Saturday, July 31, 2010

Deportation 101 Training from Detention Watch Network

Is your community facing mass detentions and deportations?  Do you need legal and organizing resources to fight back?


Deportation 101 offers basics on detention and deportation and provides guidance on how to organize YOUR community.

This nationally renowned training and curriculum is designed for a wide range of service providers, organizers, and advocates. This training works best for community leaders and people directly affected by detention and deportation.

In a 1-2 day training, you will be provided with a Deportation 101 manual and get:

Overviews of the criminal justice & deportation systems
Practical tips and advocacy strategies for people facing or at risk of deportation
Local and national resources and referrals
Info on programs like the Criminal Alien Program, 287(g), & Secure Communities
Ideas for addressing the needs of immigrant families
Discussions on current and future organizing strategies
Analysis of current immigration reform proposals
Detention Watch Network, Families for Freedom, Immigrant Defense Project, and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild are looking to collaborate with a local community-based organization with broad relationships in their community to co-sponsor a Deportation 101 training in 2010-early 2011.
If you're interested in working with us to bring a training to your community, please send an email to Silky Shah at by Wednesday August 11, 2010 with your answers to the following questions. Please note that your responses can be informal and there is no suggested length.

1. What is your interest in bringing a Deportation 101 training to your community? What kinds of immigration enforcement issues are you seeing in your community? How do you see Deportation 101 as helpful to your work?

2. How familiar would you say you and your organization are with deportation and criminal-immigration issues?

3. Local partners for Deportation 101 assume responsibilities for both outreach and logistics (e.g., securing space, providing food, setting up equipment). There is a $3,000 stipend for the local partner as well as limited funding available to cover logistical costs. What capacity do you have to engage in these activities?

4. We also encourage local partners to work with us along the way to shape parts of the training and to lead relevant discussions. Please describe your interest and ability to work with us on the substantive parts of the training.

5. What special requests, if any, do you have for what the Deportation 101 training should cover or emphasize?
If you have questions about Deportation 101, please contact Silky Shah at

July 31, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Message from UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez re bus trip to AZ protesting SB1070 (English & Espano)


Message from UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez re bus trip to AZ protesting SB1070 (English & Espano)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be with hundreds of Union members from 32 different Unions within the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and we all rode in a bus for 16 hours to Phoenix and back. It was such a great experience to see so many people willing to make the sacrifice to join in solidarity with Arizonians against SB1070. The most inspiring part of the day was listening to the stories of the brave women and men who kept the vigil alive in front of the State Capitol for over 100 days and the stories of Felipa Solario, Erika Andiola, Tina Flores and Tomas Robles.

We all need to find a way to support our brothers and sisters in Arizona so they can overcome the bigotry and racism of narrow minded politicians.


Arturo S. Rodriguez UFW President

PS: You can see more photos & news clips at:


Ayer tuve la oportunidad de estar con cientos de miembros de 32 diferentes Uniones de La Federaciόn de Uniones Laborales de Los Angeles. Todos viajamos por 16 horas de Los Angeles a Phoenix y de regreso. Fue una gran experiencia el ver a tanta gente dispuesta a sacrificarse para unirse en solidaridad con el pueblo de Arizona en contra de la ley SB1070. El momento que mas me inspiró del día fue el escuchar las historias de las mujeres y hombres valientes quienes mantuvieron viva la vigilia frente al Capitolio del Estado por más de 100 días y las historias que escuché de Felipa Solario, Erika Andiola, Tina Flores y Tomas Robles.

Todos nosotros necesitamos encontrar la forma de apoyar a nuestros hermanos y hermanas de Arizona para que puedan superar la intolerancia y el racismo de Políticos de mentalidad estrecha.


Arturo S. Rodriguez

Presidente de la UFW


July 31, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ninth Circuit Sets Schedule for Appeal of District Court Ruling In Arizona Immigration Law Case

SCOTUSBLOG reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has set the schedule for the appeal of the order granting the preliminary injunction by the distruct court in United States v. Arizona.  The court refused the expedited schedule that the state had requested and ruled that the court will follow the ordinary schedule for hearing the appeal of the grant of a preliminary injunction.  

Briefing will be completed by October 7, with the oral argument to be set during the week of November 1.

For more details, including a link to the Ninth Circuit order, click the link above.


