For immediate release // excuse cross-posting

Contact: B. Loewe, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 773-791-4668

 

Coalition Files New Suit to Halt Arpaio’s Workplace Raids
Calls State Laws on Which Raids Are Based Unconstitutional

 

What: Press conference to announce suit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery 

When: 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Where: Outside MCSO Headquarters, 550 W. Jackson St., Phoenix, AZ (Livestream will be available to watch here)

Plaintiffs and their attorneys will be available for interviews at the press conference

PHOENIX – Several Maricopa County residents, joined by immigrant rights and civil rights groups, will today announce the filing of a new class-action lawsuit, Puente Arizona v. Arpaio, which challenges the County’s enforcement of two state laws that turn immigrants into felons simply for working to provide for their families.

The suit comes almost five years to the day from when young Katherine Figueroa brought national attention to Arpaio’s raids through a YouTube plea to President Obama after she witnessed both her parents being arrested at a raid on live television. That day marked the beginning of a long and courageous fight by Katherine to reunite her family.

Arizona legislators amended the state’s identity theft laws in 2007 and 2008 at the urging of then-Representative Russell Pearce (whose anti-immigrant agenda prompted his recall in 2011). Since then, MCSO has conducted over 80 raids and arrested over 790 workers.

“Our boss always told us that he would call the Sheriff if any of us complained about the extra hours that he forced us to work without pay. Fear of a raid kept us silent but then it happened anyways,” said Sara Cervantes Arreola, a plaintiff in the case and Glendale mother who was arrested during a raid on Lam’s Supermarket last year. “I’m part of the suit because working to provide for my family is not a crime and I want my record cleared.”

 “Arpaio tries to say he stands for law and order but he violates the law more often than he enforces it,” said Carlos Garcia of Puente, an organizational plaintiff in the case. “After so many years of suffering, the community Arpaio has built his career on attacking is now the one taking the Sheriff to court.”

“Arizona overstepped its authority when it recast its identity theft laws to target undocumented workers,” said Leah Gasser-Ordaz, a student with the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, which is representing plaintiffs. “In their quest to make life so miserable for immigrants that they would ‘self-deport,’ lawmakers violated constitutional federalism principles and the fundamental value of equal protection of the laws.”

“Maricopa County is the only jurisdiction systematically enforcing these tools given to it by the state legislature,” said Dan Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona and co-counsel for plaintiffs. “We know from past experience that when the MCSO gets into the business of immigration enforcement, it’s a recipe for discrimination and abuse.”

“Across the country, people are pushing back against unjust immigration policies. In Maricopa County, we will bring Arpaio to justice and continue on to ICE and others until Arizona reflects the best of our nation’s values instead of the worst of the politics of attrition,” said co-counsel Jessica Karp, staff attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).

“Of all of Arizona’s anti-immigrant measures, I’ve seen this one take the greatest human toll,” said defense attorney and co-counsel Ray Ybarra Maldonado.

Other plaintiffs in the case include Phoenix resident Guadalupe Arredondo and Reverend Susan Frederick-Gray. The suit requests a permanent injunction preventing Maricopa County from enforcing two Arizona statutes, A.R.S. § 13-2008(A) and § 13-2009(A)(3), against undocumented workers. It also seeks to expunge the records of plaintiffs who continue to face discrimination as a result of their felony convictions.

A full list of attorneys on the case includes Professors Annie Lai and Sameer Ashar of the UCI Law Immigrant Rights Clinic; Jessica Karp of NDLON; Dan Pochoda of the ACLU Foundation of Arizona; and Ray Ybarra Maldonado of the Law Office of Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado.

The complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for Arizona is attached, and will also be available here and below.

 

 

 

 

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Published in Press Releases
Puente: Real Justice Requires a Halt to Deportations
 
05.24.2013 Phoenix, AZ
In response to the guilty verdict in the racial profiling case of Sheriff Arpaio, Carlos Garcia, of the Puente Movement issued the following statement:
 
"While today's court ruling is undeniably a victory, real justice will come when the victims of Arpaio see their rights fully vindicated. At a bare minimum, the White House should repond by immediately suspending deportations throughout Maricopa County."
 
