NDLON v. ICE

Through this lawsuit, filed in April 2010, NDLON, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic seek to “Uncover the Truth” about the “Se Communities” program.  We have obtained over 80,000 pages of documents, many of which are available online.  The documents show that, despite ICE’s representations of S-Comm as a program…

NDLON Press Release: On Eve of SB1070 in Arizona: 22 Jurisdictions Join Failed Police and ICE Program

For Immediate Release / Excuse Cross Postings / Please Distribute
Date: April 20, 2010
Contact: Marco Loera, 602-373-3859 and info@ndlon.org

On Eve of SB1070 in Arizona: 22 Jurisdictions Join Failed Police and ICE Program

Today the Department of Homeland Security announced 22 jurisdictions joined one of their local police and ICE partnerships called the “Se Communities” program. The following is a response from Sarahi Uribe, national organizer of the “Uncovering the Truth on Police and ICE Collaboration” campaign set to launch next week:

It is alarming that today 22 jurisdictions joined another failed enforcement program that partners local police and ICE at a time when its clear these partnerships are disastrous. The widely acknowledged failures of the 287(g) program have not stopped the Administration’s rapid implementation of “Se Communities”—which is simply a rebranded version of 287(g). The Se Communities program forces police to forward the fingerprints of arrested individuals to DHS to verify their immigration status regardless whether the person is not yet convicted of any crimes, charges are dropped, and the arrest is unlawful.

The state of Arizona is one of the first testing grounds of these programs. Bill SB1070 is an extension of programs like 287(g) and Se Communities. The President and his Administration must reassert the federal government’s responsibility over immigration. They must prevent the implementation of SB1070 and also put an end to disasterous local police and ICE programs that encourage racial profiling, erode trust between police and communities, and make communities less safe.

On April 27th, national and local immigrant rights, criminal justice and social justice groups throughout the country will kick off a week of action aimed at “Uncovering the Truth on Police and ICE Collaboration.” In over ten cities groups will denounce the secrecy of these program’s implementation, demand answers, and ask for a moratorium.

For more information visit: www.uncoverthetruth.org

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Immigration Bill To Affect Day Laborers: Employers At Risk If Worker Is Not Legal Resident

Peter Busch, Reporter, sick KPHO.com

PHOENIX — The controversial immigration bill that passed through the Arizona state legislature Monday could make you a criminal if your landscaper or maid is in the country illegally.

A section in the bill makes it a crime to “recklessly disregard” the immigration status of someone you pay for services.

Immigration attorney Margarita Silva said it’s difficult for most people to know if someone’s in the country illegally.

“I can tell you, a good percentage of citizens out here — and even police officers — don’t know what a green card looks like,” said Silva.

The bill also makes it a crime to impede traffic to hire a day laborer, but Silva thinks that part of the bill is largely irrelevant.

“They usually pull into the parking lot to make their arrangement. I don’t see somebody pulling off at the bus lane at Thomas Road. So, because it requires the impeding of traffic, I just don’t see that one being enforced all that much,” said Silva.

Source: KPHO.com

Urgent Message from Pablo Alvarado, Director of NDLON, regarding SB 1070

An urgent plea for help in Arizona: Stop Criminalization of Our Communities!

Dear Friends, online

We write with an urgent plea for your assistance. This week, the Arizona legislature passed the most anti-immigrant legislation the United States has seen in a generation. We are calling on all who have fought for immigration reform to assist our brothers and sisters in Arizona to turn the tide on hatred, here bigotry, and scapegoating that threatens our community. In 2006, we marched by the millions in cities across the country to block a hateful bill that would criminalize immigrants and their supporters. The bill currently before the Governor in Arizona would make the nightmare of Sensenbrenner a reality. Indeed, the bill’s stated intent is to terrorize immigrant families into leaving the state. We must do everything we can to prevent this from happening.

TAKE ACTION! Click here!

Arizona’s SB 1070 would force police officers to arrest and detain people based on a “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented. It’s not surprising that news of this bill has shocked the nation. There is no such thing as looking American or undocumented, and mandating police officers to racially profile sets this country back to a shameful time in its history where racial segregation was the law of the land. The state of Arizona has become home to experimental laws that use immigration as an excuse to criminalize communities of color. We have all seen the devastation caused by Joe Arpaio and others like him. The result of this struggle in Arizona will set the tone for the national debate. We must prevail. The bill is an assault on this nation’s values. Everyone, including the President himself, acknowledges that this is a nation of immigrants: Undocumented immigrants are Americans in Waiting.

TAKE ACTION! Click here!

We must wait no longer. Please take action by going to www.AltoArizona.com to sign a petition urging the bill’s veto. When you sign the list, you will send a message that the nation is unifying in its condemnation of Arizona’s dangerous legislation. You will continue to receive updates on where we will take things, should the bill be signed into law. Please forward this email to 5 people asking them to do the same. We have all fought hard to earn equality for our friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family who currently live and work in the U.S regardless of immigration status. The time is now for full legalization, not criminalization enacted by racist local demagogues. The time is now for the country to come together to urge the federal government to stop immigrant bashing.

