Press Releases

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…
For Immediate ReleaseJuly 3, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n Texas Sheriff's Statement Raises Alarms About New Deportation Program "All they did was change the name" says Travis County Sheriff Austin, Texas--According to Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton, the new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which replaced the failed Secure Communities deportation program, is "pretty close" to the same thing. In a video released of the sheriff's testimony before the Travis County Commissioners Court earlier this year, the sheriff explains that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has merely changed the title of the program. "All they did was change the name," said Sheriff Hamilton of the program that seeks to utilize local police in deportation efforts. On November 20, 2014, DHS announced that it would terminate the Secure Communities deportation program in response to broad opposition and constitutional concerns. Over 250 localities across the US rejected the voluntary aspects of ICE entanglement with local police and sheriffs. In the last month, ICE aggressively began to roll-out its replacement, PEP, trying to quell fears that the program is merely a re-branding of the original. Immigrant rights groups in east Texas have reiterated their opposition to the conflation of local police and sheriffs agencies with federal immigration enforcement and have called for transparency about the details of the new deportation program.  ###
For Immediate Release June 29, 2015
Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n // Martha Ojeda, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n Immigrants Serenade Outside Fed Detention Facility in Houston, Demand "ICE Out of Harris County" "Harris County Sheriff Hickman must define whether he will continue this deportation agenda, or take the first, necessary step to build trust with the Latino community" Houston, Texas—Early Monday morning, immigrant and civil rights groups serenaded individuals detained at the federal detention center in Houston and called for an end to Harris County's "outdated" 287(g) deportation agreement with US Immigration Enforcement (ICE) carrying banners saying "ICE Out of Harris County."  Headlining the morning serenade was 12-year old singer Madelyn Hernandez who is well-known in Texas for singing songs to the immigrant experience. "Our response to the fear and harassment that results from mixing up local police with ICE is to show the love that we have for our families, for our community," said Aracely Ramirez, Houston resident and member of Fe y Justicia Workers Center. "Today, we chant down the walls that separate our families. And to the new Sheriff, it's time for Harris County to show some moral courage and stand with its own residents." Despite a broad consensus about the broken immigration system, ICE deportation operations and programs, such as 287(g) agreements that deputize local officials to act as ICE agents, remain intact in about 30 localities across the US. Harris County is among the counties with the highest levels of deportations in the country, behind Los Angeles, CA, and Maricopa County, AZ. But just last month, in response to the growing rejection of these Arizona-style deportation agreements, Los Angeles County ended its own 287(g) agreement. "Thanks to Adrian Garcia's 287(g) agreement with ICE, Harris County is among the counties with the highest levels of deportations in the country, along with the likes of Sheriff Arpaio's Maricopa County in Arizona," said Salvador G. Sarmiento of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. "Incoming Harris County Sheriff Hickman must define whether he will continue this deportation agenda, or take the first, necessary step to build trust with the Latino community." For photos and video of the serenade, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n ###
For Immediate Release // Excuse Cross Postings // Please Forward Date: June 19, 2015Contact: Claudia Bautista, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n , (310) 909-3917 Sparking Community Anger, Los Angeles County Sheriff Department will Implement Controversial Deportation ProgramCommunity Organizations Demand Real Opportunity for Input as 90 Day Deadline Looms On May 12th, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to terminate the county’s 287(g) deportation program with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Despite strong community objections, The Board also requested the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) to work with ICE and community stakeholders to implement the new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), the replacement for the highly discredited Secure Communities (S-Comm) program. DHS itself has acknowledged that S-Comm had a corrosive effect on trust in law enforcement. The County Board further recommended that the Sheriff take 90 days to develop a clear policy governing LASD’s participation in the new deportation program. But after two meetings, community organizations are starting to question whether the meetings were more for show than for actual community input. With only a week’s notice, the Sheriff’s department hosted their second PEP “community” meeting last night at a detention center in Lynwood. The meeting was fundamentally one-sided by virtue of its location. “Representatives from the Sheriff’s Department admitted to have overlooked the fact that having such a meeting at a jail would deter a criminalized and persecuted community, already distrustful of law enforcement, from coming and voicing their concerns,” said Alex Alvarez from Dignity and Power Now. “Report after report, including the President’s own Task Force on 21st Century Policing, has shown that involving local law enforcement in immigration seriously undermines public safety. Whether we call the program S-Comm or PEP-Comm, the end game is the same: the federal government is actively targeting immigrant communities for deportation and consequently sowing fear and mistrust into communities nationwide. Claiming improvements to PEP-Comm by removing ICE hold policies is disingenuous. The program still asks that local law enforcement provide ICE with a person's address and release date, therefore giving them the tools they need to deport individuals who are integral to their family’s survival and wellbeing,” said Shiu-Ming Cheer from the National Immigration Law Center. “PEP-Comm means all noncitizen immigrants in Los Angeles County have heightened consequences for routine interactions with Sheriffs,” said Mariana Mendoza from Enlace. She continued, “it undermines safety and is fundamentally unequal for immigrants to be subject to double punishment. Los Angeles…