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Published in Press Releases
05.10.2012 Washington, DC. In response to the Department of Justice announcement that it will be suing Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County in its civil rights case against him, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network released the following statements,

Chris Newman, legal director states, "It is very clear a dispute has broken out between the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, and it's forcing a dilemma for the White House. The DOJ is arriving late to a civil rights crime scene caused in large part by the Department of Homeland Security.  Janet Napolitano got Arpaio his immigration badge when she was Governor, and rather than correct her mistake as Secretary of DHS, she chose to create more Arpaio's by expanding the dangerous "Secure Communities" (SCOMM) program throughout the country.  
Published in Press Releases

05.10.2012 Phoenix, AZ. In response to the DOJ announcement that it will be suing Sheriff Arpaio after negotiations in its civil rights case failed and the Sheriff's subsequent promise to appeal in what will be lengthy court proceedings, Carlos Garcia of Puente Arizona released the following statement:

"While suing and investigating the Sheriff's office, the federal government should end its own role in his historic violations of civil rights. We need immediate relief in Arizona not lengthy courtroom theater. As the Sheriff continues in office and SB1070's supreme court decision looms ahead, the Administration has to decide whether it will continue to be an accomplice to racial profiling and family separation in Arizona or whether it will shut off programs like Secure Communities that are at the center of Arpaio's crimes."

Puente Arizona is a Phoenix-based human rights organization leading the effort to bring Sheriff Arpaio to justice and restore rights in Maricopa County by ending police/ICE collaboration.

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Published in Press Releases
Monday, 23 January 2012 19:36

Jailer (Arizona/Attica Mix) - Asa

Video mash-up of footage from the Attica prison rebellion and Arizona protests against Arpaio set to the tune of "Jailer" by Asa.

Published in Arts and Culture
Monday, 23 January 2012 19:36

Jailer (Arizona/Attica Mix) - Asa

Video mash-up of footage from the Attica prison rebellion and Arizona protests against Arpaio set to the tune of "Jailer" by Asa.

Published in Arts and Culture
Monday, 23 January 2012 18:20

Arrest Arpaio Rally Jan, 2012

Published in Documentary Footage

Salvador Reza of the Puente Movement responded to today's Department of Justice settlement for access to records in Sheriff Arpaio's office with the following statement.
"Nearly three years after the beginning of their investigation, the Department of Justice should be intervening in Maricopa county not just investigating. The people of Maricopa have been living with a likely criminal at the head of our law enforcement for years and it's time for relief. The County Sheriff's Office should be placed under receivership without delay. Anything less than immediate intervention in our human rights crisis makes President Obama and former Governor Napolitano accomplices in the reign of terror- and likely criminal behavior- of Sheriff Joe Arpaio."

The Department of Homeland Security which empowers Sheriff Arpaio through its ICE Access programs has recently come under fire for the expansion of Arpaio-style policies throughout the country through the "Secure Communities" program. The agency has been accused of emulating the lack of transparency and discriminatory practices under investigation in the office of Sheriff Arpaio. As a result, the DHS' spread of Arpaio-style policies is also coming under investigation by the OIG and is facing a growing call for an end to ICE Access programs that entangle local police in immigration laws.
...

Published in Arts and Culture
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 18:46

NEW MANU CHAO ‘ALTO ARIZONA’ PROTEST VIDEO

Phoenix, AZ

In September, Manu Chao ended his US tour with a ‘Festival de Resistencia’ free concert in Phoenix, Arizona, to protest against anti-immigrant policies that have made the state of Arizona a “capital of prejudice.” The free concert was held in collaboration with the National Day Labourer Organising Network (NDLON), whose ‘Alto Arizona’ campaign is part of an ongoing effort to bring visibility, recognition, dignity and healing to migrants who have been targets of hate in Arizona and around the world.

 

Last year, Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070, the beginning of a wave of the most anti-immigrant legislation the US has not seen in generations. The passage of SB 1070 Arizona dramatically expanded police powers to stop, question and detain individuals for not having proper identification, a move that encourages racial profiling and legitimizes intolerance.

 

NDLON is a national migrant worker organisation that has been seeking to bring relief  to the state of Arizona and challenge the spread of Arizona-style laws to other states such as Georgia and Alabama.  In Arizona, NDLON and local member organizations are asking the federal government to bring Maricopa County’s Sheriff Arpaio to justice by taking away his immigration law enforcement power and by concluding the three-year-old Department of Justice investigation into his civil rights abuses. The law is currently being blocked by a federal judge.

 

As the son of parents who fled Franco’s Spain, Chao can personally relate to the discrimination and displacement experienced under aggressive governance. “For the past year, we’ve carried the people of Arizona in our hearts as we witnessed them suffer under such ignorant laws” says Chao.

 

While in Arizona, Manu Chao visited the perimeter fence of the notorious jail facility known as ‘Tent City’, which was conceived by Sheriff Arpaio, and where inmates are forced to suffer degrading treatment and to endure the extreme temperature range of the desert by living outside in tents.

