still time for Boehner to Do the Right Thing Los Angeles, CA -- In reaction to news of Speaker Boehner's sudden announcement of resignation, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), issued the following statement: "Speaker Boehner has an unprecedented opportunity. He should heed the Pope's call for an end to the polarizing, divisive politics of fear, scapegoating, and stagnation. The deportation of millions of people, the incarceration of refugee families, and dehumanization of immigrants is wrong. Both Congress and the Obama Administration have been complicit in perpetuating sinful injustices that threaten to irreparably damage cherished national institutions and values. For too long, Congress has been held hostage by a nativist, vigilante wing of the Republican Party, with many Democrats seeking to take advantage from a worsening status quo. Nobody knows this better than Speaker Boehner. "In the next month, Speaker Boehner could bring an immigration reform bill to the floor that advances equality for millions of undocumented immigrants and their families. In the process, he can help the country move forward by showing that Congress can, in fact, represent the will of the majority of Americans. Now free from constraints of the so-called Hastert Rule, he can bring a bill to the floor of the House that restores faith that government can indeed function. Speaker Boehner can end his job as a hero. He has several weeks left on the job. Will he answer the call?" ###  

For Immediate Release // Excuse Cross Postings
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Contact: Claudia Bautista, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , (310) 909-3917

REACTION: L.A. Sheriff Reverses Course on Jail Deportations

Los Angeles, CA - In response to the newly released draft Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Report Back Regarding the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), Pablo Alvarado, Director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), issued the following statement:

“It appears the ‘Trump Effect’ is now having an impact on Los Angeles County policy. The L.A. Sheriff today issued a draft policy that appears politically motivated and impacted by sensationalized tragedy, and it reaches far beyond that which was requested by the Board of Supervisors. It is a policy that entangles local criminal law enforcement with the enforcement of outdated, unjust civil immigration laws. Unless modified, the policy will result in senseless deportations, potential civil rights violations, and eroded public safety for all Angelenos.

Earlier this year, following strong advocacy and legal challenges, the L.A. Board of Supervisors rejected ICE’s disgraced 287(g) program. It closed ICE’s permanent office inside the jail, and sought a ‘wait and see’ policy with regard to DHS’s new Priority Enforcement Program (PEPCOMM).

Today, undoing some important advances made to regain the trust of L.A.’s diverse community, the Sheriff appears to invite ICE back into the jails, and he risks further exposing the county to liability resulting from abusive immigration enforcement. Contrary to the motion of the Board of Supervisors and the spirit of the Trust Act, the Sheriff’s newly-announced policy allows ICE agents back into the jails. The Sheriff’s new policy goes well beyond even what ICE is proposing across the nation.

Particularly without meaningful opportunities for community input, the Sheriff’s new policy risks further erosion of trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement. Given ICE’s lack of accountability to the Los Angeles community, and the Sheriff Department’s lack of commitment to genuine engagement, it is essential that any new policy or MOU be subject to democratic oversight by the Board of Supervisors.

The TRUST Act must be a floor and not a ceiling for the protections to immigrants. The list of crimes which would allow ICE access to detainees should be limited and accompanied by a statute of limitations for convictions. In recent months, ICE agents have touted ‘record-setting’ raids in Southern California, removing immigrants from their homes and families, despite their often having lived in the United States for decades, and often citing as justification minor crimes committed years, if not decades, prior. This cannot be considered a humane immigration policy. But the Sheriff’s draft policy today effectively endorses such actions.

The Sheriff cannot be authorized to turn over L.A. community members to the control of ICE merely due to the misfortune of their having wound up in a county detention facility. The L.A. Sheriff was tasked to disentangle criminal and civil law enforcement, and instead further entrenched this entanglement. ICE does not belong in LA’s jails.

The Trump Effect, increasingly sweeping through the country, cannot be allowed to scapegoat immigrant communities in Los Angeles.”


