NDLON Responds to DHS Action, Calls for End to Se Communities Nationally

 

In reaction to the Department of Homeland Security announcement that it is severing its 287(g) agreement with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and restricting his access to Se Communities, Chris Newman, Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, issued the following statement:

“We are pleased the Department of Justice report compelled the Department of Homeland Security to take steps today that should have been taken years ago.   As the DOJ report implies, DHS was an accomplice in the rights violations caused by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  DHS enabled Sheriff Arpaio to conduct his reign of terror, and expansion of the Maricopa Sheriff’s approach led to SB 1070 and to the potential Arizonification of the country.  Today, the Department of Justice again acted to clean up the mess caused by failed DHS policies that enlist local police into the business of enforcing unjust immigration laws.   It is time for DHS to stop contributing to the civil rights crisis described in the DOJ report and end the programs that made Arpaio’s crimes possible.”


NDLON Responds to DOJ Report, Calls for Severing of DHS Ties to Sheriff Arpaio

Today the Department of Justice concluded its three year investigation into civil rights violations in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. In response to the detailed report, Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following response:

 

“The Department of Justice report formally and forcefully describes a civil and human rights crisis in Maricopa County; one that has moved hundreds of thousands to demonstrate around the globe over the past several years.

 

 It is a ringing indictment of a Sheriff’s office that has ‘treated all Latinos as if they were undocumented’ and the federal immigration contracts that have made such prejudice possible. It is the most detailed chronicle of the failed end result of the federal programs that make monsters out of local law enforcement.

 

We have waited three years for federal intervention to restore justice in Maricopa County. Now that the Department of Justice has outlined the symptoms, it is time for the Department of Homeland security to terminate its immigration contracts with the Sheriff as a first step toward a .”

 

The Department of Justice report outlines years of biased policing that created “a chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations (page 2).”

 

It goes on to detail that deputies used excessive force against Latinos and built a “wall of distrust between MCSO officers and Maricopa County Latino residents (page 2).”

 

The report finds, “Since roughly 2007, in the course of establishing its immigration enforcement program, MCSO has implemented practices that treat Latinos as if they are all undocumented, regardless of whether a legitimate factual basis exists to suspect that a person is undocumented (page 6).”

 

“Sheriff Arpaio has promoted a culture of bias in his organization and clearly communicated to his officers that biased policing would not only be tolerated, but encouraged (page 9).”

 

The Full Report can be read: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/mcso.php

Amidst Calls for Arpaio’s Resignation, NDLON Calls on White House to Take Action

As the call for Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona to resign grows, Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:
 
“We are pleased attention has properly returned to Sheriff Arpaio and we agree he should resign. However, the White House role in Maricopa’s crisis deserves greater scrutiny and requires immediate action. Sheriff Arpaio’s mishandling of crime cases is the direct result his out-of-control and discriminatory focus on immigration; focus he’s able to implement through federal contracts
President Obama’s contracts granting immigration authority to the Sheriff fueled his conversion into a Frankenstein and the President’s refusal to pull the plug continues to enable Maricopa’s monstrosity. 
The process to bring Arpaio to justice should be swift. The President and Secretary Napolitano have a moral obligation to ensure it begins with cutting the Sheriff off from federal immigration enforcement contracts and concluding the delayed Department of Justice investigation.”

Background

NEW MANU CHAO ‘ALTO ARIZONA’ PROTEST VIDEO

Phoenix, AZ

In September, Manu Chao ended his US tour with a ‘Festival de Resistencia’ free concert in Phoenix, Arizona, to protest against anti-immigrant policies that have made the state of Arizona a “capital of prejudice.” The free concert was held in collaboration with the National Day Labourer Organising Network (NDLON), whose ‘Alto Arizona’ campaign is part of an ongoing effort to bring visibility, recognition, dignity and to migrants who have been targets of hate in Arizona and around the world.

 

Last year, Arizona passed Senate Bill 1070, the beginning of a wave of the most anti-immigrant legislation the US has not seen in generations. The passage of SB 1070 Arizona dramatically expanded police powers to stop, question and detain individuals for not having proper identification, a move that encourages racial profiling and legitimizes intolerance.

 

NDLON is a national migrant worker organisation that has been seeking to bring relief  to the state of Arizona and challenge the spread of Arizona-style laws to other states such as Georgia and Alabama.  In Arizona, NDLON and local member organizations are asking the federal government to bring Maricopa County’s Sheriff Arpaio to justice by taking away his immigration law enforcement power and by concluding the three-year-old Department of Justice investigation into his civil rights abuses. The law is currently being blocked by a federal judge.

