Fall 2015 National Immigrant
Solidarity Network Monthly News Digest and News Alert!
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Fall 2015 U.S. Immigrant
by National Immigrant Solidarity Network
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Migrant’s Human Rights Violations, Syria Refugee Crisis – Proudly Made by U.S.A. + Dump the Trump!
In This Issue:
1) The U.S. will release 6,000 inmates next month—and then deport 2,000 of them
2) European governments treat refugees as a hostile invasion force
3) "Dump the Trump" rally sounds off against Trump and his supporters
4) DMV Issues Over Half a Million Driver’s Licenses Under AB 60
Wage theft and local opposition threaten day laborers
6) Anarchists Have Taken Over a Building in Athens to House Refugees
7) Florida Father Denied Chance to Reunite with Family, Turned Away at Border
8) Revised CBP Standards Promise Reform but Fall Short of Accountability
Clinton Lobbyist Also Works for Private Prison Company GEO Group
10) Updates, Please Support NISN!
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our latest newsletter: http://www.immigrantsolidarity.org/Newsletter/Fall15.pdf
|10/17 URGENT: 54 South Asian Detainees On Hunger Strike at El Paso Immigrant Detention Center
After 3 days of hunger strike, 9 detainees have been released, 1 organizer beaten up and isolated, and 3 hospitalized
54 South Asian detainees, from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, at the El Paso Detention Center started a hunger strike at breakfast time on October 14. All of the strikers are asylum seekers. Some detainees have been held for up to 9 or 11 months.
The detainees are demanding an immediate halt to deportations, investigations into unfair hearings and interference with their legal cases, release from detention for those granted parole
10/7: The U.S. will release 6,000 inmates next month—and then deport 2,000 of them
Casey Tolan - Fusion
More than 6,000 inmates convicted of drug charges will be released from federal prison at the end of the month in what experts say will be among the largest inmate releases in U.S. history.
But about a third of those inmates aren’t going free: 2,000 of the releasees are immigrants who will be immediately moved into deportation proceedings.
The release is thanks to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a judicial agency which voted last April to reduce sentences for drug crimes by an average of 11 months. The commission decided in November 2014that they would enact the changes retroactively, allowing inmates to petition courts for sentence reductions. The first wave of 6,000 inmates who have been approved will now be released between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, although many of them are already in halfway houses or home confinement.
In past years, the commission made similar moves to reduce sentences for crack cocaine, but this release covers all drug charges. Over the next few years, it will mean that more than 40,000 inmates will be eligible for early release.
“We were motivated in part by the overcrowding in the federal prisons,” Rachel Barkow, a commission member and NYU law professor, told the Marshall Project. Congressional oversight reports say that federal prisons are 30% over capacity.
The retroactive resentencing will take effect as criminal justice reform reaches a critical point in U.S. politics. It’s separate from President Obama’s move to grant clemency to some nonviolent drug offenders, which resulted in 46 commutations this summer. And it’s also different from the recent bills proposed in Congress to reduce sentences and mandatory minimums for nonviolent crimes.
In fact, the commission’s resentencing decision will probably have a bigger impact than those higher profile actions. “Nothing to date comes close to what this shift is likely to produce over the next decade or so, starting this year,” Marc Mauer, the executive director of the Sentencing Project, an advocacy group, told the AP.
A quarter of the inmates who qualify under the sentencing commission’s reforms are not U.S. citizens. The 2,000 inmates who will be deported—both undocumented immigrants and legal residents who can be deported for their crimes—will be moved from federal prison to immigration detention centers.
Donna Coltharp, an assistant federal public defender in the western district of Texas, told me that many of her clients eligible for the reductions were caught bringing drugs from Mexico into the U.S. “A lot of them are people who carried something across the border… for what seems to us as a small amount of money,” she said. They ended up getting sentences ranging from five to ten years in prison.
“Even the folks who are going home to another country, I think, are happy that they’re being released,” she said. Immigrants in federal prison are not eligible for some drug programs that U.S. citizen inmates are, which can make their time in prison more difficult.
Some have worried that the people being released are not just nonviolent drug offenders caught in outdated sentencing guidelines, but hardened and dangerous criminals. The AP reported that some of those being released carried automatic weapons and had past robbery or assault convictions. Judges can block an early release if they think an inmate could be a public danger.
Taken into context, it’s hardly alarming: Every year, federal prisons release 55,000 inmates who’ve served their sentences, and state prisons release another 600,000.