Together We Will, Turn the Tide.

Sincerely,

Pablo Alvarado,
Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

NDLON launches website: ¡Alto Arizona! — A response and ACTION against Arizona Senate Bill 1070.

We are calling on arizona governor jan brewer to veto SB 1070.

Arizona is on the verge of enacting the most anti-immigrant legislation the country has seen in a generation. This is a bill which apparently mandates racial profiling. SB 1070 is quite literally intended to terrorize immigrant families.

We are hopeful Governor Brewer will consult with her legal counsel, issue a veto, help and spare Arizona the expense of defending an unconstitutional, here unwise, and odious bill in federal courts. But we will not rely solely on hope. We urge all opponents of this bill to TAKE ACTION and call, fax, and/or send an email to AZ Governor Brewer to let her know that we do not stand by a bill that threatens to terrorize, criminalize and profile non-white residents of Arizona.

Please forward the information on to your friends, family, co-workers and networks to speak up against SB 1070.

  • Use your online networks, like email, IM, Blogs, Facebook and Twitter to spread the word online.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers about your opinion of Immigration Reform and SB 1070.
  • Take action online and offline. Become an active participant in the movement!

Go to WWW.ALTOARIZONA.COM to tell Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to VETO SB 1070!

House OKs Sweeping Immigration Bill

PHOENIX – Lawmakers Tuesday debated a bill that would make Arizona one of the toughest states for immigration enforcement. Outside, ranchers rallied for more border control but were drowned out by protesters voicing opposition to the tough new bill.

The Arizona House approved a bill that would draw local communities deeper into the fight against illegal immigration despite arguments from opponents that it would do nothing to keep people safer.

House Republicans advanced the measure on a 35-21 party-line vote. The Senate approved the bill in February but must concur to changes made in the House before sending it to Gov. Jan Brewer.

Supporters celebrated the bill as a tough crackdown on illegal immigration that will protect the state from violent criminals.

Arizona’s struggling economy has driven many illegal immigrants from the state. But as the economy rebounds, “so too will the illegal immigrants — larger, stronger and more destructive than they were several years ago,” said Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills.

“We need to put this law in place now so that when the new illegal immigrants come, we’re prepared to do battle with them,” he said.

The measure would create a new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document. It would allow officers to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they’re legally in the country.

The proposal also would ban so-called soft immigration policies at local police agencies. It would allow people to sue if they feel a government agency has adopted a policy that hinders the enforcement of illegal immigration laws.

The provision is designed to target law enforcement policies that prevent officers from asking people about their immigration status, but opponents worry it will make victims and witnesses scared to work with police and prosecutors.

“This is a false hope for the people of Arizona. It’s a false sense of security for our neighborhoods,” said Rep. Chad Campbell, R-Phoenix.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who is one of Arizona’s loudest voices opposing illegal immigration.

Tuesday’s vote demonstrated Pearce’s political power at the Legislature and underscored the pressure on Republicans to support crackdowns on illegal immigration. The measure won support from all 35 House Republicans, including a handful who said they had serious concerns with the legislation.

“This bill is filled with problems, huge problems. But more importantly it will not stem the tide of illegal immigration,” Rep. Bill Konopnicki, R-Safford, said before adding that he feels “obligated” to support the bill anyway.

Konopnicki said the best way to address illegal immigration is with fences, electronic surveillance, air support and more border patrol agents.

Pearce’s bill also tries to crack down on employment opportunities for illegal immigrants by prohibiting people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on street corners.

The measure also would make it illegal for people to transport illegal immigrants if the drivers of vehicles know their passengers are in the country illegally and if the transportation furthers their illegal presence in the country.

The bill is being closely watched nationally by groups on both sides of the immigration debate.

Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, issued a statement condemning the House vote.

“Arizona has long been a laboratory for anti-immigrant experimentation, and its demagogue leaders have become folk heroes for white supremacists throughout the United States,” Newman said. “But this bill ushers in a new chapter of disgrace for the state that resisted celebrating the life of Martin Luther King.”

Arizona was one of the last states to create a holiday honoring the life of the slain civil rights leader.

Source: myFOXphoenix.com

Lawmakers channel ‘Lord of the Flies’

by E. J. Montini – Apr. 15, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Mom and dad (the federal government) left the kids (Arizona legislators) alone in the House (and Senate) and the children have run wild. And it’s beginning to look like the parents are NEVER coming back.

That’s how I described things to Chris Newman, legal director of the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, after the Arizona House approved an immigration bill that would ratchet up law enforcement, legal penalties and emotions to a level unseen anywhere in the United States.