For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 8, 2015Press Contact: Olga Tomchin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n National Coalition Demands DOJ Drop Charges Retaliating Against Portland Labor Leader for Seeking Sanctuary in a Church Portland, OR—Today, 118 labor, faith, immigrant rights, and civil rights organizations joined together to call on US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Acting US Attorney Billy Williams to immediately drop the retaliatory prosecution of Portland labor leader Francisco Aguirre. Mr. Aguirre served as worker center coordinator for the VOZ Workers' Rights Education Project (VOZ) in Portland, a worker-led effort that empowers immigrants and day laborers to gain control over their working conditions through leadership development, organizing, and community education. "Undocumented people should not be afraid that publicly standing up for their rights will lead to prosecution," says Francisco Aguirre. "I am asking the government to let me stay with my family and allow me to continue my work, defending immigrants and workers' rights." One year ago, ICE agents came to Francisco's home and tried to arrest him without a warrant and separate him from his three children, two of whom are U.S. citizens. Francisco then publicly sought sanctuary in the Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon. In a deeply unusual and likely political move, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Francisco with re-entry fifteen years after a previous deportation to El Salvador, which he had fled due to extreme violence against him and his family by the military. Immigrant, labor, and faith leaders are calling on the DOJ to immediately drop all charges: Romeo Sosa, Executive Director, VOZ "Through Francisco's work as an organizer at VOZ, he has helped our workers collect $500,000 in stolen wages, helped improve health and safety labor standards, and organized neighborhood clean-ups. "He is an absolutely indispensable part of our community." Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network "I have known Francisco since he had just recently arrived in the United States and didn't speak English. Since then, I have seen Francisco grow as an individual, as an organizer, and as a parent. He's gone from being a day laborer to becoming an organizer, starting day laborer centers and helping recover lost wages, to organizing to stop deportations. He has also learned to play guitar and has become a mariachi. Despite a lack of formal education, he even learned to fix computers. He was the star graduate of the leadership development program he attended. Francisco…
For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 4, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n Federal Judge Confirms Long Island Day Laborers are Protected by US Constitution Long Island, NY—In response to a federal court judge striking down a NY town's law banning day laborers from seeking work, representatives of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) made the following statements: Gabriel Banos, Council President, Workplace Project, Long Island: "Justice comes to those who demand it and persist. Long Island day laborers have been vindicated. We have the right to stand on a sidewalk and offer our labor. We are open for business. I hope that this ruling serves as an example and guidance for other towns. Enacting and implementing anti day laborer ordinances is not just illegal, it's immoral. No one is above the need of a father or mother to provide for his or her loved ones." Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON: "After this Court decision, two things should be clear to those who want to alter our Constitution: (1) Today's ruling affirms that it protects anyone who seeks an honest day of work in public sidewalks: citizens and non-citizens. (2) Migrants will defend it. We will fight every day for equal rights under the law, not just for ourselves but for everyone."The racist, overheated and dangerous rhetoric that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump promotes, is not above the most cherished bedrock civil rights protections of our country. Through our struggle for justice and equality, day laborers will honor the prior generations of migrants and their descendants who fought to advance equal rights for all." ###  
For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 3, 2015Contact: Claudia Bautista, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n NDLON Demands Answers from ICE after "Record Number" of Arrests Los Angeles, CA—In response to ICE's 'record setting' raid in Southern California during which 244 people were taken from their homes, immigrant and civil rights groups are demanding transparency from ICE and offering a hotline for individuals that have been impacted (HOTLINE: 844-878-7801). On Thursday morning, groups held a press conference outside the Los Angeles ICE field office and delivered a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request addressed to ICE Director Sarah Saldana. Representatives from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) made the following statements: Pablo