Press Releases

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serenaded individuals detained at the federal detention center in Houston and called for an end to Harris County's "outdated" 287(g) deportation agreement with US Immigration Enforcement (ICE) carrying banners saying "ICE Out of Harris County."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." ###
For Immediate ReleaseDate: Friday, May 29, 2015Contact: Salvador Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n NDLON Calls for Explanation and Action from White House Following Decision to Delay Appeal (Los Angeles)—In an article appearing in the New York Times today, anonymous sources in the Obama Administration offered a bizarre rationale for the decision not to pursue Supreme Court review of the 5th Circuit's denial of its stay motion. As Times reporter Michael Shear reported: "[A]dministration officials on Wednesday said the decision not to ask the Supreme Court to allow the program to move forward immediately reflects a practical reality: Even if the justices had given the green light to begin implementing the program, the continuing legal fight would probably have scared away most of the undocumented immigrants who could apply for it." Chris Newman, Legal Director at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), issued the following statement in reaction: "This excuse for not maximizing appeal opportunities appears to be false, misleading, and counterproductive, and we call for immediate clarification from the White House. If this is, in fact, the reason it did not pursue Supreme Court review at this stage, it should say so on the record so there can be accurate information conveyed to the millions of people whose lives are most impacted by the Obama Administration's repeated decision to delay- over several years- the use of authority it had since it entered office in 2009. "To cite immigrant fear as an excuse for the Administration's flat-footed implementation and defense of DAPA is particularly ironic because the President's own unnecessarily harsh deportation policy, not the decision of the 5th Circuit, has instilled fear of and among immigrants. Indeed, the courageous leadership of undocumented migrants has been the single most powerful force compelling reform of the Obama Administration's unjust and discriminatory immigration policy, and the country has immigrants' courage to thank for defending cherished constitutional values. "If the Obama Administration is genuinely concerned about allaying fear within the undocumented community, there are two steps it could take immediately. First, it could clarify that DHS will not deport, under any circumstances, people who would otherwise be eligible for DAPA. Such a clarification would not be inconsistent with the wrongheaded injunction recently upheld by the 5th Circuit. Second, the Administration should end, rather than rebrand, its disastrous Secure Communities deportation program which led to the Arizonfication of the country. It is now a fact acknowledged by…
For Immediate ReleaseMay 29, 2015Contacts:Jorge Torres, El Centro del Inmigrante,jorge@elcentronyc.orgNadia Marin-Molina, NDLON,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n OSHA Investigation into Worker's Death at Worksite Finds "Willful" Disregard by Construction Company, Fines Over $121,000 "No more excuses" for Staten Island DA to delay immediate charges against Formica Construction Staten Island, NY: The Justice4Delfino Campaign welcomes the completion of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation of Formica Construction and the significant fines levied in the death of Delfino Velazquez, who was crushed in an unpermitted demolition on Staten Island. OSHA has issued 7 citations, 3 serious, 3 willful, and one other than serious, with fines totaling $121,000. This amount is more than 5 times larger than the fines in a previous worker death, that of Lorenzo Pavia, who was killed in a trench collapse while working for Formica in 2003. This acknowledges the seriousness of the violations, as well as the importance of vocal and persistent organizing by workers, community and family members. In light of the results of the OSHA investigation confirming Formica's "willful" disregard for worker safety, the Justice4Delfino Campaign reiterates its call for the Staten Island District Attorney to immediately press criminal charges against Formica Construction and for the NYC Department of Buildings to revoke Formica's license. Delfino's family and organizations participating in the campaign issued the following reactions: Monica Velazquez, Daughter of Delfino Velazquez: "Thanks to all who have supported us in this campaign for justice for Delfino and all workers in the center. My family is very grateful that after six months OSHA has completed a good investigation, with $121,000 in fines. Thanks to all." Jorge Torres, El Centro del Inmigrante: "One more time, it shows that when workers organize and fight back, we are stronger than the people in power. After 6 months of consecutive actions and on the 6 month anniversary, OSHA fined Formica Construction company with $121,000 for their responsibility in killing our member and friend Delfino Velazquez. This is 10 times more than what OSHA usually sets in fines for other death cases. We demand that the DA use this report to file criminal charges on Mr. Formica and we demand that the DOB revoke his license. We will keep mourning the death of Delfino and fight like hell for the living until we achieve justice for all workers!" Charlene Obernauer, NYCOSH: "OSHA has done its job and fined an employer who endangered a worker's life.…
