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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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // excuse cross-postingMay 16, 2014Contact: Salvador Sarmiento, Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. \n , (202) 746-2099 150+ Civil and Immigrants Rights Organizations Call onDHS Sec. Johnson to End Use of ICE Holds As the President moves to “reboot” Secure Communities,advocates demand complete end to key component of the program May 16, 2014, Washington, DC — A day after President Obama and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced they would take a “fresh look” at the Secure Communities deportation program—widely criticized for contributing to rampant racial profiling and an unprecedented level of deportations—over 150 organizations delivered a letter to the Secretary demanding an end to ICE holds, a key component of the program. Over 150 immigrant, labor, faith, and civil rights organizations, including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), endorsed the letter, which asks Secretary Johnson to use his “existing legal authority to end ICE’s use of holds to enlist local police as so-called ‘force-multipliers’ that amplify the enforcement of unjust immigration laws.” ICE holds are requests from ICE to local law enforcement agencies to detain individuals suspected of civil immigration violations; as part of the Secure Communities program (S-Comm), they have led to the deportation of hundreds of thousands of individuals since President Obama took office. The letter comes just weeks after the Acting Inspector General of DHS was suspended for corruption, including altering a report that was supposed to address criticism of S-Comm. Congresswoman Roybal-Allard has called for a new investigation, noting that DHS has consistently failed to ensure appropriate “accountability of the flawed Secure Communities program.” To date, over 60 jurisdictions across the country have passed policies limiting or ending submission to ICE holds. The national trend comes as a response to S-Comm’s indiscriminate separation of families and chilling effect on immigrant communities’ willingness to reach out to police for assistance. Most recently, dozens of counties across three states—Oregon, Washington, and Colorado—have announced that they will no longer respond to ICE holds following a federal district court decision that held that detaining an individual on the basis of an ICE hold violates the Fourth Amendment. On April 17, 19 activists were arrested in a civil disobedience at the Suffolk Detention Center in Boston, MA calling for an end to S-Comm and condemning the President’s record 2 million deportations since taking office. “Among the irreparable problems with S-Comm is the fact that it has been unsuccessfully rebooted so many times that it…
On 2 Year Anniversary of SComm in MA, Groups Rally forEnd to Deportation Program & Passage of State Trust Act State bill pending in Senate Ways & Means Committeewould limit local application of ICE immigrant holds May 15, 2014, Boston, Massachusetts — On the two year anniversary of the statewide implementation of President Obama’s Secure Communities deportation program (“SComm”) in Massachusetts, immigrant and civil rights groups rallied at the steps of the MA Statehouse calling for an end to the program and for elected officials to limit participation by passing local and state “trust” policies. Speakers included state Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), sponsor of the MA Trust Act (S.1135); Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and Interim Police Chief Charles Femino, early supporters of the bill; faith, labor, and Latino leaders; and individuals fighting deportations of loved ones, many with signs reading “Restore Trust, End SComm,” and “2 years, 2 many.” “As today marks the 2-year anniversary since Secure Communities was activated in Massachusetts, it is encouraging to see a local police chief, advocates, lawmakers, faith members, and labor groups express their support for the MA Trust Act,” said Sen. Eldridge. “This bill would keep families together and work to repair the rift between immigrant communities and local law enforcement to keep our communities safe.” In May 2012, the federal government forced MA to participate in SComm, a federal deportation dragnet program, over the objections of Gov. Patrick, law enforcement, legislators, and community members. For two years, the program has been widely criticized for needlessly separating hundreds of MA families and widely discouraging individuals from reaching out to local police for assistance. The MA Trust Act, now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee chaired by Sen. Stephen Brewer, would create standards for local police’s collaboration with federal immigration enforcement. Today, over 60 jurisdictions including CA and CT have passed a version of the Trust Act to limit local application of ICE holds, a tool of the federal deportation dragnet. Adding to this momentum, a federal court decided last month that the local application of an ICE hold constituted a violation of the 4th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In MA, the pressure to end the use of ICE holds is also rising. Last month, 19 activists were arrested in a civil disobedience at the Suffolk Detention Center calling for an end to SComm and condemning the President’s record 2 million deportations…
