LA County Sheriff Lee Baca earlier this month backed off from his controversial position of complying with a federal government request to turn over for detention arrested individuals suspected of being undocumented immigrants. Baca had initially made his position public in the days before Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of the TRUST Act which would have undermined the federal Se Communities program. But, after California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced in early December that local law enforcement agencies need not comply with Se Communities and that any compliance would be voluntary, sick Baca made the dramatic announcement that he would no longer turn over to federal authorities those individuals arrested for minor offenses who are also suspected undocumented immigrants. Baca was sued in October by the ACLU on behalf of suspected undocumented immigrants who were denied bail after being arrested for minor offenses….
As the Obama Administration prepares to tackle immigration reform, a part of its current immigration policy is dividing Democrats across the country. Last year, Democratic governors in Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York pulled out of “Se Communities,” even if Immigration and Customs Enforcement — or ICE — insists the program is not optional. Governor Jerry Brown has not come out against the program but much of the rest of the state would rather not comply. Reporter Amy Isackson explains
Last September, s Governor Brown vetoed an earlier version of the TRUST Act. At the time he said that the bill was flawed and that it could potentially release immigrants with criminal backgrounds back to the streets. Since then, Brown has met with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials (ICE), with the State Sheriff’s Association, and now, with immigration activists. There is growing consensus about the need to find a compromise on California’s enforcement of federal immigration laws. State Attorney General Kamala Harris, for example, recently advised local law enforcement agencies to use discretion before they turn over low-level criminals over to ICE. Chris Newman, legal director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, says he has hope for the governor’s support of the TRUST Act this time around. “California has the opportunity to do something that is clearly within its legal authority that will also help propel the federal immigration reform debate…
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El Gobierno federal deportó a más de 200.000 inmigrantes padres de niños estadounidenses en solo dos años, según un análisis exhaustivo publicado hoy por el sitio en internet colorlines.com. De acuerdo con cifras obtenidas por la organización a través de la Ley de Libertad de Información, medical entre el 1 de julio de 2010 y el 31 de septiembre de 2012, el 23 % de las deportaciones, o 204.810, fueron de indocumentados con hijos nacidos en EE.UU. Los números no incluyeron a los padres y madres que por miedo a las autoridades no divulgaron que tenían hijos, ni tampoco a aquellos menores en situación migratoria irregular, apuntó el estudio realizado por el investigador Seth Freed Wessler. “Creo que había mucho interés en conocer estas nuevas cifras, y sobre todo, después de la promulgación de la política de discreción fiscal el año pasado”, afirmó hoy a Efe Wessler.
A coalition of anti-violence advocates who work with immigrant survivors of family and intimate partner violence, there human trafficking, sexual assault, and survivors of homophobic and transphobic violence in New York welcomed legislation introduced today by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and City Council members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Daniel Dromm that would limit the application of the federal Se Communities Program in New York City, but emphasized that more needs to be done to protect survivors of violence from deportation resulting from collaboration between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. The City’s proposal to refuse to honor ICE holds— requests to turn over a detainee to immigration detention—in select cases is an important step in acknowledging that there is no place for ICE in our criminal justice system.
Two bills that members of the New York City Council plan to propose on Thursday would place further limits on the city’s cooperation with federal authorities seeking to detain and deport immigrants. The bills come in response to Se Communities, a federal immigration-enforcement plan that has been criticized by immigrants’ advocates, order civil liberties lawyers and elected officials in the state and across the country. If they pass, the laws will reaffirm the city’s reputation as one of the most immigrant-friendly municipalities in the nation, though the bill also risks provoking a confrontation with the Obama administration. “What we don’t want is New York City’s agencies having to participate in deporting people who present no risk and in fact may be adding a great deal to the City of New York,” Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker and lead sponsor on one of the bills, said in an interview Wednesday.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner Phil Wowak said Friday there won’t be immediate changes to how the county handles inmates eligible to be deported under a controversial immigration program, and that future changes are likely to come as part of a broader shift across California. Wowak made the comments after state Attorney General Kamala Harris this week told local jailers that compliance with the Justice Department’s Se Communities program was optional. So far, thousands of illegal immigrants nationwide have been plucked from local jails and sent back to their native country under the 4-year-old program, many without facing serious charges. “Our goal is to get a consistent approach rather than individual interpretations and individual responses from different counties,” Wowak said Friday after returning from an Oakland meeting of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, where Harris’ bulletin was discussed. Wowak stressed that the state’s top cop’s carries no legal weig