November 2011 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert!

by Lee Siu Hin - Immigrant Solidarity Network Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 at 7:58 PM Washington D.C.: (202)595-8990 New York: (212)330-8172 Los Angeles: (213)403-013 Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Occupy the Wall Street Occupy the ICE!! Many activist across the county are occupying their community to protest again the greedy top 1% and the corrupted U.S. government policies, immigrant rights activist should also joining this powerful movement to occupy their local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office to protest against their racist anti-immigrant policies!

Please post your immigrant action calendar items

November 2011 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Digest and News Alert!

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November 2011 U.S. Immigrant Alert! Newsletter
Published by National Immigrant Solidarity Network

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Occupy the Wall Street Occupy the ICE!!

In This Issue:

1) US Deported 400K+ immigrants (Pg 1)
2) US Expelling US Citizens  
(Pg 1)
3) ICE Detainee death  (Pg 3)

4) Court Orders Release of Key ICE Memorandum  (Pg 3) 
5) Counties Vow Not to Detain Immigrants on ICE’s Behalf  (Pg 4)
6) Somali women demand justice (Pg 5)
7) LA Car Wash Worker’s Union (Pg 5)
8) Updates, Please Support NISN! Subscribe the Newsletter!
(Pg 6)


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Message from National Immigrant Solidarity Network:

Many activist across the county are occupying their community to protest again the greedy top 1% and the corrupted U.S. government policies, immigrant rights activist should also joining this powerful movement to occupy their local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office to protest against their racist anti-immigrant policies!

National Immigrant Solidarity Network

US Deported over 400,000 immigrants for the Past 12 Months, 18,000 to El Salvador

Voices from El Salvador - October 23, 2011

In the past twelve months, the United States government has deported over 400,000 immigrants back to their countries of origin, and according to a report by El Faro, 95% of the deportees were Latin American. The number of deportees has risen by 40,000 since 2008 when almost 350,000 people were deported from the U.S.

The vast majority (286,893) of the deportees were Mexican. The country with the second most deportees is Guatemala (33,324). Honduras is third (23,822) and El Salvador is fourth (18,870). Of those deported, 55% had been charged with some crime in the U.S. President Obama ran on a platform that included immigration reform as one of his top priorities, but we have still seen no action other than a failed attempt at passing the Dream Act. Certainly much of the inaction on reform is attributable to the Tea Party Movement and the extreme positions taken by the Republican presidential candidates, who seem to stumble over each other to take the most extreme position possible on immigration enforcement.

According to the online journal Infowars, immigration enforcement has been a cash cow for private prisons. There are 2 million immigrants in private prisons in the United States. The government pays these prisons $45-130 per day for their detention.

Though the political climate is not favorable to immigration reform, our politicians need to at least keep trying and we have to keep this issue on the front on the front page of the papers.


Let’s Fight Back!

Workers win contract with country's first unionized car wash

Los Angeles Times - October 25, 2011

Workers at a Southern California car wash have organized and won a labor contract with their employers, making it what’s believed to be the only unionized car wash in the country. The agreement, to be announced at a press conference Tuesday morning, is between some 30 car wash workers and the Sikder family, owners of Bonus Car Wash, at 2800 Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica, according to the contract The Times has received.

As part of the agreement, the family has agreed to attempt to reopen Marina Car Wash in Venice, which had closed and had employed another 30 workers, said Chloe Osmer of the Community Labor Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), a group formed to organize car-wash workers.

The contract calls for small pay increases of 2%. Its greater importance, Osmer said, is that it calls for owners to abide by state labor law regarding car wash working conditions, such as work breaks and when workers can clock in. It also provides a procedure for hearing workers' grievances and requires any new owners of the car wash to abide by the contract.
 In the past, workers would be asked to show up for work at a certain time, but then not allowed to clock in until customers began arriving. Work breaks were also limited, said Eduardo Tapia, a Bonus worker for five years.

“It was a two-year struggle,” said Tapia. Now, “we have 10 more minutes of break. We have our water to drink. If they say show up at work at 10:30, I start work at 10:30.”

Times’ telephone calls to Bonus Car Wash and the Sikder family attorney requesting comment were not returned.


Counties Vow Not to Detain Immigrants on ICE’s Behalf

Color Line - October, 2011 Issue

Cooperating with the federal government’s immigration enforcement agenda may be mandatory for local law enforcement, but localities are finding ways around the federal government’s programs.

Last week northern California’s Santa Clara County became the latest locality to pass an ordinance that will likely curb the number of its residents who get handed over to federal immigration authorities through the immigration enforcement program Secure Communities. That same week, Washington, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray signed an executive order reaffirming the rights of D.C. residents not to get harassed by law enforcement officers about their immigration status.

These announcements are the latest in a string of similar moves from other counties which have attempted to push back on the federal government’s interpretation of its Secure Communities program. S-Comm, as the initiative is often called, allows immigration officials to check the fingerprints of everyone booked into a local or county jail against federal immigration records. Even if the person is wrongfully arrested or never charged with any crime, they become subject to deportation if they’re found to be undocumented. If a match is found, Immigration and Customs Enforcement — if it doesn’t already have an agent posted inside the local jail — will call local law enforcement and ask them to detain a person while ICE agents come down to the jail to take them away for detention proceedings.

Santa Clara County has now determined that enforcing such detainers for ICE are “requests” from the federal government which it’s under no obligation to carry out. It’s further argued that holding onto people in county jails for ICE is a costly financial burden that localities, which are not reimbursed by the federal government, should not to have enforce.

“Today is historic,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa on the day of the vote, New America Media reported. “We now have the most progressive policy in this field, and the whole nation will be looking at us as Santa Clara County makes it official: we don’t do ICE’s job.”