Newman had released a statement saying: “Arizona is on the verge of enacting the most anti-immigrant legislation the country has seen in a generation. We are hopeful Governor Brewer will consult with her legal counsel, issue a veto, and spare Arizona the expense of defending an unconstitutional, unwise, and odious bill in federal courts. Arizona has long been a laboratory for anti-immigrant experimentation, and its demagogue leaders have become folk heroes for White supremacists throughout the United States, but this bill ushers in a new chapter of disgrace for the state that resisted celebrating the life of Martin Luther King.”

He told me that if the Arizona law is enacted it would generate “multiple” federal lawsuits (just what a cash-strapped state needs).

But Newman also believes – or perhaps only wishes in a really, really, really big way – that what is happening in Arizona might finally cause the federal government to act.

“There is nothing like it (the Arizona legislation) in the rest of the country,” he said. “This bill makes the 2005 House Republican bill that people marched against by the millions seem like amnesty. The country considered a policy of immigration enforcement through attrition in 2005, and millions of people rejected that view. I really do think that one hopeful effect of this is that a coalition of civil-rights groups will coalesce in opposition to this policy.”

Newman called the law a “cry for federal reform.” If so, it’s a cry being drowned out by the shouts of residents.

The simple fact that I contacted Newman to ask his opinion of the legislation, and then wrote a blog about his comments for azcentral.com, touched off an explosion of angry responses.

And while it’s easy to be bold and plainspoken when you remain anonymous, the feelings expressed are real and widespread.

Or as a reader calling himself “Xp1″ wrote, “It’s time to kick all of the illegals out once and for all. I’m sick of hearing ‘It’s unconstitutional.’ These people have NO RIGHTS. They are here illegally. What do people not understand about that? . . . And Montini let me know when you want to leave the state. I’ll hold the door open for you.”

A few readers, like “PhxWhtMale” tried to take a practical approach, saying, “Whether you agree with the law or not, you have to ask yourself how it can be enforced. We can barely afford to enforce the laws we already have, (actually we probably only enforce half of them). Do we have room in the jails and courts, not to mention the police time to enforce this? They better tack a tax increase onto it if they want it to do anything.”

That’s the beginning of a grown-up conversation. One that we should have. But there are no grown-ups in the room. A legislator I spoke with Wednesday was lamenting the small group of politicians who seem to control the Capitol and care little about building consensus. And how the opposition is running scared.

“It’s like (the novel) ‘1984′ down here,” he said.

That’s the wrong book. There are adults in George Orwell’s classic.

I’d go with ‘”Lord of the Flies.”

Reach Montini at 602-444-8978 or ed.montini@arizonarepublic.com.

Source: AZ Republic

Arizona Clears Strict Immigration Bill

Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday passed one of the toughest pieces of immigration-enforcement legislation in the country, which would make it a violation of state law to be in the U.S. without proper documentation.

It would also grant police the power to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being illegal.

The bill could still face a veto from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. A spokesman for Ms. Brewer said she has not publicly commented on the bill. Ms. Brewer, link a Republican, stuff has argued for stringent immigration laws.

Under the measure, passed Tuesday by Arizona’s lower house, after being passed earlier by the state Senate, foreign nationals are required to carry proof of legal residency.

Immigrants’ rights groups roundly criticized the bill. “The objective is to make life miserable for immigrants so that they leave the state,” said Chris Newman, general counsel for the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “The bill constitutes a complete disregard for the rights of nonwhites in Arizona. It effectively mandates racial profiling.”

The bill’s author, State Sen. Russell Pearce, was in a committee session Tuesday and couldn’t be reached, his offices said. Mr. Pearce, a Republican, represents the city of Mesa, in Maricopa County, whose sheriff, Joe Arpaio, has gained a national reputation for his tough stance on immigration enforcement. A spokesman for Mr. Arpaio didn’t return a request for comment.

The bill is different from an earlier version, giving protections for church and community organizations from criminal prosecution for transporting or harboring illegal immigrants.

In a statement, Tuesday Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) called the measure “a comprehensive immigration enforcement bill that addresses the concerns of our communities, constituents and colleagues.”

“This updated version gives our local police officers the tools they need to combat illegal immigration, while protecting the civil rights of citizens and legal residents.”However, human rights groups are certain to challenge the measure in court, said Joe Rubio, lead organizer for Valley Interfaith Project, a Phoenix-based advocacy group, calling it “an economic train wreck.” He added that “Arizona’s economic recovery will lag way behind the country’s if we keep chasing away our workforce. Where do the legislators think business will find workers?”

The bill in some ways toughens up a situation that the Obama administration had tried to roll back. Under a program known as 287g, some local law enforcement agencies were trained to enforce federal immigration laws by checking suspects’ immigration status.

Mr. Arpaio, the Maricopa county sheriff, had been one of the most aggressive enforcers of 287g. However, the Obama administration in recent months has sought to scale back that program, and had reduced the resources it made available to Mr. Arpaio’s office and others.

—Tamara Audi contributed to this article.

Write to Miriam Jordan at miriam.jordan@wsj.com

Source: The Wall Street Journal