July 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Impact of the "Enforcement Now, Enforcement Forever" Policy: Deportation Nation

While some observers clamor for more border enforcement, the Obama administration is increasing deportations to record levels.  Here is recently released data for 2007-10.  Download Removals2007-2010_072710[1]  Note that, despite the administration's alleged focus on "criminal aliens," a solid majority of those deported are deported on non-criminal grounds.


July 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A Sign of the TIMEs: The 'Dangerous' Border: Actually One of America's Safest Places

Read this interesting story from TIME magazine, which would provide very informative source material for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, "The 'Dangerous' Border: Actually One of America's Safest Places."


July 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CNN Poll: 81% Support Some Kind of Legalization

A new CNN poll (Download Cnn pool) (page 5) reveals that 81% of those polled "Creating a program that would allow illegal immigrants already living in the United States for a number of years to stay here and apply to legally remain in this country permanently if they had a job and paid back taxes."


July 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Memo: Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigrat ion Reform

Floating around the internet is an internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services draft memorandum -- aparrently alleged in some consrevative circles as confirming that the administration is contemplating some kind of administrative "amnesty" for "illegals" -- on "Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform."  The memorandum states that it "offers administrative relief opt ions to promote family unity, foster economic growth, achieve significant process improvements and reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United Slates without authorization.   It includes recommendations regarding implementation timeframes and required resources."  the underlying assumption is "the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform."

Check out some of the possible administrative changes in US CIS.


July 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Vicente Fox and Conservatives for Immigration Reform

***Press and Public Conference Call: Wednesday, August 4th at 2:00 PM EDT***

International Leaders Join Our 8th CfCIR Call, to Applaud the Partial Injunction of SB 1070 and  to Discuss Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Washington, DC/Mexico/Guatemala, Wednesday, August 4th at 2:00 PM EDT (1:00pm CT, 11:00am PCT), Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR) will hold its first bilingual telephonic conference. Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CFCIR) is a broad coalition of conservative leaders, including some of the most prominent conservatives in the nation. We have come together to advocate for a just, moral and economically sound comprehensive immigration reform that is right for America and all Americans.  This week, CfCIR will broaden its focus and hear from international leaders and community workers about the effects American immigration policies have at an international level, from both a greater geo-political standpoint, and from the perspective of faith and business communities around the world.

The ruling handed down by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton on July 28 temporarily blocking some of the most controversial parts of SB 1070 was a welcome victory on the international stage, but it does not solve the problems that inspired the law in the first place. Families are torn apart every day by our broken immigration system and we continue to treat those within our borders without the respect and dignity all human beings deserve. On the call, conservative strategist Juan Hernandez will moderate as we hear from the following speakers in both English and Spanish:

President Vicente Fox, (former President of Mexico),  author of “The Revolution of Hope,” will discuss his views on the AZ law, the failure of the George W. Bush/Vicente Fox Bi-National Immigration Agreement in 2001 and current issues between Mexico and the USA today which he voiced this week in a  New York Times  article (July 27th ).
Juan Gutierrez, National Secretary of the Guatemala Partido de Avanzada Nacional and CEO of the multinational XELA Enterprises, Inc., will discuss Guatemala’s request for TPS status of the undocumented Guatemalan migrants in the USA, the importance of the remittances and how not only corruption, and poor administration, but the lack of opportunities in Guatemala drives needy people to the US. Juan Gutierrez has been an outspoken leader promoting free-enterprise, democracy and small business creation in Central America. Known as a “friend of Presidents,” he is sought out for his business and political advice from leaders throughout the world.  
President Alvaro Arzu, (former President of Guatemala), Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and current Mayor of Guatemala City discusses the recent natural disasters (volcano eruption and hurricane) and the relief received from the Guatemalan migrants to the USA. President Arzu was a key leader in bringing peace to Guatemala after decades of military conflict. His views on migration and democracy have won him international awards from a variety of organizations. This will be President Arzu’s second participation with CfCIR. (Participation to be confirmed.)
Jenny Hwang of World Relief and co-author of the book “Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate” will talk about the effect of the SB 1070 injunction on the faith community and highlight the moral crisis our broken immigration system represents for the Evangelical and Christian community. World Relief is an international Evangelical organization that reaches out to poor communities around world.
Matt Soerens of World Relief and co-author of “Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate” discusses strategies to bring down the message of the need for CIR to the grassroots level. Mr. Soerens has been very successful in recent months speaking at public venues, including small and mega Evangelical churches. His message, we hope, will motivate many to do as he does – go out to the non supporters of CIR and convince them of the need for a compassionate and just immigration reform.
WHEN: Wednesday, August 4th, 200pm EDT (1:00pm CT, 11:00am PCT)
CALL IN:   913-312-1495, Passcode: 4081379

NOTE: This call is open to the press and public and there will be a question and answer session.
Contact: Juan Hernandez
817 676 4090


July 30, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)











 In San Francisco and Oakland, immigrants and community activists protested Arizona's SB 1070, which would require police and local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people they suspect might be undocumented, on the day the law took effect. A day earlier Federal Judge Susan Bolton invalidated much of the law, but demonstrations involving thousands of people took place against the law around the country nevertheless.