Washington, D.C. Mayor Gray signed an executive order that also promised to stop the practice of holding onto people for ICE longer than the legally mandated 48-hour period, which localities have done as a courtesy to the federal agency.

“We’re not going to be instruments of federal law when it comes to immigration status,” Gray said last week, Washington D.C.’s WTOP reported.

Such resistance comes as the federal government is pushing harder and harder to limit states’ attempts to opt out of the once-optional program. This past summer, after the governors of Illinois, New York and Massachusetts all attempted to opt out or distance their states from the program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responded by canceling every contract it had drawn up with participating states. DHS argued that the program was not optional after all.

The program has been a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s deportation agenda, and been a primary driver of the administration’s record-breaking deportation rates.

While the loudest resistance to the program has come from immigrant rights advocates, local law enforcement officers have also been vocal in their criticisms. Traditionally, immigration violations are civil offenses that are not enforced by local law enforcement.
But that’s no longer the case. The school of thinking among a growing number of law enforcement experts, and not just immigrant advocates, is that forcing police to help the federal government enforce immigration law breaks down trust in a community, and hampers police officers’ ability to do their primary job of ensuring public safety.

Partnerships between local law enforcement and immigration officials “creates the very distinct impression that police are agents of ICE,” said Stephen Smith, the organizing director of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “And if you think the police are agents and you are part of a mixed status family, you don’t call the police and you don’t report crimes on your own.”

Earlier this summer San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessy, citing exactly this reasoning, announced that he’d no longer honor ICE detainer requests for people who were arrested by not charged with a crime; those who were victims of domestic violence and those with no prior criminal record. Last month Illinois’ Cook County, where the cost of detaining people on behalf of ICE amounts to $15.7 million dollars a year, passed a local ordinance similar to Santa Clara County’s. Smith credited local law enforcement officials in Illinois and around the country for providing leadership on the issue to get these ordinances passed.

“The unsung heroes in this are the law enforcement officials who are providing legitimacy to claims that if anything, these programs make us less safe, not more safe,” Smith said.

While other attempts to end participation in Secure Communities have not been successful, localities have been able to assert this kind of resistance so far.

“I think what sheriffs and what localities are doing in setting this trend is totally within their right and within their scope of local jurisdiction,” said B. Loewe, a spokesperson with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which is organizing to dismantle Secure Communities. “How their agencies respond to [detainer] requests is within their purview.”

“Jurisdictions who ignore detainers bear the risk of possible dangers to public safety,” ICE spokesperson Gillian Christensen said this summer, US News reported.

According to Smith, such framing is a disingenuous ploy, since local ordinances that limit localities’ cooperation with detainer requests do not bar the federal government from picking up the tab for these costs.

Secure Communities is slated to be operational across the entire country by 2013.

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Useful Immigrant Resources on Detention and Deportation

Face Sheet: Immigration Detention--Questions and Answers (Dec, 2008) by:

Thanks for GREAT works from Detention Watch Network (DWN) to compiled the following information, please visit DWN website:

Tracking ICE's Enforcement Agenda
Real Deal fact sheet on detention
Real Deal fact sheet on border

- From Raids to Deportation-A Community Resource Kit
- Know Your Rights in the Community (English, Spanish)
- Know Your Rights in Detention
- Pre-Raid Community Safety Plan
- Raids to Deportation Map
- Raids to Deportation Policy Map

More on Immigration Resource Page


Useful Handouts and Know Your Immigrant Rights When Marches
Immigrant Marches / Marchas de los Inmigrantes

Immigrants and their supporters are participating in marches all over the country to protest proposed national legislation and to seek justice for immigrants. The materials available here provide important information about the rights and risks involved for anyone who is planning to participate in the ongoing marches.

If government agents question you, it is important to understand your rights. You should be careful in the way you speak when approached by the police, FBI, or INS. If you give answers, they can be used against you in a criminal, immigration, or civil case.

The ACLU's publications below provide effective and useful guidance in several languages for many situations. The brochures apprise you of your legal rights, recommend how to preserve those rights, and provide guidance on how to interact with officials.

Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement
| Conozca Sus Derechos Frente A Los Agentes Del Orden Público

ACLU of Massachusetts - Your Rights And Responsibilities If You Are Contacted By The Authorities English | Spanish | Chinese

ACLU of Massachusetts - What to do if stopped and questioned about your immigration status on the street, the subway, or the bus
| Que hacer si Usted es interrogado en el tren o autobus acerca de su estatus inmigratorio

ACLU of South Carolina - How To Deal With A 287(g)
| Como Lidiar Con Una 287(g)

ACLU of Southern California - What to Do If Immigration Agents or Police Stop You While on Foot, in Your Car, or Come to Your Home
| Qué Hacer Si Agentes de Inmigración o la Policía lo Paran Mientras Va Caminando, lo Detienen en su Auto o Vienen a su Hogar

ACLU of Washington - Brochure for Iraqis: What to Do If the FBI or Police Contact You for Questioning English | Arabic

ACLU of Washington - Your Rights at Checkpoints at Ferry Terminals
| Sus Derechos en Puestos de Control en las Terminales de Transbordadores

Immigrant Protests - What Every Worker Should Know:
| Manifestaciones de los Inmigrantes - Lo Que Todo Trabajador Debe Saber

ACLU of Florida Brochure - The Rights of Protesters
| Los Derechos de los Manifestantes

Washington State - Student Walkouts and Political Speech at School
| Huelgas Estudiantiles y Expresión Política en las Escuelas

California Students: Public School Walk-outs and Free Speech
| Estudiantes de California: Marchas o Huelgas y La Libertad de Expresión en las Escuelas Públicas


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