For Immediate Release May 27, 2015Contacts:   Yazmine Contreras, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n                   Rodrigo Barragan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n TUSKEGEE, First City in Alabama to Enact an Immigrant TRUST Policy,Reject Entanglement with Immigration Enforcement Policy Advances Pres. Obama's Policing Task Force's Call to"Decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing" TUSKEGEE, Alabama – Wednesday morning, Tuskegee government officials, civic leaders, and immigrant and civil rights advocates from across Alabama gathered at Tuskegee City Hall to announce a set of historic policies promoting inclusion, fair treatment for immigrants, and non-biased community policing. On Tuesday, May 26th, the Tuskegee City Council passed a resolution declaring Tuskegee to be a welcoming city, barring discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status, and calling on the police chief to establish a "TRUST" policy aimed at building trust between his department and the city's immigrant community. Today, Chief Lester C. Patrick will announce his Department's plan to issue a general order that, like other immigrant "TRUST Act" policies enacted across the country, will prohibit the warrantless detention of individuals by the Tuskegee Police Department at the request of immigration authorities, and place sensible limits on the collaboration between his department and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "No resident or visitor of Tuskegee should fear that a routine interaction with our officers could lead to the drastic consequence of deportation," said Chief Patrick about the city's new policy. "Our job is to promote order and safety for all people in Tuskegee, no matter where you come from, and we're all more safe when residents don't fear the police." "Tuskegee occupies a special place in history as a key location in the movement for the civil rights of African-Americans. We are committed to carrying that legacy forward by promoting fair and just treatment for all persons in our city, including our immigrant brothers and sisters," stated Mayor Johnny Ford. Tuskegee's announcement comes only days after President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its final report, calling on the Obama Administration to "[d]ecouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing." The Task Force, which was convened in the wake of the events in Ferguson and across the nation, recommended that "[l]aw enforcement agencies should build relationships based on trust with immigrant communities" because "[t]his is central to overall public safety." Mayor Ford stressed the importance of enacting an immigrant TRUST…
For Immediate Release May 26, 2015Contact: Salvador Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n RELIEF WILL NOT BE HANDED DOWN FROM ABOVE Los Angeles, CA---In response to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denying the request for an emergency stay to lift the injunction blocking implementation of the President's affirmative relief programs, DAPA and DACA 2.0, representatives of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) made the following statements:  Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON made the following statement: "While not unexpected, the decision today is a wakeup call for immigrants who thought that relief would be handed down from above. It will not. Both the laws on the books and the application of those laws by the Obama Administration are unjust, and the handpicked judges selected to initially review the case appeared to have their minds made up. "As this case makes its way to the Supreme Court, we will continue to make our case in the court of public opinion. Millions of immigrants living and working in the US are being systematically deprived of rights afforded to previous generations, and the only way forward is on the same path that got us here. In the proudest tradition of the country, we must continue to organize and demand nothing less than full equality." Jessica Bansal, NDLON Litigation Director reacted this way:"We must recognize that today's court decision, disappointing as it is, still leaves the President with broad authority over deportation policy. In particular, the decision leaves untouched the President's power to suspend deportations and end the unjust separation of families. We call on President Obama to immediately act on that power by halting all deportations until the day when our broken immigration system can be replaced by humane, rational policies that recognize the value and humanity of our immigrant community members." NDLON representatives available for comment:   Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director  Chris Newman, Legal Director  Jessica Bansal Karp, Litigation Director ###
Friday, 22 May 2015 11:18