For Immediate Release: June 17, 2015Contact: Jessica Vosburgh: 203.415.8368, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n LOCAL AND NATIONAL MUSICIANS, ADVOCATES GATHER OUTSIDE ETOWAH JAIL TO SERENADE DETAINEES IN CELEBRATION OF FATHER’S DAYConcert is part of Chant Down the Walls series outside of immigration detention centers GADSDEN, Alabama — This Saturday afternoon musicians, artists, advocates, and families from around Alabama and across the country will gather here outside the Etowah County Detention Center to serenade the detainees with music and poetry in celebration of Father’s Day. The concert is part of Chant Down the Walls, a series of concerts and demonstrations outside immigration detention centers and jails that started in downtown Los Angeles. Former Etowah detainee Sylvester Owino will be present to participate in the event and share his story. “I spent nine years in immigration detention before finally winning my release in March, thanks to the tireless work of grassroots advocates and lawyers and my own ability to not give up hope,” stated Mr. Owino. “Now I am coming back to Alabama to let other detainees know that they are not alone, and we all must keep fighting. I also want the public to know more about the abuses that go on inside the Etowah detention center, and the way those of us caught up in the immigration detention system are treated as less than human.” Etowah County has a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house approximately 300 male immigration detainees in the county jail. The Etowah immigration detention facility is widely reputed to be among the worst in the country, as highlighted in reports by Detention Watch Network and the Women’s Refugee Commission. The immigration detainees at Etowah hale from all over the world and all over the U.S.; some have lived in this country since childhood, and many are actively fighting their deportations in order to remain here with their families and loved ones. “Immigration detention is an unjustifiably costly and cruel way to ensure that people in deportation proceedings show up for their court and removal dates. This is especially true in a place like Etowah, which provides detainees with woefully inadequate nutrition, medical care, access to recreation and family visitation, and is located hundreds of miles away from most detainees’ families and support networks.” stated Aurea Martinez, National Organizer for Detention Watch Network, who will be participating in the event on Saturday. “It saddens and shames me…
For Immediate ReleaseJune 17, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n Civil Rights Organizations Slam DHS's Latest Deportation Program; Call on DHS to Discontinue Use of Unlawful Detention Requests Replacement for Discredited "Secure Communities" Program Suffers From Serious Legal Flaws that Expose DHS and Cooperating Law Enforcement Agencies to Liability Wednesday, June 16, 2015—In response to new details released on Friday about DHS's "Priority Enforcement Program" (PEP), prominent civil and immigrants' rights organizations today delivered a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) calling for an end to detention ("detainer") and notification requests. The letter asserts that PEP—created as a replacement for the controversial Secure Communities program— suffers from many of the same legal problems that contributed to the agency's decision to end the Secure Communities. As a result, local law enforcement agencies that choose to participate may face liability. In the letter, the organizations call on DHS to discontinue the use of "immigration detainers," which ask local law enforcement agencies to detain individuals in their custody after their authority to hold them expires. After a series of federal court decisions last year holding that immigration detainers fail to comply with the Fourth Amendment, hundreds of local law enforcement agencies across the country adopted policies prohibiting compliance with immigration detainers absent a judicial warrant or judicial determination of probable cause. DHS still does not provide a judicial determination of probable cause either before or after issuing an immigration detainer, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Jessica Karp Bansal, NDLON Litigation Director, said, "When DHS first announced PEP back in November, it acknowledged the need for reform in light of federal court decisions holding that immigration detainers do not provide a lawful basis to detain a person. So we were surprised to learn that DHS plans to continue issuing detainers through PEP that don't comport with constitutional requirements. PEP creates a trap for unwary local law enforcement agencies, which will be subject to legal liability should they choose to participate." In addition to legal concerns, the letter also criticizes PEP as contravening the recent recommendation from the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing to "decouple" federal immigration enforcement from local policing. Said Salvador Sarmiento, NDLON Legislative Director, "PEP is completely out of step with the national conversation on the need for policing and criminal justice reform. We question why DHS is continuing to entangle local police in immigration enforcement when the President's…
For Immediate Release June 12, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n NDLON REACTION TO HOUSE VOTE TO BLOCK TPP: "A TESTAMENT TO THE POWER OF GRASSROOTS EFFORTS" Los Angeles, CA--In response to today's vote to block TPP in the US House, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), made the following statement: "Today's vote in the US House reflects the concerns of working people across America: these corporate trade deals aren't working. This fight against Fast Track was led by a broad labor movement that includes Worker Centers from across the US that have stood shoulder to shoulder with the AFL-CIO and its affiliates. "It was shameful to see the passage of the customs bill that contained an anti-immigrant trade negotiating objective—inserted by House leadership to gain votes from its right wing—but it was encouraging to see Democrats speaking out in opposition to that provision. Trade agreements should ensure that all workers—regardless of national origin or immigrant status—can exercise the rights to organize and bargain and have access to strong remedies when those rights are denied. Today's vote was a testament to the power of grassroots efforts, but it's not over. We are ready to continue the fight with the rest of the labor and immigrant rights movements to ensure that there are no more trade deals that disregard immigrant workers and their families." ###
Go to page:
Page 1 of 12