Alvarado, NDLON Executive Director: "ICE is using this operation to challenge the decision of Californians against ICE's improper collusion with local law enforcement to set up shop in jails and prisons in the state and detain people beyond their sentences. Immigration enforcement should not be used to blackmail local law enforcement or political actors. "Given the dangerous political rhetoric that is scapegoating, criminalizing, and dehumanizing immigrants, it is vital there be transparency from agencies (outside of the political sphere) that are entrusted to enforce the law." "Today, we are helping ICE to live up to its statutory obligation to provide basic details to the public—immigrants and citizens alike. And we continue to call for a more humane immigration policy that recognizes the human dignity of migrants, and does not support their use as political pawns." Emilou MacLean, NDLON Staff Attorney: "Unfortunately, DHS — by its own admission — suffers from a trust deficit when it comes to its deportation programs. The manner in which ICE conducted recent raids did nothing to close the social distance that it has caused between immigrants and law enforcement. "Today, we are asking for ICE to provide the public with information about the latest raids -- -- who was detained?-- who was involved in the raids and at what cost?-- what other raids have been conducted since the November 2014 change in policy by ICE towards a greater use of prosecutorial discretion -- and who was picked up there?-- what justifications and legal authority did ICE rely on to justify the raids?" Read the Letter to ICE Director Sarah Saldana HERE *** IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN IMPACTED BY THE RECENT ICE RAID, PLEASE CALL 844-878-7801 *** ###  
For Immediate ReleaseAugust 25, 2015Contact: Olga Tomchin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n Advocates Condemn Plan to Detain Transgender Women at Adelanto"[the] way to keep LGBTQ immigrants safe is not to detain them in the first place" Today, over 100 national and local LGBTQ, immigrant, and civil rights organizations urged President Obama in a letter to stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from detaining transgender women at the isolated Adelanto Detention Facility in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. Adelanto is run by GEO Group, a private company with a record of abusing detained people, including transgender women and individuals with disabilities.  Attorneys and formerly detained individuals have reported abuse that includes solitary confinement, denial of medical care, and pervasive sexual harassment of transgender women at GEO Group facilities, including the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Texas and the LaSalle Detention Facility in Louisiana. The Adelanto Detention Facility itself has a history of human rights abuses, including "egregious errors" in medical treatment.  A coalition including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) has been highlighting abuses against people with disabilities and asylum seekers at Adelanto. GEO Group has consistently denied or delayed necessary mental health treatment for people detained at Adelanto and shackled individuals during their psychiatric appointments.  In one Adelante case, a man named Gerardo Corrales developed a life-threatening infection because GEO forced him to reuse dirty catheters. In another case, Barbra Perez, a trans woman detained by GEO, was tortured in solitary confinement and denied necessary medical care, while ICE tried to use the mistreatment to coerce her to accept deportation rather than fight her immigration case. The facility's documented failure to prevent or address sexual assault is especially alarming given that trans women are the survivors of 20% of substantiated sexual assault complaints in immigration detention. "It's clear that GEO Group cannot be trusted to care for transgender women or house them safely," says Olga Tomchin, NDLON's Deportation Defense Coordinator and Staff Attorney. "Instead, as in the outreageous case of Brenda Perez, we see ICE exploiting this fear and suffering as they try to coerce individuals to accept deportation."  Adelanto is located in the Mojave desert, an extremely isolated area and a long distance from legal services and other social support systems, so its geographical location would further prevent independent oversight by advocates and severely limit transgender immigrants' access to attorneys. The letter makes clear that the only "way to keep LGBTQ immigrants safe is not to detain them in the…