In San Francisco demonstrators also protested cooperation between police and immigration agents in arresting people for deportation, in front of the office of California Attorney General Jerry Brown. Brown, a candidate for governor, ruled that San Francisco could not opt out of the Secure Communities program, which mandates such cooperation and would invalidate San Francisco's sanctuary city ordinance. Protestors then went into Brown's office and told one of his assistants about their objections to his action.

Renee Saucedo, an attorney with La Raza Centro Legal and a leader of the protestors, said: "It's no coincidence that Arizona has this outrageous law, because all the proposals from Washington on immigration reform encourage the same criminalization, racial profiling and discrimination. Immigrant communities are demanding an end to these policies and laws, including "Secure Communities" and "E-Verify." We deserve a new direction from Washington, with real change, including legalization and workers' rights."

In many other parts of the country, demonstrations connected the Arizona law to local anti-immigrant measures, and to an increase in enforcement actions by the Federal government. In Mississippi, the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance held a protest inside the state capitol in Jackson, in front of a statue of former Senator Theodore Bilbo. In the era in which African-Americans were beaten and even lynched for demanding voting and civil rights, Bilbo was a leader of the Dixiecrats in Congress. He was notorious for attacking African Americans, Jews, immigrants, Catholics and all progressive people.

A church choir sang "Listen Mr. Bilbo," written by Bob and Adrienne Claiborne in 1946 and popularized by Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers. The song begins with the verse:

Listen, Mr. Bilbo, listen to me

I'll give you a lesson in history.

Listen and I'll show you that the foreigners you hate

Are the very same people made America great.

Bill Chandler, director of the Alliance, asked: "Is not trying to bring this xenophobic and racist Arizona law into Mississippi playing the Bilbo Card? Is it not their stated intent to intimidate and drive immigrants out of our state, just as their ancestors' intent was to intimidate, terrorize, and drive out African Americans in the last century? And to enforce inequality on those left behind?"

For more articles and images, see

July 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whitman: No to the Arizona Law?

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman
- who has campaign billboards and Spanish-language ads in California declaring "NO to the Arizona law" - told talk show hosts Wednesday that the same controversial immigration law should be allowed to stand in Arizona. Click here for more on this story/contradiction.


July 29, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

USCIS Policy Memo on T and U Visas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a final policy memorandum entitled “William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008: Changes to T and U Nonimmigrant Status and Adjustment of Status Provisions; Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapters 23.5 and 39 (AFM Update AD10-38) ” [PM 602-0004]. The policy memorandum informs immigration services officers who adjudicate petitions for T and U nonimmigrant status and related applications for adjustment of status about new legislation affecting the T and U nonimmigrant programs.  Please note that the memorandum can be viewed by visiting the Feedback Updates section at

The draft memorandum was posted for public comment on the USCIS website from May 17 – June 1, 2010.  USCIS received 6 comments and approved the final policy memorandum on July 21, 2010. 

To learn more about this process and to provide your input on future draft memoranda, please visit the Draft Memorandum for Comment section on the USCIS website.  Please feel free to contact the Office of Public Engagement at


July 29, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hope for Immigration Down Payment

From Morton M. Kondracke, Roll Call Executive Editor

There’s not a prayer that comprehensive immigration reform will pass Congress this year, but there’s a slim one that a smaller “down payment” measure might. And it should.

Many of the nation’s most important Latino groups, plus Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), are now pushing passage of a package to legalize undocumented workers in the farm industry and young people going to college or the military.

What’s needed now is some concerted leadership — from President Barack Obama, from Republican presidential wannabes (and maybe former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) and business groups — plus some gumption (and simple humanity) on the part of GOP Senators who have supported immigration reform in the past.

The problem, of course, is lock step GOP opposition to anything Democrats want to do — plus a political atmosphere inflamed by Arizona’s effort to sic its police on illegal immigrants.