Other criminal justice reform advocates wonder why the release is making headlines now. This has been in the works for more than a year, and some say the media attention could be timed by some prosecutors to turn public opinion against criminal justice reform efforts. “It’s fodder for the Bill O’Reillys and Heather Mac Donalds,” a lawmaker working on the Senate reform bill told the Marshall Project.
Link to the Article:http://www.immigrantsolidarity.org/cgi-bin/datacgi/database.cgi?file=Issues&report=SingleArticle&ArticleID=1668
9/5: European governments treat refugees as a hostile invasion force
Peter Schwarz - WSWS
Europe is currently experiencing its biggest refugee crisis since World War II. The horrific images transmitted daily across the world recall the cruel events of that time: Exhausted and desperate refugees trapped behind barbed wire, mistreated and herded into camps, dying at sea or suffocating in trucks. In the Czech Republic, refugees have been given numbers on their arms to identify them—like the prisoners in the concentration camps run by the Nazis.
European governments treat the stream of refugees as a hostile invasion force. This was most clearly articulated by the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. “If we give them [the refugees] the impression that they are welcome, that would be a moral defeat,” he said in Brussels. “We must make it clear to them: Do not come.”
The remarks by Orban, an ultra-right-wing politician, have caused much phony indignation. But his “morality,” which recalls that of the Nazis and finds its highest expression in the relentless persecution of refugees, is shared by all other European governments and the European Union as a whole. They are merely somewhat more careful in their choice of words.
The measures that Hungary is currently enforcing with utmost ruthlessness—the construction of a border fence, the use of tear gas and the army against refugees, their internment in camps in deplorable hygienic conditions—have long been practiced elsewhere.
Between 2007 and 2011, the EU provided its member states 2.2 billion euros for refugees, but only a fraction of this amount has gone towards their accommodation and integration. Around half of the money, one billion euros, has flowed into border protection: the construction of fences, surveillance and controls.
Three years ago Greece and Bulgaria, supported by the EU, constructed a high-tech fence, guarded by an army of police officers, to seal their borders with Turkey. The fence has forced hundreds of thousands of refugees to undertake the perilous route through the Mediterranean, with thousands subsequently dying at sea. The Spanish enclave of Ceuta is protected by a six-meter-high fence, in which refugees are repeatedly trapped and die like fish in a net.
The confinement of refugees under inhuman conditions is also not an invention of Orban. In Greece, similar disastrous conditions prevail, largely unreported by the media, since the country slid ever deeper into misery due to the austerity measures of the troika. Even the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had to admit, “that with its construction of a fence and its plan to handle asylum procedures in border areas, Hungary is only putting into practice what the Germans, Austrians and French praise as a solution and which is also demanded of Greece and Italy.”
On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande submitted a joint letter to the EU institutions, which exposes the inhumane policies of the imperialist powers. They are pressing for the establishment of registration centers in Italy, Greece and other EU member states, along with a common definition of “safe countries of origin” and a binding system of distribution of refugees to all member countries.
The registration centers, also known as “hot spots,” are huge concentration camps, close to the border, where refugees are detained until they can be deported. The definition of “safe countries of origin” means that millions of refugees will lose their claim to legal asylum procedures.
And the German government only pushed for a distribution of refugees to all EU countries after the virtual collapse of the Dublin regulation, which compels refugees to remain in the first EU country they enter. As long as the refugees were concentrated in Italy, Greece and other countries, Berlin had strictly rejected any change in policy.
The responsibility of European governments for the refugee crisis is not confined to their present policies. They are also responsible for the devastation that has forced millions to flee their homelands. The colonial wars carried out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries by the European powers in alliance with the United States have wiped out the economic and social infrastructure of entire societies and transformed them literally into a pile of rubble.
Imperialist violence is complemented by the social devastation resulting from the policy of austerity in Europe. Does anyone remember the promises of freedom, democracy and future prosperity, when the Iron Curtain fell and capitalism was introduced in Eastern Europe? Twenty-five years later, new walls are being built and the social situation is more desperate than ever. Hundreds of thousands have fled from Eastern Europe and the Balkans because they have no future. Now the designation as “safe countries of origin” is robbing them of any means of flight from their misery.
The brutality with which the ruling class in Europe deals with refugees is the sharpest expression of its hostility to the entire working class. It stands in stark contrast to the wave of sympathy and solidarity shown to refugees by broad sections of the population.
As already shown in Greece, where one ruthless austerity program follows the next, capitalist society has nothing to offer to the broad mass of the population other than growing poverty, repression and war. The European working class must unite and take the fate of society into its own hands. This requires the fight for a socialist program and the construction of a new, revolutionary party. The defense of refugees is an integral part of such a struggle.