For Immediate ReleaseJuly 31, 2015Contact: Claudia Bautista, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , (310) 909-3917 Grammy Award-Winning Quetzal Joins Community Concert Outside Immigrant PrisonAs Scapegoating of Immigrants on the rise following "Trump Effect", Community Rallies to Serenade Inmates and Deportees What: Chant Down the Walls Concert with Los Jornaleros del Norte & Grammy Award-Winning Quetzal followed by Clitoral Mass Bike RideWhen: Saturday, August 1, 2015, 11:00am-1:00pmWhere: Metropolitan Detention Center, 535 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012Who: National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Ovarian Psycos-Cycle Brigade, ICE Out of Los Angeles Coalition Members, and community members from across Los Angeles Why: Current immigration policy would have us believe that our communities are divided between those that are deserving and those that are undeserving of relief. The current attacks on immigrants with criminal priors, whatever those may be, underscores the cloud of suspicion that exists for all immigrants and people of color in the US. Chant Down the Walls seeks to remind us that those in detention are our family members, loved ones, and are as deserving as anyone outside of relief, of equal protection, and of freedom from detention. That is why we reject the idea that we can be divided between felons and families. Felons are also family. And everyone deserves equality, no exceptions. "Because we know that music occupies space, a sonic space that cannot be physically removed, we sing to those inside the detention centers. It is our way of touching one another when we are separated by these harsh and unjust laws that continue trying to divide us," says Xochi Flores, NDLON event organizer and member of Cambalache. "Music has become a vehicle by which we mobilize, cultivate community and tell our stories." This Saturday, Quetzal, the grammy award-winning Chicano rock band born over 20 years ago from the East LA Chicano art/music scene, will be our guest band at Chant Down The Walls. The musical ensemble is influenced by an East LA rock soundscape composed of Mexican ranchera, cumbia, salsa, rock, R&B, folk, and fusions of international musics, and also one whose political vision is based in social activism, feminism, and the belief that there is radical potential in expressive culture. During the past two decades, the musical force of Quetzal has created a unique cultural platform that has sounded against conditions of oppression and marginalization. For this event, we are also collaborating with the Ovarian Psycos, a Boyle Heights…
For Immediate Release July 30, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n DC Officials, Immigrant Rights Groups Denounce Scapegoating in Congress, Stand up for Trust "DC is proud to be a sanctuary city" - Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton Washington, DC—On Thursday, city officials and immigrant rights groups joined in a unity press conference at the front steps of City Hall to denounce efforts in the US Congress to scapegoat immigrants and undermine local Trust or sanctuary cities like Washington, DC. Immediately after the tragic shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, Donald Trump was quick to blame undocumented immigrants and localities that have stood up against unjust immigration enforcement. Many in Congress have joined the effort, supporting enforcement-only legislation that only one month ago would have seemed extreme.DC city leaders called on members in Congress to oppose all piecemeal, enforcement-only legislation attacking immigrant Trust policies. "Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a long history of Congressional meddling in local DC affairs," said Councilmember David Grosso. "It is shameful that anti-immigrant politicians are exploiting a tragedy in San Francisco to push their agenda. The House and Senate need to focus on passing comprehensive immigration reform, and leave jurisdictions like DC to make their own decisions regarding local law enforcement." The city of Washington, DC was one of the earliest to oppose entanglement with federal immigration enforcement during the roll-out of the Secure Communities deportation program, now the Priority Enforcement Program. "DC is proud to be a sanctuary city," said US Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton in a statement for the event. "We are proud to stand with our immigrants, documented and undocumented alike." Participating organizations including SEIU-32BJ, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Trabajadores Unidos of DC, Many Languages One Voice (MLOV), CAIR Coalition, American Civil Liberties Union of NCA (ACLU), National Lawyers Guild National Immigration Project (NLG), CARECEN-DC, Washington Peace Center, Madre Tierra Women's Group, United We Dream (UWD), We Belong Together/Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, Georgetown Hoyas for Immigrant Rights, MEChA of Georgetown, and more... ###
For Immediate Release Press contacts: Olga Tomchin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , 402.650.2339 // Jerónimo Saldaña, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , 212-613-8074 // Heidi Altman,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , 202-331-3320 x 20 #BringKenaultHome: Coalition demands due process for father and husband deported for minor marijuana convictions Washington, DC—A coalition of immigrant rights, human rights, and criminal justice reform advocacy organizations are calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Chief Counsel to allow green card holder Garfield Kenault Lawrence, (A# 045 612 966) who was deported away from his U.S. Citizen wife and child to Jamaica, to reopen his immigration case. 

