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ICE Out of LA Coalition Takes Major Step Forward with New City Policy Rejecting ICE Holds, Sets Stage for County to Follow Suit

New policy part of national trend ending Arizona-style enforcement, instead creating bright line between local law enforcement and federal deportation efforts

 

Los Angeles, July 7, 2014 - In response to the new Los Angeles Police Department Policy announced today at City Hall, representatives of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statements:

 

"Chief Beck's clear directive to reject ICE's overreaching detainer requests moves Los Angeles another step away from the Arizona policies that threaten LA families and public safety. The coalition will be watching very closely to make sure ICE does not try to circumvent the policy announced today in any way." stated NDLON organizer Claudia Bautista 

 

NDLON Staff Attorney Jessica Karp, who is currently litigating a detainer suit against Los Angeles County, added, "ICE's quota programs have no place in California and Chief Beck and the Mayor should be applauded for differentiating Los Angeles and crafting city policies that honor the city's immigrant roots instead of ICE’s unjust efforts. 

 

The people of Los Angeles can feel safer as local officials are taking steps to repair the damage done to community-police relations by the federal Secure Communities program."

 

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th, the ICE Out of LA Coalition will hold a press conference at 9:00am at the Board of Supervisors to press the County to follow the City’s example and expand its efforts to ensure public safety and protect its residents by ending ongoing collaboration with ICE in its jails.

 

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Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668

 

California Day Laborers Applaud Introduction of SR51 to Celebrate Diversity and Recognize Harm of Anti-Immigrant Initiatives

 

In response to the introduction of SR51 to commemorate June 23rd, the day that Prop 187 qualified for the ballot, as a day to celebrate the state’s diversity, representatives of California’s day laborer community issued the following:

 

"Throughout the history of our country there are proud advances as well as mistakes and moments of injustice that we’ve had to overcome in order to improve the lives of everyone and build a more just society. Prop 187 will be remembered as one of those errors in our past that failed to recognize and threatened the strength and the beauty of our diversity." Maria Marroquin, Executive Director of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View.

 

"It is a sign that the intolerance and cruel politics of Prop 187 voted for in 1994 are now seen by everyone as an embarrassment and stain on this state's record.  SR51 will be a step forward by celebrating our diversity and recognizing the harm done by anti-immigrant bills that have no place in California." - Suzanne Foster, Executive Director of the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center

 

"The people of California are leading the nation in recognizing the contributions immigrant families make to the state's economy, culture and spirit," said Martha Arevalo, CARECEN’s executive director.  "We hope this effort sends a message to the rest of the country that this nation was built by immigrants, should value diversity and stands strong against measures of exclusion."

 

“In California, we are moving toward a greater unity that recognizes the humanity and equality of all the residents who make it great regardless of their country of origin or their current immigration status. To work with dignity, live without fear, and receive respect are unalienable rights. NDLON is committed to working with immigrant communities, legislators, and our allies to continue to turn the page and usher in a new era of inclusion and equality in California." – Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

 

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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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National contact: B Loewe, NDLON, 773-791-4668

Somerville Mayor to Sign Order Limiting ICE Holds, First in Massachusetts to Join National Trend Against Federal S-Comm Program

S-Comm is a “wall between police and community” says Police Chief

“All eyes on Massachusetts” as immigrant communities look to other localities to follow suit

May 22, 2014, Boston, Massachusetts——Wednesday, the Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts, Joseph Curtatone, announced he will sign an executive order limiting local application of ICE holds, one component of the controversial Secure Communities program (S-Comm), at a signing ceremony on Thursday at 5:30pm Eastern. The announcement comes one week after President Obama and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced they would take a "fresh look” at the deportation dragnet program—widely criticized for contributing to rampant racial profiling and an unprecedented level of deportations.

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Civil Rights Organizations Warn California Counties: New Federal Court Decision Finds Immigration Detainers Unconstitutional; Local Law Enforcement Liable for Detention
Letter Urges Counties to Join 30 Counties in Oregon, 3 in Washington, and 3 in Colorado in Ending Compliance with Detainers in Wake of Decision

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LOS ANGELES, MAY 2, 2014--Today civil rights organizations, including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the ACLU of California, sent letters to every County in California urging them to end compliance with immigration detainer requests in the wake of a recent federal court decision holding that the requests are unconstitutional and local law enforcement may be held liable for money damages for complying with them.

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White House Continues to Muddle Immigration Policy, Defend Indefensible
 
April 15, 2014 - Washington, DC 
 
In response to statements made by White House Domestic Policy Advisory, Cecilia Muñoz regarding potential executive action on immigration during a thorough and fair interview by Leon Krauze, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:
 
"Cecilia's remarks today lay bare the very false logic used by the Obama Administration that has contributed to the current deportation crisis.  Everyone knows that political calculations and not legal limitations are delaying inevitable actions the President must take to mitigate the injustice of the status quo and to advance prospects for legislation in Congress. The first thing the Obama Administration can do to advance immigration reform is to exercise its legal authority instead of attempting to deny its existence.   Instead, the White House continues to use fallacious arguments to defend the indefensible, and one is left to wonder whether good policy or bad politics is the driving factor at play."  
 
NDLON launched the #Not1More campaign with local partners in April of 2013 to demand executive action to expand relief, halt deportations, and end the Secure Communities program. Since then more than 500 organizations, 4,000 people of faith, and 35 Congressmen have sent letters to the President requesting executive action. On April 5th more than 80 cities held 100 events protesting deportations. The same day marked the beginning of an on-going presence on the White House lawn of families facing deportation asking the adminstration for relief.
 
In February of 2014, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network filed a formal rulemaking petition under the Administrative Procedure Act considered to be the authoritative document articulating the legal authority and historical precedent for executive action on immigration.
 