Republicans are fixed on a “border security first” immigration strategy, while “down payment” involves legalizing the status of about 2 million undocumented immigrants.

There’s also resistance in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, many of whose leaders fear that passing an agriculture bill now will pull a key group — the grower lobby — out of the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform.

There’s also fear that Republicans will try to attach harsh enforcement provisions to any “down payment” bill.

Still, it’s worth the effort. “A small, good deal is better than no deal at all,” says Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and a convenor of the National Latino Congreso, a coalition of major Hispanic groups.

“We want comprehensive reform, but right now we need a lifeboat,” he told me. “We need to take care of the people we can.”

The National Latino Congreso includes the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The “down payment” strategy also has been endorsed by a huge coalition of groups organized as Reform Immigration for America, which includes the National Council of La Raza and the National Immigration Forum.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may be interested in pushing only the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, but Feinstein wants the AgJOBS bill, too. Her staff counts no more than 56 votes for either measure separately but thinks the farm lobby can pull in enough Republicans to get to 60 for the two measures as a package.

The DREAM Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) would offer legal status to young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children if they go to college for two years or join the military.

AgJOBS, sponsored by Feinstein and Lugar, would offer legal status (a “blue card”) to workers with two years’ experience in agriculture, and to their families, if they agreed to stay in farm work for another two years.

Each of the measures would legalize about 1 million of the 12 million undocumented people in the U.S.

As policy matters, both measures make eminent sense. It’s pure madness that the nation is denied the service of [undocumented] immigrants who want to join the military. Click here for the rest of the column.


July 29, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Darrell Steinberg on "It Is Time to End Discrimination Against Hard Working Latino Farm Workers"

Senator Darrell Steinberg
, UC Davis School of Law alum, has a post on California Majority Report entitled "It Is Time to End Discrimination Against Hard Working Latino Farm Workers."

Click here for more on the plight of farm workers.


July 29, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Garrett Epps on United States v. Arizona

My friend, and constitutional law guru (doesn't he look like one of the founders in the above photo?), Garrett Epps thoughtfully comments on United States v. Arizona for the Atlantic.  He is disappointed with the court's resort to the federal preemption doctrine  to strike down the core of SB 1070 as opposed to a juicy rights-based Equal Protection analysis.  Well, Garrett, we could have bigger things to complain about!


July 29, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Are America: Stories of Today's Immigrants

This week, We Are America features various stories of immigrants struggling to make a living in the United States while facing significant barriers. One of them is Getachew Mengesha, an Ethiopian taxicab driver who received political asylum in 2002. He was working in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2006, eventually losing his job and finding his way to Prince George’s County, Maryland where he became a taxi driver in an extremely exploitive industry. He joined the Taxi Workers Alliance to lead a fight to update the county’s taxi code. Says Getachew, “When I came to the United States, I thought I came to a free country… but when I get into this industry, I was like a volunteer slave.” Listen to his story here.

Miguel is a Guatemala immigrant who came to the United States to make money so that he could help his sister who is very sick. He can’t travel home to visit his family because of his status as an undocumented worker. He talks to his mother three or four times a week and dreams of getting to see his family again one day. He says, “I would like to be free in my country, just as you are in yours.” See pictures of Miguel and listen to his story here.

Carlos Morales is one of many Latino immigrants who has been a victim of abuse in Suffolk County, New York. Many are too afraid to share their stories or give their names, but Carlos told his story to researches from the Southern Poverty Law Center who released the report “Climate of Fear” in late 2009. Read his story here.

Another Mexican immigrant, Teresa Mina, came to California looking for work after her husband left her alone with three children to support. She became a janitor and was able to send enough money home to pay the bills, but then was fired earlier this year when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) demanded that the company fire her and 473 other workers who lacked legal documents. Without a job, she’ll likely have to return to her home town of Tierra Blanca to try to find work in the fields. Read her story here.

Finally, we continue to publish certain stories or “testimonios” in Spanish, including one of our featured videos which now appears with subtitles. Aqui es el testimonia de Montserrat Arredondo.