Link to the Article:
9/15: "Dump the Trump" rally sounds off against Trump and his supporters
Obed Manuel - Latina Lista
Protestors from around Dallas and different Texas cities marched through the streets of downtown Dallas waving U.S. flags and chanting “Dump the Trump!” Monday afternoon.
The wave of red, white and blue noisily moved for a mile from the steps of the of the Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe to the American Airlines Center where Donald Trump would speak to his north Texas supporters.
Around 1,000 protestors took to the streets to express anger at the anti-immigrant sentiment Trump, the leading Republican presidential nominee, has been trumpeting around the country for the past few weeks.
Whole families attended the march. Children younger than five walked around waving flags and holding signs in support of immigrants. Several in the crowd carried Trump piñatas.
Stephanie Saras and her husband Jose Carillo attended the march with their four-month-old son Jonathan.
Saras said they decided to attend because her husband is an immigrant and they felt offended by the comments made by Trump and his supporters about Mexican immigrants.
“They always want to blame us for everything, but that's not the truth. We're here working hard to give our kids a better future,” Saras said.
Local leaders riled up the crowd when it reached its destination in a parking lot adjacent to the American Airlines Center.
“The road to the White House goes through the barrios and the neighborhoods of Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and those are our neighborhoods!” said former Texas house representative and attorney Domingo Garcia as the crowd cheered. “The people who pick our crops, who clean the toilets in the hotels, who build these skyscrapers – those people are going to pick the next president of the United States, and it's not going to be Donald Trump!”
As Trump supporters began arriving for the candidate's appearance, they mostly steered clear of the largely Latino anti-Trump crowd but for a few shouting matches that broke out.
North Texas LULAC director Christopher Enriquez said that he was glad to see so many in attendance given that the 5:30 p.m. time slot was not the most convenient.
Enriquez also said that one of the lessons the Latino community should take from Trump's rhetoric is that there are actual elected officials who think the way Trump does about Latinos.
“We have to be careful with them. We have to really see and educate ourselves in who they are and what they vote for,” Enriquez said. “They don't always help our community even when it looks like they do.”
Inside the center, Trump spoke to a crowd of about 15,000 people, according to the Dallas Morning News, but the candidate's camp expected around 20,000.
As expected, Trump spoke about the need to “end” illegal immigration and the need to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and how he would force Mexico to pay for the wall's construction.
These points drew the largest applause from the crowd.
As the rally slowly came to an end, Saras said that seeing the crowd made her feel optimistic about the election cycle.
“It's good to see everyone here supporting each other. I just hope they all vote because we don't need someone like [Trump],” Saras said.
Link to the Article:
7/24： Clinton Lobbyist Also Works for Private Prison Company GEO Group
9/10: EU Prepares Plan to Turn Away Masses of Refugees from Europe
9/18: Wage theft and local opposition threaten day laborers
9/20: Denying the Proof
9/25: DMV Issues Over Half a Million Driver’s Licenses Under AB 60
9/28: Anarchists Have Taken Over a Building in Athens to House Refugees
10/5: Revised CBP Standards Promise Reform but Fall Short of Accountability
10/5: Trouble Behind Bars: When Jail Deaths Go Unnoticed
10/6: Florida Father Denied Chance to Reunite with Family, Turned Away at Border
10/6: New Deportation Numbers May Signal More Targeted Enforcement
10/14: Undocumented Immigrants Decry Solitary Confinement At Georgia Detention Centerhttp://www.immigrantsolidarity.org/cgi-bin/datacgi/database.cgi?file=Issues&report=SingleArticle&ArticleID=1669
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Immigrant Resources on Detention and Deportation
Face Sheet: Immigration Detention--Questions and Answers (Dec, 2008) by: http://www.thepoliticsofimmigration.org
Thanks for GREAT works from Detention Watch Network (DWN) to compiled the following information, please visit DWN website: http://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org
ICE's Enforcement Agenda
Deal fact sheet on detention
Deal fact sheet on border
Raids to Deportation-A Community Resource Kit
- Know Your Rights in the Community (English,
Your Rights in Detention
Community Safety Plan
to Deportation Map
to Deportation Policy Map
More on Immigration Resource Page
Useful Handouts and Know Your Immigrant Rights When Marches
Immigrant Marches / Marchas de los Inmigrantes
Acerca de la Union Americana de Libertades Civiles
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
LABOR / FREE SPEECH
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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