 

As the son of parents who fled Franco’s Spain, Chao can personally relate to the discrimination and displacement experienced under aggressive governance. “For the past year, we’ve carried the people of Arizona in our hearts as we witnessed them suffer under such ignorant laws” says Chao.

 

While in Arizona, Manu Chao visited the perimeter fence of the notorious jail facility known as ‘Tent City’, which was conceived by Sheriff Arpaio, and where inmates are forced to suffer degrading and to endure the extreme temperature range of the desert by living outside in tents.

 

Manu Chao, along with bandmate Madjid Fahem, serenaded the walls of the jail with a heartfelt rendition of his song ‘Clandestino’. This version was captured on film by filmmaker Alex Rivera, whose work strives to draw attention to the Latin-American community in the US. The footage was produced by the National Day Labourer Organising Network (NDLON) and can be seen on the ‘Alto Arizona’ site http://www.altoarizona.com 

 

NUEVO VIDEO DE MANU CHAO DE PROTESTA ‘ALTO DE ARIZONA’

 

29 de noviembre 2011. Phoenix, AZ

En septiembre, Manu Chao terminó su gira por EE.UU. con un concierto gratuito “Festival de Resistencia” en Phoenix, Arizona, para protestar contra las políticas anti-inmigrantes que han convertido al estado de Arizona en “La Capital de los Prejuicios.” El concierto se celebró en colaboración con la Red Nacional del Jornaleros (NDLON), que sostiene la campaña “Alto Arizona”. La campaña “Alto Arizona” es parte de un esfuerzo continuo para lograr visibilidad, el reconocimiento, la dignidad y la curación a los inmigrantes que han sido objeto de odio en Arizona y en todo el mundo.
El año pasado, Arizona aprobó la ley SB 1070, que marco el comienzo de una ola de legislación  anti-inmigrante. La más severa que se ha visto en generaciones en los EE.UU. La aprobación de la SB 1070 en Arizona amplio dramáticamente los poderes policiales para detener, interrogar y detener a personas por no tener una identificación adecuada, una estrategia que alienta la discriminación racial y le da legitimidad a la intolerancia.
NDLON es una organización nacional de trabajadores inmigrantes, que ha estado tratando de llevar alivio al estado de Arizona y frenar el avance de las leyes estilo “Arizona” a otros estados, como Georgia y Alabama. En Arizona, NDLON y las organizaciones locales miembros están pidiendo al gobierno federal traer ante la justicia a el alguacil del Condado de Maricopa, Joe Arpaio. Pedimos que le quiten el poder que tiene para ejercer leyes de inmigración y también pedimos que se le de una conclusión a la investigación empezada por El Departamento de Justicia hace tres años por sus violaciones a los derechos civiles. Actualmente, la ley está siendo bloqueada por un juez federal.
Como hijo de padres que huyeron de la España de Franco, Chao personalmente puede identificarse con la discriminación y el desplazamiento sufrido bajo tan agresiva gobernanza. “Durante el último año, hemos llevado al pueblo de Arizona en nuestros corazones, mientras somos testigos de su sufrimiento a causa  de estas leyes ignorantes”, dice Chao.
Durante su estadia en Arizona, Manu Chao visitó el perímetro de la notoria cerca de alambre del centro carcelario conocido como “Tent City”, que fue creada por el Sheriff Arpaio, y donde los reclusos son obligados a sufrir tratos degradantes y a soportar temperaturas extremas del desierto viviendo afuera en carpas.
Manu Chao, junto a su compañero de banda, Fahem Madjid, canto frente a los muros de la cárcel con una interpretación sincera y profunda de su canción ‘Clandestino’. Esta versión fue filmada por el cineasta Alex Rivera, quien con su obra se esfuerza por llamar la atención hacia la comunidad latinoamericana en los EE.UU.. El video fue producido por la Red Nacional del Jornaleros (NDLON) y puede ser visto en el sitio http://www.altoarizona.com ‘Alto Arizona’

Sheriff Baca Overruled in S-Comm FOIA Case

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles Superior Court rejected Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca’s attempt to block rights advocates’ request for information under the California Public Records Act. The Sheriff had sought to keep confidential information about the Sheriff’s participation in federal deportation programs.  The lawsuit was brought by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).  Plaintiffs are represented by the Law Office of Sanjukta M. Paul.

 

Jessica Karp of NDLON said, “Today’s decision is a victory for the people of Los Angeles.  We have the right to know how much of our tax dollars the Sheriff is spending to facilitate deportations that separate families and we will continue to pursue that right in this case.”

