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New Report Details Prejudice and Pretext in Georgia's Hyper Immigration Enforcement
Federal ICE Access Programs and GA HB87 Driving Unprecedented Targeting and Deportation in the State

Atlanta, GA - July 31, 2014
Today advocacy organizations publish a new report based on data made available through FOIA litigation with the state and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement that both outline the metastasizing growth of local police's involvement in immigration enforcement and the resulting patterns of prejudice and collateral deportation in local practice with little to no evidence of any relation to actual public safety efforts.

The data reveals that the federal agency's practice of requesting the extended incarceration of an individual because of the suspicion of the immigration status known as ICE detainers rose 17,169% from 2007 to 2013 with 96% of those targeted being of "dark or medium complexion."

In addition to the racial implications of the newly released statistics, the study identifies that at least 54% of those taken into ICE custody were long-time Georgia residents who had called this country home since at least 2003 resulting in the separation of families where 48,135 US citizen children in Georgia had a parent taken by ICE and 17,497 Georgia residents had a spouse taken by ICE in the four years between 2007 and June of 2013.

Finally the exaggerated emphasis on immigration status in local law enforcement resoundingly counters the public safety pretext of police-ICE collaboration noting that Immigration officials do not even record a "Detainer Criminal Offense Level" in nearly half of records available and in those where it is recording, 40% are identified as "level three," having been convicted of traffic or other minor offenses.

Azadeh Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia explains, "The numbers revealed today are both damning of what has happened to law enforcement in Georgia and heartbreaking for what it has done to Georgia communities.  One can feel the chilling effect this has had with confidence in police and the risk to all of our safety when so many Georgia residents have been harmed and live in fear of the deportation apparatus that the police have lent themselves to. Contained in the report is the human cost, erosion of rights, and the rise of a culture of suspicion in our state that must be addressed."

"No one should be afraid to call 9-1-1," explains Adelina Nicholls, Executive Director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights. "But that is exactly what has happened since police became involved in filling federal deportation quotas.  We all want to live in safe communities but the well known threat of your neighbor being torn from his or her family makes that an impossibility.  Sheriffs who want to focus on policing and not on persecuting Georgians for the color of their skin should join the 165 plus jurisdictions around the country that are cutting their ties with ICE in order to rebuild them with the community."

"The data shows that the exponential growth of hyper-immigration enforcement has torn apart thousands of Georgia families," said Alina Das, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University Law School. "Georgia officials have an opportunity and an obligation to protect families by ending state and local involvement in programs that funnel parents and longtime residents into the broken immigration system."

The Report "Prejudice, Policing, and Public Safety: The Impact of Immigration Hyper-Enforcement in Georgia" was produced by the ACLU of Georgia, GLAHR, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the NYU School of Law and is available online here.

The Georgia #Not1More Campaign is urging the Dekalb and Fulton County Sheriffs to follow the example of more than 165 other jurisdictions who have limited or eliminated submission to the unjust and burdensome ICE hold requests in the wake of recent court rulings finding their violation of 4th amendment rights.

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Published in Press Releases


Advocates Release
Briefing Guide Exposing Decision to Enlist Local Police About Meeting Numbers Not About Safety

 

 

February 18, 2013 - Atlanta, GA

Following the USA Today story outlining ICE tactics to boost deportation numbers, the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, the ACLU Foundation of Georgia, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network released a briefing guide exposing ICE headquarters directives to Georgia and North Carolina field offices to disregard public safety concerns in order to meet self-imposed deportation quota requirements.

 

Published in Press Releases
 
 
DHS and ICE violate Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond to six month old request.
 
Atlanta, GA -  October 24, 2012 
Today the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) and the ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The suit seeks public records documenting the effects of Georgia’s increasing involvement in immigration enforcement, including information that will shed light on increasing reports of racial profiling and police abuse. 
 
The two organizations requested the records over six months ago. With representation by the ACLU of Georgia, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, the lawsuit alleges that DHS and ICE have failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, and demands the release of the requested records.
 
Azadeh Shahshahani, counsel for the ACLU of Georgia commented, “Transparency is integral to a democratic society.  Yet by withholding the records, ICE is preventing the shining of much needed light on the extent of the collaboration between this agency and local police in Georgia.”
 
The impact of Georgia’s experiment with immigration enforcement—through 287(g) agreements, the Secure Communities program, and HB 87—is largely unstudied. The records sought in the lawsuit will reveal who is being targeted for immigration enforcement, and how increased immigration enforcement by police is impacting public safety and civil rights.
 
Adelina Nicholls, Executive Director of GLAHR explained, "Immigrant communities have felt the aggression inside their own local neighborhoods since the implementation of 287(g) and the Secure Communities Program. HB87 increased the anti-immigrant climate and now overwhelming amounts of family members in our communities have been detained under minor traffic violations, as many of them are being arrested without a 'probable cause.'  
 
