Report: Many foreign nationals detained for deportation are not criminals – MiamiHerald

A majority of foreign nationals detained for deportation in Miami-Dade County through the controversial immigration enforcement program called Se Communities were not dangerous criminals, according to a report to be released Monday. The conclusions of the 57 page report, “False Promises: The Failure of Se Communities in Miami-Dade County,” are at odds with the stated objectives of the federal program launched in 2008. Those goals are to detain and deport convicted foreign nationals who pose a threat to public safety and those who are repeat violators of immigration laws, such as immigrants who have returned to the United States after being deported. “Contrary to these policy goals, we found that 61 percent of individuals ordered for removal from Miami-Dade County are either low-level offenders or not guilty of the crime for which they were arrested,” according to the report.

Day Laborers React to Senate Immigration Proposal

Introduction Poses Test for President   Los Angeles, CA – 04.17.2013In response to the introduction of the Senate ‘Gang of 8’ immigration reform bill, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:   “President Obama should seize the opportunity presented today by immediately suspending deportations, at a bare minimum for…

‘El Hielo’: Music Video Inspires Immigrant Rights Activists, Goes Viral – New America Media

Two immigrant mothers stood outside the downtown Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office holding a sign that read, s “They have a Dream.” The women stood in silence — they shouted no slogans and sang no chants. They didn’t need to. The lyrics to a song being performed live right in front of them told their story and that of so many others l…

Immigration Activists and Experts on Their ‘Dealbreakers’ on Immigration Reform | The Nation

It’s no secret that a quota of 400, order 000 deportations per year drives immigration enforcement in the United States. Will federal immigration reform change this? Will deportations decrease, remain the same—or worse, increase? The strongest federal bill would, of course, qualify all 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country for relief. However, the Obama Administration’s discredited deportation programs, like “Se Communities” (known as S-Comm), remain as the biggest obstacles in getting us there. S-Comm turns every police officer into a gateway for deportation by using pre-conviction arrest data to conduct immigration checks. As a result, thousands of families have been torn apart for offenses as minor as driving with out a license and immigrant communities across the country live in constant fear of interacting with local police because of their key role in funneling people into the deportation and detention system. 

La Santa Cecilia

L.A. band La Santa Cecilia ‘not afraid’ to reveal undocumented status

By David Montgomery, Source: WashingtonPost.com

La Santa CeciliaFor a buzz-magnet of a bicultural, ambitious young Los Angeles band, La Santa Cecilia had some strange habits. The members didn’t like to travel far by car. Nor did they like to fly. They avoided certain states, especially Arizona. Invitations to gig in foreign countries were a mixed blessing.

When they did venture too far out of their geographic comfort zone (ground zero: historic Olvera Street, “La Placita Olvera,” in downtown L.A.), the lineup tended to change. Someone instead of co-founder Jose “Pepe” Carlos would play the accordion.

“For us it was like, if something happens to this guy, what are we going to tell his parents?” says Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez, the lead singer.

But as of Wednesday in Washingon — 25 years after Carlos’s family brought him to the United States illegally from Mexico at the age of 5 — he and the band are done hiding and pretending. La Santa Cecilia plans to arrive in town before noon — by plane, after a show in Tucson — and perform at an afternoon rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol, where organizers say “tens of thousands” of demonstrators will call for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Lawsuit Filed Against Federal Agencies to Uncover Possible Influence on Immigration Bill

 Freedom of Information Act Suit to Shed Light on Tactics to Halt California TRUST Act

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9, 2013—The Asian Law Cacus, a legal and civil rights organization serving low-income Asian Pacific American communities, has sued federal immigration authorities for information about whether they helped defeat a bill meant to limit entanglement between California law enforcement and U.S. immigration agencies.

The lawsuit seeks information from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and the Department of Homeland Security under the Freedom of Information Act about possible efforts to encourage the Governor’s office and state sheriff’s association to oppose the TRUST Act, AB-4.

Had the TRUST Act passed last year, it would have restricted California’s involvement in the Se Communities program, which relies on local police to hold individuals suspected of being deportable upon arrest until ICE can pick them up for possible deportation. Last summer, the bill reached Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk with robust support from both legislative houses, but he vetoed it. 

La Santa Cecilia Sing About the Undocumented Immigrant Experience in ICE El Hielo – ABC News

The just-released music video from Los Angeles-based La Santa Cecilia shares the anguish that the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants experience in the United States because of their precarious status. For the band members, "ICE El Hielo," is more than just a heartfelt song tells of their community. La Santa Cecilia’s vocalist,…