After a year of being held in an immigration detention prison (including during the birth of his first child), Kenault was wrongfully deported in 2013 based on an incorrect legal standard applied by an immigration judge who labeled his two minor 2009 marijuana convictions to be "drug trafficking aggravated felonies." Just a few months later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Moncrieffe v. Holder that "characterize[ing] a low-level drug offense as 'illicit trafficking in a controlled substance,' and thus an 'aggravated felony'... defies the 'commonsense conception' of these terms." Despite this clear decision, ICE is refusing to reopen his case so that he can have a proper hearing under the correct law, and is fighting his lawyers' attempts by claiming that too much time has passed. "An Immigration Judge got the law wrong and fractured an American family when he ordered Kenault deported. We call on ICE to right this wrong by allowing Kenault to come home and have his day in court," states Heidi Altman, Legal Director of the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition. Kenault moved to Virginia from Jamaica in fifth grade and immediately met his future wife Melissa. They started dating in their senior year of high school, during which he became the high school's wrestling champion. He worked as a mover for a company that valued his work ethic and character. Being a black immigrant with an accent in Virginia, Kenault was frequently harassed and profiled by local Virginia police. After Kenault's deportation, Melissa has had to work three jobs and receive food stamps. Their son Devario is now three years old and only sees his father through video screens and extremely rare visits to Jamaica. Kenault's stepmother has cancer and may die without ever seeing him again. Melissa says, "Kenault made some mistakes when he was young. But since then he's done everything right - did his jail time, did his probation, worked hard and started a family. Now we're all paying for his old mistakes again and again,…
For Immediate ReleaseContact: SG Sarmiento, 202-746-2099, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n  July 23, 2015 NDLON reaction to HR 3009 Vote: All Eyes on Senator Feinstein (Los Angeles, CA)---Today, the House voted to pass HR 3009, despite a very clear statement from President Obama that he would veto it. In reaction, Chris Newman, Legal Director at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, issued the following statement: "While the vote did not surprise anyone, it reminded many of the need for more, rather than less, protective policies at the municipal and state level to shield communities from the dangerous combination of a broken congress, a rogue law enforcement (ICE), and a bigot billionaire who somehow has managed to set the national agenda. At least temporarily. "It is important to note that we are not witnessing a backlash to so-called sanctuary cities. Progress in untangling civil and criminal law enforcement has come despite the Washington Beltway, not because of it, and going forward will be no different. Lawmakers in Congress and the Obama Administration's Department of Homeland Security have always been opposed to municipal TRUST policies that protect immigrant families, defend civil rights, and advance public safety for all. Indeed, progress made in rejecting the catastrophic and unconstitutional Secure Communities deportation program came from the bottom-up through community organizing and litigation in federal courts. "The dysfunction on display in congress today stands in stark contrast to state and local governments that have passed rational policies to protect residents from hazardous consequences caused by federal government's demonstrable failure. Five years ago, demagogues in Arizona threatened to bring a new normal, but the tide has turned, and the country rejected the criminalization of immigrants. Moving forward, the toxic atmosphere in DC will only strengthen the resolve of communities organizing in self defense, it will unify immigrant rights allies, and it will likely encourage more civil rights lawyers to take cases in defense of vulnerable immigrants. "As attention now turns to the Senate, we call upon Senator Feinstein to rejoin members of her party and others who are seeking comprehensive rather than piecemeal enforcement approach to immigration reform. If Senator Feinstein continues to scapegoat immigrants and cities in her home state, her legacy as a California Senator will likely end in shame." ###
For Immediate Release
July 21, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , 202-746-2099 REACTION: Surge of Racist Rhetoric is Endangering All of US Los Angeles, CA—In response to today's Senate Committee on Judiciary hearing, Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) issued the following statement: "Donald Trump, a birther who believes President Obama himself is an undocumented immigrant, is currently setting the national agenda, and the result is the dangerous surge of racist rhetoric we heard today. After making comments that Mexicans are rapists and murders, Donald Trump recently joined Joe Arpaio for a rally with xenophobes in Arizona. Today, Mr. Trump was joined by the US Senate in what amounted to a pep-rally for the criminalization, dehumanization, and subjugation of immigrants. "The rush by many to scapegoat immigrants, to blame so-called sanctuary cities, and to exploit tragedy is symptomatic of a white supremacist immigration and criminal justice system that casts all people of color under a cloud of suspicion and deprives us of equal citizenship. Today's hearing revealed how Latinos and all non-citizens are subject to a particular form of double punishment because federal civil immigration law and local criminal law enforcement have been conflated through unconstitutional programs like Secure Communities. "Moving forward, we must understand that the need for physical safety is a value shared by all people, not just white people who are scared of changing demographics. The simple fact is that the use of deportation as punishment does not advance any public safety interest. To the contrary, policies that criminalize immigrants and convert sheriffs into deportation agents have endangered communities, undermined trust in law enforcement, and resulted in grave civil rights violations."Today's truly despicable hearing reveals why any legislation touching upon immigrants' lives must include legalization provisions that advance political equality. Any piecemeal legislation that attempts to turn back the clock in support of Arizona's SB1070 will not be tolerated." ###