Throughout the state of Georgia we are organizing to keep racial profiling out of our communities and we want to be informed about the programs that we see contributing to it. We shouldn't have to sue for transparency but if the Department of Homeland Security and ICE refuse to honor the law, we will do what it takes to shine a light on what is happening in Georgia." 
 
A Copy of the Suit is Available Upon Request.
Published in Press Releases

The Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights calls to end roadblocks associated with racial profiling in immigrant communities. 

What: Press Conference Before Meeting with Fairburn Police Department 
When: Monday, May 14th 1:00 pm 
Where: 191 South West Broad St. Fairburn, Ga. 30213 
Who: CPG, Fayetteville Community and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) 

Recent activation of 287(g) agreements, Secure Communities, and HB87, that merge local police with complex federal immigration authorities has led to an increase in racial profiling and discrimination in law enforcement practices. 

In Fayetteville, community members will be meeting with Fairburn Police Chief James McCarthy on Monday the 14th to call for an end to roadblocks they describe as focal points of discrimination. 

Published in Press Releases

Atlanta, GA. - In response to the Governor’s announcement that he will sign HB 87 at noon eastern time today, Georgians are amassing at the capitol during the day and preparing for a general assembly this evening at Trinity United Methodist Church at 6:30pm.
Communities will hold a Women’s March in Defense of the Immigrant Family on May 22 and are declaring July 1st, the date when segments of hb 87 are to be activated, as a day of Non-Compliance as part of a broader campaign of community education and organizing they’re calling the "Georgia Human Rights Summer."
Below are comments in reaction to the signing:
Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network
“Governor Deal's signing of HB 87 flies in the face of those concerned with either Georgia's economy or its residents’ civil rights. Those who have passed this law with the hope of intimidating or displacing our community have accomplished the opposite. As a result, people are standing up in the long tradition of organizing for justice. We know and will show that Georgia is better than HB 87.
We will accompany the humble communities targeted by this bill in defending their rights and making real a vision of the beloved community. Arizona has become the capitol of prejudice and we will do everything we can to keep Georgia from heading in the same direction. Our way forward as a country must be through policies that bring us together instead of divide us. We are certain that Georgia will see that as well.”
Georgina Perez, student member of Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance
“We have a right to remain in this state where we have lived, worked, and studied, for some of us, nearly all of our lives. We will not obey a law that is unjust, that is meant to drive out our families and criminalize our community. Just as African Americans resisted unjust Jim Crow and segregation laws in the 1960’s, so will we resist until justice prevails and HB 87, and all anti-immigrant laws, are repealed.”
Xochitl Bervera, Somos Georgia/We are Georgia.
“We are calling on all businesses, conventions, and conferences to cancel your trips to the State of Georgia and pledge to not spend one dollar here until this law is repealed.”
Adelina Nicholls, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights
“This action is not only an insult to the Latino community and other immigrants, but is also an exercise in cheap political pandering that will cost our state dearly. This is not the end, only the beginning of a new stage. This law can and must be fought; and it can and will be defeated.”
Interviews Available Upon Request
Interested Participants in Georgia Human Rights can Sign up at http://bit.ly/georgia2011...

Published in Arts and Culture
Sunday, 26 June 2011 23:08

GLAHR Response to HB 87 Injunction

With parts of HB 87 temporarily blocked, community still threatened by Governor’s appeal and already existing 287(g) and the so-called ‘secure communities’ program.
06.27.2011 Atlanta, GA. Today Judge Thrash announced a temporary and partial injunction on HB 87, enjoining sections 7 and 8 of the state law while allowing other sections to move forward. Governor Deal promptly declared his intention to appeal the decision.
Teodoro Maus of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), plaintiff in the injunction suit responded to today’s announcement saying,
“We know that the law is unconstitutional. We will continue organizing until it is erased from Georgia’s books and our community is respected in this state for all we contribute. We ask our neighbors to take this moment to correct the false image of our community that has been created for them by hate-mongering anti-immigrant efforts.”
Adelina Nicholls, executive director of GLAHR added, “The court decision is a positive step forward but our communities still face discrimination from police empowered by the Obama administration’s 287(g) and secure communities programs.
The criminalization of migrants is the wrong direction for our country regardless of whether it is state laws or federal programs propagating it. We now need an injunction on the federal level to stop programs that separate families. We need to turn toward a pathway for legalization.”
Gwinnett and Cobb counties are two of the most egregious examples of the racial profiling and discriminatory policing that occurs under federal ICE Access programs such as 287(g). HB 87 would have been an escalation of the already existing violations of civil and human rights of migrant and Latino communities in Georgia. Advocates are calling for the federal government to take a more active role in preventing implementation of HB 87, ending its own initiatives that have resulted in racial profiling and discriminatory policing, and pursuing genuine immigration reform.
GLAHR continues to call for a Day without Immigrants on July 1st and a march in recognition of the migrant community’s role in Georgia at the capitol on July 2nd. The partial injunction marks a temporary victory but dangerous segments of HB 87 are still moving forward. In that the Governor has already pledged to appeal its decision, the struggle for immigration reform and against racial bias in the state continues. ...

Published in Arts and Culture