July 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Challenging Jerry Brown on Secure Communities

On Thursday, July 29, 2010, at 11 am, at the State Building, 455 Golden Gate Ave., in San Francisco, dozens of immigrant workers, elected officials, and community leaders will call on Attorney General Jerry Brown to authorize San Francisco to opt-out, or not participate, in an Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement (ICE) program called "Secure Communities," or "S-COMM," which causes state and local law enforcement to automatically and immediately provide information to ICE of anybody arrested, regardless of the severity of the charges.
In April 2009, the California Department of Justice signed an agreement with ICE, which activated California's participation in the program.  In public statements, ICE has stated that S-COMM is a voluntary program and that local agencies are free to opt-out or decide not to participate.
However, when San Francisco Sheriff Hennessy communicated to Attorney General Jerry Brown that San Francisco wished to opt-out of the program, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution stating this, Attorney General Brown declined San Francisco's request, because Brown thinks "this program serves both public safety and the interest of justice."
"Jerry Brown claims to have the support of Latino and immigrant communities in his bid for Governor,"  states Renee Saucedo, a lawyer with La Raza Centro Legal.  "We will not support any elected official who promotes policies that further encourage deportations and the separation of immigrant families."
Immigrant rights, and civil rights organizations, including the Asian Law Caucus, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and the Central American Resource Center, oppose the S-COMM program because the majority of those reported to ICE under the program were charged with minor crimes.  Furthermore, S-COMM thwarts San Francisco's Sanctuary Law, and it leads to racial profiling by local law enforcement.
Beatriz Herrera, an organizer with People Organizing to Win Employment Rights (POWER) says, "We are making this demand of Jerry Brown today, because it is the day the new anti-immigrant law in Arizona is supposed to go into effect."  "S-COMM will lead to the same kind of racial profiling and discrimination that the Arizona law causes."
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano
Supervisor Eric Mar
Supervisor David Campos
Tim Paulson, Executive Director, SF Labor Council
Angela Chan, Asian Law Caucus and SF Police Commission
Immigrant workers impacted by S-COMM


July 28, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Breaking News: Federal District Court Enjoins Key Provisions of Arizona SB 1070

Judge Susan Bolton, U.S. District Court Judge in Phoenix, Arizona, in United States v. Arizona has issued a preliminary injunction barring key provisions (Portion of Sections 2, Section 3, Portion of Section 5, and Section 6)) of Arizona SB 1070 from going into effect tomorrow.  Here is the order.  Download 2010-07-28 Az Decision  Analysis to follow.

The court ruled primarily on federal preemption grounds.  I hate to tell you but I cannot resist:  I told you so.  (and see here for an exclamation point).

POSTSCRIPT: Here are some of my thoughts on the ruling on the N.Y. Times Blog "Room for Debate."


July 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrants in All 50 States

Today, the Immigration Policy Center released its complete series of 50 state fact sheets which highlight the political and economic power of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in every state of the union. Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for large and growing shares of the U.S. economy and electorate. These easy to understand, state-by-state demographic snapshots are a compilation of current government and academic data on citizenship, economic contributions, and voting habits.Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for large and growing shares of the U.S. economy and electorate. Overall, immigrants made up more than 12% of the U.S. population (or nearly 38 million people) in 2008, and more than 43% of them are naturalized U.S. citizens meaning they are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—accounted for more than 8.6% (or 11.7 million people) of all registered U.S. voters in 2006. In 2008, Latinos and Asians accounted for nearly 20% of all Americans (or more than 60 million people) and wielded $1.5 trillion in consumer purchasing power. The businesses they own had sales and receipts of $549 billion and employed 3.7 million people at last count. Immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers and entrepreneurs are integral to the U.S. economy and tax base—and they are an electoral force with which every politician must reckon.


July 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

State Department Changes Mind, Grants Visa to Colombian Journalist

The U.S. State Department has changed its mind and decided to grant Colombian journalist Hollman Morris a visa so that he and his family can  go to Harvard where he will be on a fellowship for the next year.  The visa had initially been denied, possibly based on the "terrorist activities" provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act.


July 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arizona's SB 1070 Goes Into Effect Tomorrow

It looks like the end of this week will be crazy on immigration.  Arizona's SB 1070 is currently set to go into effect tomorrow, July 29.  There has been no word from the federal court in Phoenix weighing the various challenges to SB 1070 and sitting on motions for a preliminary injunction that would prohibit the state's immigration law from going into effect.  Everone anxiously awaits the court ruling, which might even come out today.  Being vigilant, the Mexican government has sent human rights monitors to the U.S./Mexico border.  Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is preparing a mass outdoor detention facility for the undocumented immigrants that presumably will be arrested.  Protests are planned.

In short, we can expect lots of news for sure from Arizona in the next few days.  Stay tuned!


July 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)