Abolish Immigration Detention

For Immediate Release // Excuse cross-posting
May 22, 2015
Contact: Olga Tomchin, (402) 650-2339, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n

Abolish Immigration Detention

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) welcomes the growing consensus that it is time to end the U.S.’s immoral immigration detention system. In just the last two weeks, House of Representatives members demanded for an immediate end to caging of refugee mothers and children, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley tweeted that “barbed wire detention camps… are cruel, costly & against our values,” Hillary Clinton called for an end to the detention of vulnerable people, and the New York Times declared that immigration detention be ended.

US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has failed to demonstrate a capacity for accountability, due process, access to justice, or human dignity. Community members detained by ICE frequently experience medical neglect, sexual abuse, and even torture in solitary confinement, often without access to legal assistance. Many are regularly transferred hundreds or thousands of miles from their families and support networks. Meanwhile, private prison companies make a profit from our loved ones’ suffering.

NDLON Deportation Defense Coordinator and Staff Attorney Olga Tomchin states, “It’s time to abolish the immigration detention and deportation machinery which deems certain lives and communities to be disposable. Cosmetic reforms are not acceptable. The President and Congress must end this shameful chapter of this country’s history. We reject the replacement of the violent system of incarceration with the degrading one of mass surveillance via ankle monitoring devices.”

Formerly detained people who are now immigrant rights organizers echo these sentiments.

Jonathan Perez of the Immigrant Youth Coalition who was detained in a GEO Group immigration detention facility in Louisiana: "In detention, people are placed in a position of powerlessness with law enforcement. ICE and guards are given absolute power that only allows and encourages them to act out their racism, sexism, and transphobia without any consequences or repercussions."

Luis Nolasco of the ACLU of Southern California and Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Coalition who was detained by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA): “Immigration Detention was a dehumanizing experience that continues to haunt me well after my release from a Georgia facility. What I experienced and saw was the embodiment of Human Misery & Death. The ways in which these facilities operate & function are designed to shut down the human spirit. Because once you go into immigration detention, a part of you dies forever. Physically, mentally or spiritually.”

Ishalaa Serrano of the Audre Lorde Project and Translatina Coalition who was detained by CCA in San Diego: "Respecting humanity is reason enough to end the immigration detention system. We cannot let the government put anyone else in such a tortuous, violent, hateful, racist, homophobic, and transphobic CAGE. I ran for my life and found myself in such a horrible place where I had to give up my freedom, pride, and dignity and could not even control when I used the bathroom.”

Victoria Villalba of Transcend Arizona who was detained in Santa Ana, CA and by CCA in San Diego: "Detention centers are an inhumane way to cover up rape, discrimination, transphobia, homophobia, racism and dehumanization of individuals who have already survived all of that and only want to be safe."

Ricky González of Arcoiris Liberation Team who was detained at Florence Detention Center in Arizona: "Detention centers are centers of discrimination. They make money off of the people who are detained by paying them $1 per day for working."

Alex Aldana of the Immigrant Youth Coalition who was detained by CCA in San Diego: “ICE will never have the capacity to understand immigrants and refugees who are escaping murder and persecution. The hours I spent inside and the post-traumatic anxiety that I developed through being detained force me to relive many memories of how hard I have fought just to survive as a human being.”