NDLON Reacts to President’s Comments on Immigration Reform to Law Enforcement Today, President Obama met with representatives from several major national law enforcement agencies, commenting on the possibility of Congressional action on immigration reform and blaming House Republicans for lack of action. His full remarks are available below. In response, NDLON Executive Director Pablo Alvarado issued the following statement: “The President's remarks on immigration today are more of an indictment of his own policies than of Congress's failure to allow a vote. President Obama's policies, not Republicans in Congress, have led to the Arizonification of the country. It borders on becoming a political crime for President Obama to decry the very status quo he created. While there is unity among immigrant rights advocates on the need for Speaker Boehner to allow a vote, there is equal consensus that the President should end his failed experiment to use police and sheriffs as so-called ‘force multipliers’ for immigration enforcement. That policy has been a catastrophe. Particularly if statutory immigration reform were to be signed into law this year, there would be heightened need for President Obama to end Secure Communities and programs like it in order to ensure immigrants have safe passage on the metaphorical road to citizenship contemplated in the Senate proposal. In related news, Santa Cruz, California is the latest local jurisdiction to rebel against President Obama's signature deportation program."
Civil Rights Organizations Warn California Counties: New Federal Court Decision Finds Immigration Detainers Unconstitutional; Local Law Enforcement Liable for DetentionLetter Urges Counties to Join 30 Counties in Oregon, 3 in Washington, and 3 in Colorado in Ending Compliance with Detainers in Wake of Decision Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668, Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. \n 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.
  As Pressure For Action Intensifies, Scope & Timing of Expected Relief Are New Subject of Debate  This morning, the Migration Policy Institute issued a new report, The Deportation Dilemma, that helps shed light on unprecedented deportations and criminal prosecution of immigrants.   In recent weeks, as the President hit the inauspicious milestone of 2 million deportations, there has been considerable confusion about the characteristic of deportations.  Former acting ICE director John Sandweg's comments that "run of the mill immigrants" aren't getting deported has been belied by hunger strikers on the White House lawn and called into question given explosive allegations that he doctored an Inspector General report to cover up misrepresentations about deportation policy made to Congress.  The MPI report attempts to shed light on this debate through detailed data analysis, and its findings open the opportunity for executive action to strengthen discretion and reduce the harm of outdated existing laws. In reaction to the MPI report published today, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON issued the following statement: The report confirms what we already know:  the president has not yet exercised the full extent of his existing legal authority to protect immigrants from grave injustice caused by outdated laws and policies.  It is increasingly clear the President's immigration policy will evolve soon, and the only questions that remain now are about the timing and scope of expected action.  And while there is an effort underway to manage policy expectations, the report makes clear that the limiting factor preventing President Obama from providing relief is 100% political.  But the political obstacles are being removed.  We are grateful to MPI for its effort to cut through ICE's spin and opaque reporting in order to accurately describe the status quo.   But that description has been fully known for years despite ICE's distortions.   ICE is a rogue agency, it has expanded its definition of the word "priority" in order to give itself high marks, and it has pursued deportation policy that is criminalizing migrants.  What is required now is not just a vast reduction of deportations and the wholesale termination of failed programs like Secure Communities -  what Is required now is a massive expansion of the work authorization and interim status that was provided to DACA recipients.    Presidential action can and will provide relief for millions of immigrant families, it will benefit the economy, and it will hopefully help compel lawmakers in Congress to finally get…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 17, 2014