 

As Los Angeles County faces the likelihood of running out of jail space within the next month, the judge’s decision means that the Sheriff may soon be forced to reveal the number of inmates who are being held in county jail for purely civil immigration violations.  The Sheriff may also be forced to reveal the cost of the County’s participation in the federal Se Communities deportation program and the number of people who have been deported through the County jails.

 

Carl Bergquist of CHIRLA added, “As we have seen in similar cases, both locally and nationally, these attempts to withhold information from the public may be undemocratic but ultimately they prove to be futile. We have a right to know how and why our elected Sheriff – in a time of declining crime – is collaborating with the Federal Government to deport community members who in no way, shape or form are threats to public safety.”

 

After years of requesting public documents through the California Public Records Act, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) in June announced that they were taking legal action to obtain information about the Los Angeles County’s ties to federal immigration enforcement efforts. The lawsuit, which names Baca as a defendant, charges that the sheriff violated the California Public Records Act by refusing to disclose information about his dealings with ICE.

 

“Whether foreign or native born, Angelenos deserve to know how the Sheriff Baca – an elected official – has chosen to use his precious resources,” saidMelissa Keaney, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center. “Information about the Sheriff’s law enforcement priorities should be made public to all those living within this county. We hope Sheriff Baca and his attorneys will promptly comply with the law and shed light on his department’s secretive practices with ICE.”

 

Plaintiffs’ counsel, Sanjukta M. Paul, said, “I am very pleased by the Court’s order today, which overruled the County’s motion on each and every issue the County raised.”

 

###

ICE Appeals in Se Communities Case; Continues Effort to Hide Program’s Legal Basis

Late yesterday, defendants in the case NDLON v ICE filed an appeal and emergency stay to block a court order requiring the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to make public a legal memorandum detailing the agency’s rationale for converting Se Communities into a mandatory program.

 

Federal district court Judge Shira Scheindlin had ordered ICE to produce the memorandum by November 14.  Advocates will continue to argue for immediate release of this key memo.  It is the only document produced to date that, although heavily redacted, appears to comprehensively describe the legal authority claimed by ICE in support of its position mandating state and local participation in the program.

 

Said Jessica Karp of the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON), “While ICE has sprinted to implement S-Comm across the country, they’ve done the opposite to comply with court orders that would bring transparency to the program.  The fact that the agency is fighting so hard to prevent the public’s access to this key document forces the question of what ICE is hiding.”

 

Instead of complying, ICE is challenging Judge Scheindlin’s October 24 Order which stated, “Once an agency has adopted a legal analysis as its own…that analysis becomes the government’s ‘working law,’ and the public ‘can only be enlightened by knowing what the [agency] believes the law to be.’”

 

Said Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Sunita Patel, “ICE’s on-going strategy of delaying release of important Se Communities documents must be stopped.  Lack of transparency continues to prevent needed scrutiny of Se Communities. The public deserves access to the program’s full scope and underlying rationale.”

 

Said Sonia Lin of the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at the Cardozo School of Law, “States and localities around the country have opposed Se Communities and sought ways to limit the impact of the program on the safety and security of their communities.  The public needs the truth about this massive deportation program now.”   

  

The lawsuit was originally brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organization Network.

 

Visit CCR’s NDLON v. ICE case page or the joint website, UncovertheTruth.org, for the text of the FOIA request,  the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, and all other relevant documents.

 

 

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit www.ccrjustice.org; follow @theCCR.

 

The mission of the National Day Laborer Organization Network is to improve the lives of day laborers in the U.S. by unifying and strengthening its member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize day laborers in order to protect and expand their civil, labor and human rights. Visit www.ndlon.org

 

The Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law was founded in 2008 to provide quality pro bono legal representation to indigent immigrants facing deportation. Under the supervision of experienced practitioners, law students in the Clinic represent individuals facing deportation and community-based organizations in public advocacy, media and litigation projects. Visit www.cardozo.yu.edu/immigrationjustice

 

##

New Documents Show Se Communities Fuels FBI’s Rapidly Expanding Surveillance System While Ignoring States’ Concer

November 10, 2011, New York  – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic released internal government documents concerning the controversial Se Communities program (S-Comm), newly obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.  Advocates say the documents show that S-Comm, already beleaguered with calls for termination, caused serious internal debate within the FBI at the same time that it served as pretext for the agency to rapidly expand its Next Generation Identification (NGI) initiative, which seeks to collect and distribute massive amounts of biometric information on citizens and noncitizens alike.  