Last week, a Blue Ribbon Commission of current and formerly undocumented leaders formed as an independent and parallel body to makerecommendations for immediate implementation by the President as he instructs DHS to perform its own review of deportation policy.  The report outlines 14 steps available under the legal authority of the President to reduce the harm caused by the status quo and expand affirmative relief to the undocumented.  
 
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Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668
 
 
During Meeting with DHS Sec. Johnson, NDLON's Undocumented Representative Seeks Audience for Blue Ribbon Commission, Answers on Deportation Quota
 
"Invitations Will Not Slow Grassroots Movement," Says Tania Unzueta "Until Deportations Are Stopped These Meetings Are More About Pageantry Than Policy."
 
Washington, DC  - March 25, 2014
In a follow-up to the White House meeting with immigration advocates where the President scolded any criticism of his deportation record and attempted to redirect attention to House Republicans, the administration invited representatives to a meeting with DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson.
 
"It's a question whether the administration called the meeting to take action on deportations or to try to prevent it," states Tania Unzueta#Not1More Campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the meeting's only undocumented attendee.
 
During the meeting that Unzueta described as formal and uncomfortable given Johnson's roll in administering the removal of people whose cases NDLON takes on, Unzueta presented the groups formal rulemaking petition, filed with DHS in early February and still awaiting required response under the Administrative Procedure Act, submitted 18 cases of individuals facing deportation for immediate review and sought the Secretary's stance on expanding the deferred action program to provide immediate relief as has been granted immigrant youth.
 
"What the President did for immigrant youth like myself can be done for a far broader group of undocumented immigrants who might qualify for immigration reform if it were passed but instead are continuing to be deported by the administration. Secretary Johnson will have to choose which part of the administration's rhetoric to actually implement because he can't maintain a deportation quota and be more humane at the same time," adds Unzueta.
 
Many say that the meetings are an attempt to quell the grassroots pressure that has risen to a fever pitch and galvanized a consensus that the President must use his authority to expand relief immediately.
 
The conversation with Sec. Johnson comes the day after protesters in Alabama chained themselves together to block deportations at the Etowah Detention Center, as hunger strikes by detainees in Washington state and Texas, and only days ahead of what has been called the "Two Million Too Many" National Day of Action to Stop Deportations on April 5th.
 
Unzueta continues, "Instead of participating in the pageantry of the meeting, I asked for a conversation with the President on behalf of the Blue Ribbon Commission of undocumented leaders that formed in response to his review.  Invitations like these are meant to relieve pressure on the administration but we want a relief to the suffering of our families.  Until that happens the pressure will only grow."
 
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President Obama is Far from Being Champion-in-Chief, Immigration Policies Must Evolve
 
March 06, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA
In response to the President's statement that he is a "champion-in-chief" for immigrant communities, Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:
 
"As long as the President's Secure Communities deportation policy resembles Arizona's SB1070 more than California's TRUST ACT, he has no business claiming to be a champion of anything other than the misery that his policies have propagated.

His statement is simply not true.  The President has not done nearly enough to exercise discretion using existing laws.  To the contrary, his excercise of discretion has been inadequate and counterproductive.  The good news is that he still has time to be a champion for immigrants, but his position on immigration will have to evolve- and very quickly- to earn that title.  We judge his actions and not his rhetoric because words don't provide relief but his pen can.  
 
It's clear that the fight for immigration reform is entering a new stage, and immigrants and their organizations are issuing a declaration of  independence from partisan politics.  We will hold friends and foes accountable, as we seek solutions to address the deportation crisis in furtherance of  equality.  "
 
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White House Budget Reflects Administration's Inaccuracy and Contradiction on Immigration
The President Cannot Deport His Way to Reform
 
This morning, the White House released its 2015 budget proposal, outlining its priorities and requesting to fund programs aimed at fulfilling its deportation quota. The budget proposal also highlights the inaccuracy of White House statements related to its deportation record. 
 
In December, the President told Ju Hong, a young undocumented immigrant who interrupted his speech asking for help for his family, that he has no power to reduce deportations; a statement later debunked by a formal rulemaking petition submitted to the Department of Homeland Security.  While in 2011, White House Domestic Policy and former director of NCLR, Cecilia Muñoz, told PBS "even broken laws have to be enforced," incorrectly citing the Congressional budget as the basis of an apparent deportation quota.  
 
Reacting to the 2015 budget proposal, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statements:
 
"The President's budget belies his rhetoric on immigration, and it calls into question whether he is sincere about protecting immigrants and advancing immigration reform in the Congress.   Every proposed dollar for disasterous programs like Secure Communities or 287(g) is a dollar misspent on a destructive,  inhumane, and wasteful deportation machine.
 
The administration cannot hide its own record behind Republican's extremism when it continues to propose funding for extremely cruel enforcement.   The President must stop ratifying the premises of the nativists, and he must resolve the hypocrisy reflected in his budget.   His "enforcement first" deportation gambit has failed miserably.  It has failed immigrants, and it has failed in Congress.  It's time for a new course.   If he truly supports the path to citizenship passed in the Senate, his proposed budget should reflect that.  He can't be an immigration reformer and the deporter-in-chief at the same time. " 
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In response to the GOP's principles on immigration released today, Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:

"We are concerned the nativists within the Republican party now control the the whip hand on the immigration reform debate. The GOP's principles make clear they continue to seek the criminalization of immigrants and the Arizonification of the country.

The best way forward is for the President to lead with concrete action. A suspension of deportations would galvanize consensus for reform and put the immigrant rights movement into a win-win position. It would alleviate unnecessary suffering and prolonged injustice immediately. It would resolve inconsistency in the President's position, and it would make clear that legalization can no longer be used as a bargaining chip."

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