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For Immediate Release May 20, 2015Contact:   Daniel Barrera, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n                   SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n   While Sheriff Valdez Hosts ICE Director, Community Demands "ICE Out Of Dallas"Groups to hold press conference before County Sheriff Hosts ICE Director in Dallas WHAT: Press conference by community groups demanding ICE Out of DallasWHEN: Today, Wednesday, 4:00PM (one hour prior to ICE event in Dallas)WHERE: El Centro College West Campus, 3330 N. Hampton, Dallas, TX 75212 WHO: Dallas immigrant and civil rights leaders and families, Texas Organizing Project (TOP), North Texas Dream Team (affiliate of United We Dream), Pueblo Sin Fronteras (affiliate of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, NDLON), En Pie De Lucha, Dallas AFL-CIO, Mi Familia Vota, Proyecto Inmigrante, Arlington Proyecto Unido/Unity Project, Workers Defense Project, Iron-Workers Union, Workers United, LULACDALLAS, Texas—Members of the North Texas Immigration Coalition will host a press conference prior to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) event with Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Agency Director Sarah Saldaña. Under the banner of “ICE Out Of Dallas”, immigrant and civil rights groups are demanding that Dallas officials reject voluntary federal programs that entangle local law enforcement with ICE, saying these programs undermine community policing, public safety, and fundamental civil rights. Dallas organizations - including TOP, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, and North Texas Dream Team - have been vocal calling on Sheriff Valdez to come clean about its entanglement with federal immigration enforcement through a new iteration of the failed Secure Communities deportation program, called Priority Enforcement Program, or “PEP”. “From Los Angeles to Boston, and today in Dallas, immigrant communities are demanding answers from their local officials and rejecting the new iteration of the failed S-COMM dragnet,” said Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). “The PEP deportation program is long on criminalizing, poll-tested messaging, like ‘felons, not families’ but it’s short on details.” Despite a November 20th Department of Homeland Security memorandum announcing the end of Secure Communities, groups across the country have raised concerns that PEP maintains the same funneling of information from local law enforcement to ICE. To date, the Dallas Sheriff has refused to meet with community groups. For more information about efforts to uncover the truth about PEP, Click Here ###
For Immediate Release May 18, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n President's Own Task Force Calls to "Decouple" Immigration Enforcement from Local Police Los Angeles, CA—In response to the Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), made the following remarks: "Today, the President's own task force has recognized what we've been saying for years: local police and sheriffs should not be involved in immigration enforcement. It's bad for community policing, it's bad for public safety, and it's bad for fundamental civil rights. "The task force recommendations underscore that there are many things the White House and Department of Homeland Security can still do to address the crisis of trust that exists between immigrant communities and local law enforcement, including ending all efforts to harness local and state resources through notification, detention, and transfer requests. The White House should heed the call from its panel of experts and can begin by switching off failed immigration enforcement programs in places of heightened concern, including Arizona and Texas." -- Resources: Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing (available here)Insecure Communities: Latino Perceptions of Police Involvement in Immigration Enforcement (available here) ###
For Immediate Release May 14, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, 202-746-2099, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n DHS' New Deportation "Priority": Army Veteran with US Citizen Wife and ChildrenAs White House Prepares Roll-out of New Deportation Program, to Prioritize means to Criminalize Hartford, CT—On Thursday, immigrant and veteran communities in Connecticut lambasted the imminent deportation of Jorge Luis Salcedo, a US Army veteran and father of two scheduled to be transferred to ICE on the same day. The case reflects the contradictions in White House policies that, despite a series of Executive Actions being taken last November 2014, continue to indiscriminately criminalize and deport immigrants from communities across the US.Jorge Salcedo, a green card holder who is married with two children, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1994 and served honorably for 8 years. Like many veterans, Salcedo developed PTSD from his time in the military and has fought bouts with alcoholism, leading to two DUIs and a conviction for spitting on a police officer. Jorge has since apologized to the police officer and sought for many years to turn his life around: "I am sorry for everything that I have done and to anyone that has been affected by my drinking."Jorge's wife, Cindy, adds that it will be their daughters that will suffer the most if he is deported, "The effects of not having Jorge at home have been devastating. I am struggling to feed, clothe, and provide medical care for our children."To date, nearly 1,000 individuals have joined a petition to stop Mr. Salcedo's deportation, led by Connecticut-based Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA).The case demonstrates the contradictions in President Obama's "felons not families" rhetoric to get-tough on immigrants with criminal priors, despite heavy equities weighing in their favor demonstrating rehabilitation and positive contributions to family and community."The efforts by DHS to deport individuals like Salcedo, and requiring local police to entangle themselves in the process, are at odds with national efforts to advance criminal justice reforms, community-policing, and anti-profiling efforts," said Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).With DAPA stuck in the courts and information being leaked about the roll-out of S-COMM 2.0, re-branded as the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), the President's immigration policies are failing to live up to expectations."With cases like Salcedo's, DHS is blasting the short-lived belief that they would apply discretion in good faith," said Alvarado of NDLON. "ICE is doing more to undermine confidence in the…