 

An annotated index to the documents is available here.

 

The new documents reveal that FBI Assistant Director Jerome Pender expressed doubts about S-Comm’s effect on the FBI’s relationship with states and localities, and described the FBI’s position in the S-Comm controversy as “being stuck in the middle of a nuclear war.”  Pender wrote:  “I don’t see how we can use [fingerprint] data in a way the owner explicitly bans.  This could cause the whole CJIS model [of information sharing between the FBI and states and localities] to implode.” (Email chain between Deputy Assistant Director of CJIS’s Operations Branch, Jerome Pender, CJIS Assistant Director, Daniel Roberts, Deputy Assistant Director, Stephen Morris, and other FBI officials, May 10, 2011, FBI-SC-FPL-00487-488).

 

However, the FBI continued to ignore state and local partners’ demands to limit the use of their data and instead continued to press for S-Comm to be mandatory and expanded data sharing to other domestic agencies and foreign governments.

 

Said Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Sunita Patel, “It is now crystal clear that the FBI is using Se Communities to experiment on biometric-based surveillance. In pushing for S-Comm and interoperability to be mandatory, the FBI has prioritized collecting personal biometric data on citizens and non-citizens alike for its massive database ahead of the interests of its state and local partners. This is bad policy and no way to operate a federal agency.”

 

According to the documents, the FBI “recognizes a need to collect as much biometric data as possible . . . and to make this information accessible to all levels of law enforcement, including International agencies.” Accordingly, it “continues to work aggressively to build biometric databases that are comprehensive and international in scope.” (Interoperability Initiatives Unit, FBI CJIS, December 2010, SC-FBI-FPL-1143-1159, at 1143.)

 

Said Jessica Karp of NDLON, “The rise of the FBI’s surveillance system places all of our civil rights at risk.  As Se Communities breaks apart the sacred bond of immigrant families, NGI undermines the basic rights we hold as sacred in a democracy. It’s clear that the FBI and ICE’s pursuit of massive personal biometric data collection as a goal in itself tramples on the rights of individuals and states. Se Communities needs to be ended before more are trapped in its dragnet.”

 

Said Sonia Lin of the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Cardozo School of Law, “In its support for mandatory S-Comm and push to expand NGI, the FBI has ignored serious concerns about community policing, the burden on local and state partners, privacy rights, and the increased risk of racial profiling.” 

 

Visit CCR’s NDLON v. ICE case page, or the joint website UncovertheTruth.org, for the text of the FOIA request, the lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, other documents obtained through the litigation and all other relevant documents.

 

 

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit www.ccrjustice.org; follow @theCCR.

 

The mission of the National Day Laborer Organization Network is to improve the lives of day laborers in the U.S. by unifying and strengthening its member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize day laborers in order to protect and expand their civil, labor and human rights. Visit www.ndlon.org

 

The Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law was founded in 2008 to provide quality pro bono legal representation to indigent immigrants facing deportation. Under the supervision of experienced practitioners, law students in the Clinic represent individuals facing deportation and community-based organizations in public advocacy, media and litigation projects. Visit www.cardozo.yu.edu/immigrationjustice

As ICE Reports Record Numbers, Two Cities Seek to Ensure Public Safety and Civil Rights By Limiting Agency’s Overreach

Washington, DC.
Today Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray took strong steps to protect district residents from harmful immigration enforcement programs as Santa Clara, CA passed new legislation that leads the nation in setting the standard how to do so. After Santa Clara’s 3-1 vote banning county resources from being used to assist ICE in the enforcement of federal civil immigration laws, beyond what is legally required, Supervisor Shirakawa commented, “Today, Santa Clara County makes it official, we don’t do ICE’s job.”

Last year, the two cities were the first in the country to “opt-out” of the discredited Se Communities deportation program.

Now that the federal government has attempted to force their participation through the legally dubious maneuver of declaring the program as mandatory, cities are registering their opposition by seeking new methods to limit ICE’s overreach into local jurisdictions. DC’s executive order brings new transparency and safeguards to the justice system’s interaction with ICE while Santa Clara voted to decline to use any of its resources to respond to ICE’s civil immigration holds.

Sarahi Uribe, organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, explains, “DC should be proud that our city officials continue to strive to protect all the city’s residents. As a result of the Mayor’s order today, everyone in the city is safer. We’ll continue to work together to keep addressing the risks of harmful immigration enforcement.”
Mackenzie Baris, Lead Organizer with DC Jobs with Justice added, “This is a good step in continuing to ensure there’s a bright line between our local police and criminal justice system and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As our communities face growing threats by expanding ICE interior enforcements we will continue to ensure that families are safe and people rights are protected regardless of their status.”