 

Manu Chao, along with bandmate Madjid Fahem, serenaded the walls of the jail with a heartfelt rendition of his song ‘Clandestino’. This version was captured on film by filmmaker Alex Rivera, whose work strives to draw attention to the Latin-American community in the US. The footage was produced by the National Day Labourer Organising Network (NDLON) and can be seen on the ‘Alto Arizona’ site http://www.altoarizona.com 

 

NUEVO VIDEO DE MANU CHAO DE PROTESTA 'ALTO DE ARIZONA'

 

29 de noviembre 2011. Phoenix, AZ


En septiembre, Manu Chao terminó su gira por EE.UU. con un concierto gratuito "Festival de Resistencia" en Phoenix, Arizona, para protestar contra las políticas anti-inmigrantes que han convertido al estado de Arizona en "La Capital de los Prejuicios." El concierto se celebró en colaboración con la Red Nacional del Jornaleros (NDLON), que sostiene la campaña "Alto Arizona". La campaña “Alto Arizona” es parte de un esfuerzo continuo para lograr visibilidad, el reconocimiento, la dignidad y la curación a los inmigrantes que han sido objeto de odio en Arizona y en todo el mundo.
El año pasado, Arizona aprobó la ley SB 1070, que marco el comienzo de una ola de legislación  anti-inmigrante. La más severa que se ha visto en generaciones en los EE.UU. La aprobación de la SB 1070 en Arizona amplio dramáticamente los poderes policiales para detener, interrogar y detener a personas por no tener una identificación adecuada, una estrategia que alienta la discriminación racial y le da legitimidad a la intolerancia.
NDLON es una organización nacional de trabajadores inmigrantes, que ha estado tratando de llevar alivio al estado de Arizona y frenar el avance de las leyes estilo "Arizona" a otros estados, como Georgia y Alabama. En Arizona, NDLON y las organizaciones locales miembros están pidiendo al gobierno federal traer ante la justicia a el alguacil del Condado de Maricopa, Joe Arpaio. Pedimos que le quiten el poder que tiene para ejercer leyes de inmigración y también pedimos que se le de una conclusión a la investigación empezada por El Departamento de Justicia hace tres años por sus violaciones a los derechos civiles. Actualmente, la ley está siendo bloqueada por un juez federal.
Como hijo de padres que huyeron de la España de Franco, Chao personalmente puede identificarse con la discriminación y el desplazamiento sufrido bajo tan agresiva gobernanza. "Durante el último año, hemos llevado al pueblo de Arizona en nuestros corazones, mientras somos testigos de su sufrimiento a causa  de estas leyes ignorantes", dice Chao.
Durante su estadia en Arizona, Manu Chao visitó el perímetro de la notoria cerca de alambre del centro carcelario conocido como "Tent City", que fue creada por el Sheriff Arpaio, y donde los reclusos son obligados a sufrir tratos degradantes y a soportar temperaturas extremas del desierto viviendo afuera en carpas.
Manu Chao, junto a su compañero de banda, Fahem Madjid, canto frente a los muros de la cárcel con una interpretación sincera y profunda de su canción 'Clandestino'. Esta versión fue filmada por el cineasta Alex Rivera, quien con su obra se esfuerza por llamar la atención hacia la comunidad latinoamericana en los EE.UU.. El video fue producido por la Red Nacional del Jornaleros (NDLON) y puede ser visto en el sitio http://www.altoarizona.com 'Alto Arizona'

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Published in Arts and Culture

Today the Department of Justice concluded its three year investigation into civil rights violations in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. In response to the detailed report, Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following response:

 

“The Department of Justice report formally and forcefully describes a civil and human rights crisis in Maricopa County; one that has moved hundreds of thousands to demonstrate around the globe over the past several years.

 

 It is a ringing indictment of a Sheriff’s office that has 'treated all Latinos as if they were undocumented' and the federal immigration contracts that have made such prejudice possible. It is the most detailed chronicle of the failed end result of the federal programs that make monsters out of local law enforcement.

 

We have waited three years for federal intervention to restore justice in Maricopa County. Now that the Department of Justice has outlined the symptoms, it is time for the Department of Homeland security to terminate its immigration contracts with the Sheriff as a first step toward a cure.”

 

The Department of Justice report outlines years of biased policing that created “a chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations (page 2).”

 

It goes on to detail that deputies used excessive force against Latinos and built a “wall of distrust between MCSO officers and Maricopa County Latino residents (page 2).”

 

The report finds, “Since roughly 2007, in the course of establishing its immigration enforcement program, MCSO has implemented practices that treat Latinos as if they are all undocumented, regardless of whether a legitimate factual basis exists to suspect that a person is undocumented (page 6).”

 

“Sheriff Arpaio has promoted a culture of bias in his organization and clearly communicated to his officers that biased policing would not only be tolerated, but encouraged (page 9).”

 

The Full Report can be read: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/mcso.php

...

Published in Arts and Culture
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