For Immediate ReleaseMay 12, 2015Contact: SG Sarmiento, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n NDLON and ACLU Litigation Reveals Details about ICE Deportation Program Advocates call for end to unconstitutional jail-based detention Los Angeles, CA—The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the ACLU have released a copy of the Department of Homeland Security's new draft immigration detainer form, obtained through litigation challenging detention of individuals pursuant to immigration detainers as unconstitutional. The draft form is part of the Obama Administration's new "Priority Enforcement Program," which is set to replace the widely criticized Secure Communities Deportation program. Announced in November 2014, the program is expected to go into effect imminently. The new detainer form continues to request that local law enforcement agencies detain individuals identified as deportable by ICE beyond their release date for transfer to immigration. Like the old detainer form, which was challenged in litigation around the country, the new form fails to provide a judicial determination of probable cause to support the requested detention. "The draft form indicates that DHS has failed to correct the serious constitutional flaws with immigration detainers," said Jessica Bansal, NDLON Litigation Director. "PEP, like S-Comm, is setting itself up to be a liability trap for unwary local law enforcement agencies, which bear legal responsibility for detaining individuals on ICE holds." Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON, said, "At a time when criminal justice reform, biased policing, and epidemic rates of mass incarceration are at the forefront of the national agenda, the new PEP program sends a chilling message that immigrants are not entitled to equal justice under the law. Relief for some immigrants cannot and must not be used as a justification to condemn other immigrants. We call on the Obama Administration to end its disastrous deportation policy and immediately stop the felonizing of immigrant families." "Six months ago, the Obama Administration promised that it would no longer ask localities to detain people on ICE detainers except in rare 'special circumstances,'" said Jennie Pasquarella, Staff Attorney with the ACLU-SC. "But these draft forms show that ICE has left that promise behind, and it actually intends to continue the routine, dragnet use of detainers that courts have repeatedly condemned." "ICE detainers continue to violate basic civil liberties, as a single ICE agent can lock someone up without any oversight or judicial approval," said Kate Desormeau, Staff Attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "ICE detainers have led to racial…
For Immediate Release // Excuse cross-postingMay 5, 2015Contact: Olga Tomchin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. \n Immigrant Rights Organizations Condemn Killing of Terrence Kellom Sr. and Express Solidarity with Black Lives Matter Movement A coalition of national immigrant rights organizations stands in solidarity with the people of Baltimore and Detroit by honoring the life of 20-year-old Terrence Kellom Sr. who was shot and killed on April 27th, 2015 in his family home by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent. ICE officer Mitchell Quinn was serving as part of the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team (D-FAT) which includes members of the Detroit Police and the U.S. Marshals. The ICE agent was deputized by the U.S. Marshals’ office in order to serve Mr. Kellom with a warrant for his arrest and instead shot the unarmed man ten times. This killing is a tragedy and a violation of Terrence Kellom’s fundamental human rights. Sadly, this is just one of the most recent examples of the national epidemic of state violence and murder attacking Black communities. We demand an end to government-sanctioned violence in all communities and to law enforcement practices that encourage and incentivize profiling and its deadly results with impunity. Mr. Kellom’s killing clearly demonstrates that the systems criminalizing Black communities, people of color, and immigrants are integrally related. The expansion of ICE’s authority to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies is part of an increased emphasis on punitive enforcement measures. These arrangements terrorize communities, invading homes and workplaces, dividing families, and stealing precious lives. We stand in solidarity with the family of Terrence Kellom and the people of Detroit in demanding justice for his death and the death of others at the hands of law enforcement. We demand a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Kellom's killing. We call for an end to militarized policing of our communities and the collusion of power between federal and local authorities leading to the overt destabilizing of community safety. We understand that the basis of anti-immigrant sentiment is rooted in anti Black racism and commit to the liberation of Black people as central to the liberation of all immigrants and communities of color. We support the Black Lives Matter movement. Advancing Justice - Asian Law CaucusBlack Alliance for Just ImmigrationBlack Immigration NetworkBorder Action NetworkBorder Network for Human RightsCenter for Popular DemocracyDetention Watch NetworkEnlaceImmigrant Defense ProjectImmigrant Legal Resource CenterNational Day Laborer Organizing NetworkNational Immigrant Justice CenterNational Immigration…
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