The Orwellian-named “Se” Communities deportation program was rolled out under a cloud of deception so thick that last year, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose declared that immigration officialslied to her and local governments about the program. Lofgren rightfully asked the Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog, Office of Inspector General (OIG), to investigate. But last Friday, it became painfully clear that this “watchdog” no longer has any teeth, and that solutions like California’s TRUST Act are more urgent than ever. Hours after OIG issued two tepid reports this morning whose recommendations paper over the program’s serious safety and civil rights violations, news broke that the so-called watchdog itself isunder investigation by the FBI and US Dept. of Justice.
Perla Rodriguez had already become a U.S. citizen when she was pulled over for a traffic violation in Sacramento County. One of the first questions the officer asked her was, “Where were you born?” She was later arrested and – to her shock and distress – held for four days in Sacramento County jail on an immigration “hold” request. Her sister brought her U.S. passport to show the sheriff deputies, but she had to wait to speak to the federal immigration agent who authorized her release from custody. Why was a U.S. citizen held in the county jail on immigration-based detention for four days? Because of the inaccurate database relied on by the federal Se Communities program, called S-Comm. Soon, the Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce reforms to the deeply flawed S-Comm federal enforcement program. But even if it adopted all the recommendations its troubled task force made in September, reforms cannot address the program’s harm to public safety and civil libertie
Hear that? That’s the sound of holes being poked in one of the most common arguments for pushing undocumented workers out of America. Undocumented workers have a “negligible impact” on the wages of documented workers that work at the same firm, according to a paper released in March by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Documented workers at
El programa comenzó a operar sin objetivos claros que hasta hoy sigue separando familias trabajadoras -al punto que tres estados, incluyendo Nueva York, help han rehusado participar. El Inspector General de los Estados Unidos dio a conocer esta semana un informe sobre el manejo del programa por parte del Servicio de Aduanas e Inmigración (ICE). El estudio alega que no se puede establecer que haya habido un engaño deliberado por parte de la agencia federal, sino una “falta de claridad” en la estrategia y las comunicaciones. La impresión que deja el reporte es que el programa fue diseñado a medida que fue implementándose y que ICE fue cambiando su manera de pensar, por ejemplo, que lo que fue voluntario en 2009 y 2010, dejó de serlo arbitrariamente en agosto de 2011. Es inconcebible que ICE haya engañado, por incompetencia y no mala intención según el reporte, a numerosos estados de la Unión… – La Opinion
A new campaign calling itself Caring Across Generations has in mind nothing less than a 180-degree turn in the way that Americans think about themselves, one another, the economy and workers. This group aims to create 2 million quality jobs in the process and put us all on track for a happy, healthy old age too. But first we need to talk, out
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren says the federal Se Communities law should be improved before it is fully implemented by the end of next year. Warren said today that the law as it currently stands does not focus on violent offenders and would create barriers between immigrant communities and local police. The Harvard Law School professor spoke to reporters after appearing at a Statehouse event held by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Coalition. Under Se Communities, look fingerprints taken from a crime suspect by local police would be turned over to federal authorities, who could bring deportation proceedings if the person was in the U.S. illegally. – Boston Herald
Crowding, seek violence and allegations of civil rights abuses are among the reasons the embattled Los Angeles County jail system is under federal investigation. But the county has also faced criticism in recent years in some circles for its federal-local partnerships with immigration authorities. Sheriff Lee Baca a supporter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s controversial Se Communities enforcement program, see which allows for the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be shared with immigration officials. The county has also long participated in a smaller voluntary federal-local partnership called 287(g), in which deportable inmates are identified and released post-conviction to immigration officials. How many L.A. County inmates are released to ICE? The 2011 numbers are found buried in new report on the county jail system from an independent justice expert, which among other things recommended closing the Men’s Central Jail downtown because of violence problems.
The voice of Luis González is heard Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Radio Centro Laboral, patient a Los Angeles-based online station over which this Guatemalan day laborer broadcasts a message of hope. Listening to him speak and hearing his tone of voice, his cadence and diction, it sounds like his natural destiny in life was to be an
At the break of dawn in communities around the nation, men in work clothes gather to find construction and landscaping work and similar hands-on employment at customary locations. Sometimes these day laborers work much longer hours, and for much less, than they had been promised. Most have little chance of recovering hard-earned wages. One survey found that only one in 130 cases result in a filed claim. The laws are there. Society agrees a worker deserves to be paid, but there are vast gaps in legal enforcement. That’s where New Haven’s Community Labor Rights Clinic comes in. It’s modeled after a five-year old project in Stamford, the Day Laborer Project, operated by Connecticut Legal Services. The New Haven clinic was launched last month by New Haven Legal Assistance Association attorney James Bhandary-Alexander, a former National Labor Relations Board lawyer. Two nights a month, the clinic aims to serve this underserved client population.