For Immediate Release July 13, 2015 Contacts: Olga Tomchin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , 402.650.2339 // Christina Fialho (for interviews with Carlos Hidalgo), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , 385.212.4842 “Free Adelanto 4” Announces Successful Release of Carlos Hidalgo, Pledges Continued Fight Against Detention of People with Disabilities & Vulnerable Groups Campaign Continues for Vulnerable Individuals Still Detained at Adelanto, Calls to Prevent Transfer of Transgender Women  Santa Ana, CA—One week after the launch of the campaign, Adelanto 4 member and human rights advocate Carlos Hidalgo (A#092-952-155) was released from the Theo Lacy detention center in Orange County, CA where he had been transferred by ICE as retaliation for his advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities and asylum seekers detained at the for-profit Adelanto detention center.  Mr. Hidalgo, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was targeted for helping people file grievances for medical abuse and alerting them of their rights. In response, ICE threw him into solitary confinement for over 3 days and then transferred him to a different detention facility because “GEO Group doesn’t want you here.”  On three occasions and under increasingly mysterious circumstances, ICE prevented Mr. Hidalgo from having a court hearing, resulting in him missing his U.S. citizen daughter Lovette’s high school graduation. Today, Carlos has been reunited with her, his other two U.S. citizen children, and his parents and grandchild. He can now also continue receiving treatment for his multiple sclerosis. Upon his release, Carlos Hidalgo made the following statement:  “Thank you to everyone who signed the Adelanto 4 petition and to all who are supporting our cause. Because of you, I am now reunited with my beloved family! I've been given the chance to continue this fight from the outside and help all those who are still in detention. I have the moral obligation to help those still in need that are living under this unjust deportation and immigration detention system that is affecting so many of us immigrants. With your help, I promise to continue this fight to the end immigration detention and help all of my brothers and sisters who are still being detained. “Regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, we are all human beings who deserve to be able to pursue happiness and live our dreams. The tears of the detained must not be in vain. For-profit prison companies such as GEO Group need to be held accountable for their actions and must not be allowed to abuse…
For Immediate ReleaseJuly 6, 2015Contact: Olga Tomchin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n #FreeAdelanto4: 
LGBTQ & Immigrant Rights Groups React to ICE Announcement of Plans to Transfer Transgender Women to For-Profit Immigration Prison Already Abusing People with Disabilities and Asylum-Seekers Los Angeles, CA—Days after a coalition of immigrant rights groups launched a campaign exposing abuses against people with disabilities and asylum seekers at the infamous Adelanto immigration prison in the Mojave Desert, US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the impending transfer of a group of trans women to that same for-profit GEO Group facility. The #FreeAdelanto4 campaign, launched last week, highlights the inhumane treatment currently occurring at Adelanto. Gerardo Corrales (A#205-464-990) is a paralyzed 19 year old who uses a wheelchair. Gerardo requires catheters and has been forced to reuse them by Adelanto staff, resulting in a serious infection and hospitalization. He depends entirely on other detained men to help him wash himself, use the bathroom, and change his clothes. His wheelchair has three main screws that hold it together and two have fallen out, putting him at risk of serious injury at any moment. Many immigrant trans women have medical needs, including sometimes requiring access to hormone medication and HIV medication. Many immigrant trans women have experiences of trauma that resulted in them fleeing to the US and require mental health care. Instead, Adelanto is known to shackle individuals during their appointments with psychiatrists. Additionally, Adelanto is extremely isolated from access to attorneys. Olga Tomchin, Deportation Defense Coordinator and Staff Attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network explains, "This move starkly demonstrates the emptiness of ICE's recent promises to improve detention conditions for transgender immigrants. Adelanto has not even signed the optional contract that is part of the new trans guidelines. While ICE points publicly to meaningless pretty pieces of paper, they are transferring trans women to one of the worst detention centers in the country." LGBTQ and immigrant rights advocates stand in solidarity with the Adelanto 4 and other detained people with disabilities and denounce transfer of transgender women there: Luis Nolasco of the ACLU of Southern California and Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Coalition who was detained by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA): "We are very alarmed to hear about ICE's decision to begin housing trans women at the Adelanto Detention Center. The facility has history of providing subpar medical care to its existing 1300 male detained people which included two…
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