Contact: B Loewe 773-791-4668

 

Philly's Historic Executive Order Draws 

Praise from National Advocates

 

In response to Philadelphia Mayor Nutter's announcement of an Executive Order to effectively end the city's submission to ICE hold requests, leading national civil rights and labor organizations gave the following statements. 

 

Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network: 

 

"Philadelphia's new policy makes the city safer, it protects civil rights, it constitutes an exemplary policy of inclusion, and it sends a clear message that the city values the contributions of its immigrant population.   Whereas shameful federal deportation dragnet programs like SCOMM  have created a culture of suspicion that has divided communities and led to Arizonification,  Philadelphia's new policy represents the turning tide.  We expect more cities will follow Philly's lead in weeks and months ahead, and we congratulate and thank everyone involved in this historic policy."

for immediate release // excuse cross-posting Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668, Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. \n   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.     ###
for immediate release // excuse cross-posting 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…
      Legislation Seeks to Improve Public Safety, Restore Trust in Law Enforcement, and Prevent Unjust Deportations   Boston, MA (March 19, 2014) --- State legislation that would curtail the use of local and state resources on federal deportation quota programs passed out of the Joint Public Safety committee today. The measure (SB 1135), known as the MA Trust Act, is mirrored after similar bills already in effect in the Cook County, IL, Washington, DC, and California and is part of a wave of local legislative responses to to the troubled federal "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) deportation program whose implementation Governor Patrick sought to prevent in Massachusetts in 2011.   Boston, MA was a pilot location for S-Comm, and today across the state, 68% of persons deported through the program have no criminal convictions whatsoever or were only accused of minor offenses. Since revelations about the program's impact on public safety became public, half a dozen Massachusetts mayors have come out in opposition to the program. In fact, a national study by the University of Illinois Chicago found that nearly half of Latinos surveyed were less likely to call police if witness to or victim of a crime out of fear of inquiry into their immigration status. Senator Eldrige and Representative Scortino sponsored the MA TRUST Act, with state-wide support from the Massachusetts TRUST Act Coalition, to remedy the situation and restore trust in law enforcement by preventing submission to burdensome and overreaching ICE hold requests.      Senator James Eldridge, Senate lead sponsor of the bill, said in response, "I'm extremely happy that the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security has favorably reported out the Trust Act today. I'm deeply grateful to the committee chairs, Rep. Harold Naughton (D-Clinton) and Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole), for their support of a bill that will limit local law enforcement's submission to unjust, unnecessary, and unsafe federal deportation programs, therefore restoring the trust between immigrant communities and police, and increasing the public safety for all residents in Massachusetts."   Jorge Sanchez Berduo, a member of Just Communities and immigrant resident of Hamden County who was detained for two weeks on an ICE hold and finally released - without charges - after sustained pressure said about the impact of ICE holds, "The time I spent detained on an ICE hold changed my life, my family went through enormous economic hardship, my mother became sick with worry, and even…
for immediate release Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668     New Study Shows Criminalization of Immigration   March 18, 2014 - Chicago, IL In response to a Pew Research Study released today, "The Rise of Federal Immigration Crimes", that charts as other criminal prosecutions decline, criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses are still continuing at very high levels, Tania Unzueta, organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:   "At a time when the President says he will review his deportation policies, he'll also need to revise the extent to which immigration itself has been criminalized.  The administration says it is targeting criminals but uses a sleight of hand to reclassify most immigrants with that label. People who are coming back to the only home they've known or the place they've settled with their family are treated as priorities for removal simply because they've had their families and their lives divided." ###
Contact:  B Loewe  773-791-4668   NDLON:  "Not One More Delay Suspending Deportations"    (Los Angeles) In reaction to the readout from the President's meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Pablo Alvarado issued the following statement:    "Relief delayed is relief denied.   The President has no excuse to continue his unjust deportation policy, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus should not delay joining what is now a consensus position that the President can and should suspend deportations, expand deferred action, and end the disgraceful Secure Communities program.     It is clear that the House of Representatives is held hostage by a vigilante wing of the Republican Party.  In our view, the only way to ensure that the adults regain control of the GOP is for the President to take every single step allowed under existing law to stop deportations.    It's time for the President to lead by example, regardless of what the Joe Arpaio's of the world say."     NDLON launched a petition calling on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to issue its resolution to halt deportations without delay at http://bit.ly/chcnot1more   ###
for immediate release // excuse cross-posting Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668   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.  "   ###
For immediate release // excuse cross-posting // Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668   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. " 
for immediate release / excuse cross postings / please forward.    Contact:  B Loewe,  bloewe{at}ndlon.org  773. 791.4668   Reaction to Carney Deportation Statement:  Reduction of Deportations IMPROVES chances for Comprehensive Immigration Reform    (Los Angeles/DC) In reaction to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's statement today that there is "no alternative to comprehensive immigration reform passing Congress," Pablo Alvarado, director the National Day Laborer Organizing Network responded:   "Trapping immigrants between the President's failing deportation strategy and Congress' failing negotiations is totally unacceptable.  The President can turn things around today with his pen and his phone, just as he did with the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program.     There is consensus on the need for Congress to act in order to modernize immigration statutes and bring them in line with national values.  But there is also a growing consensus that the President’s “enforcement first” approach is harming prospects for legislation.       It is time for the President to play to win on immigration reform instead of merely playing to win elections.  He has the legal authority and moral obligation to act.  Rather than continue to cave to the disingenuous and odious demands of nativist House Republicans, the President must lead with action.”   #####
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