“Santa Clara County is home to a diverse immigrant community and as residents of this county, we believe that all county practices should strive to keep families together and protect the human and civil rights of all people. Therefore, we applaud the Board of Supervisors for leading the way and doing what is right for our county. This policy sends a clear message to immigrant communities that local law enforcement is not ICE,” says Jazmin Segura, Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network.
“Santa Clara County sets a positive example for other localities across the country, first by being one of the first localities in the nation to declare its intention to opt out of S-Comm, and now by passing the most progressive anti-immigration enforcement policy in the nation. This policy demonstrates that local participation in the enforcement of immigration laws is not mandatory and that due process and equal under the law applies to all persons in the U.S.,” said Angie Junck, Staff Attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Similar policies have been implemented in Cook County, IL and San Francisco, CA. A new report released today from the Warren Institute condemning the overreach of Se Communities validates the cities’ new policies. Santa Clara’s new policy can be read at http://bit.ly/sccice

###…

ICE’s Newest Report: Se Communities Dragnet Includes US Citizens

Reading Guide to Report Available Here

New York, NY – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) welcome the publication of a new report by the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law that exposes the violations of the rights of both citizens and non-citizens alike by the Se Communities program. Released on the heels of the hard-hitting PBS expose, Lost in Detention, the new report, “SeCommunities by the Numbers: An Analysis of Demographics and Due Process,” is the first in a series to analyze federal government data related to Se Communities obtained through the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, NDLON v. ICE, brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights, NDLON and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. It exposes serious due process concerns with the continued implementation and expansion of the program.

“The Warren Institute study demonstrates how deeply U.S. citizens’ own rights have been eroded in the name of immigration enforcement. The Obama administration should treat this study as the final nail in the coffin of a program that should have been buried long ago,” explains Sarahi Uribe, Organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The report reveals that over 3,600 U.S. citizens have been apprehended through the Se Communities program and more than one-third of the individuals identified for deportation have a spouse or child who is a U.S. citizen, thus extending the impact of the program to over 88,000 families with citizens. Furthermore, once funneled through the system, only 52 percent of detainees have a hearing before an immigration judge; and 83% of people arrested through Se Communities are placed in immigration detention.

Said CCR attorney Sunita Patel, “This new report further confirms what we know from the damning records released through our lawsuit and the experience of immigrant communities. Se Communities has been and will always be a dangerously flawed program. The Obama Administration must disconnect immigration enforcement from law enforcement. The results of merging the two systems are erosion of public safety and civil rights.”

For a short reading guide to the report, compiled by the Center for Constitutional Rights and NDLON, go to: http://uncoverthetruth.org/resources/warren-report/
To learn more about advocacy to end the Se Communities program, go to http://www.uncoverthetruth.org.

To read the full report, go to: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/Se_Communities_by_the_Numbers.pdf


The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit www.ccrjustice.org and follow @theCCR.

The mission of the National Day Laborer Organization Network is to improve the lives of day laborers in the U.S. by unifying and strengthening its member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize day laborers in order to protect and expand their civil, labor and human rights. Visit www.ndlon.org….

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Organizations “Come Out” Against ICE’s “Se Communities” Deportation Program

October 11, 2011. SAN FRANCISCO, CA. Dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations across the country are adding their voices to the growing national movement to end ICE’s controversial fingerprint-sharing “Se Communities” (S-Comm) program. By forcing local law enforcement to share fingerprint data for every person arrested – no matter how valid or minor the charge – with federal immigration authorities, S-Comm has contributed to skyrocketing numbers of detentions and deportations.
Prompted by ICE’s unilateral move to make the highly debated program mandatory, national, regional, and local LGBTQ organizations—including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) — felt compelled to mark National Coming Out Day by adding their voices to the national upsurge of opposition to S-Comm today.
“NCAVP is concerned by the impact of police/ICE collaboration on LGBTQ survivors of violence. It is not uncommon for LGBTQ survivors of violence to be arrested when they call police for help. NCAVP member programs know that many LGBTQ survivors do not access police for safety when they experience violence, and the Se Communities program may increase fear, barriers to safety, and risk of detention and deportation for LGBTQ immigrant communities,” said Chai Jindasurat, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “In honor of this year’s National Coming Out Day, NCAVP calls for an end to a program that has severe consequences for LGBTQ people.”
In a statement released on National Coming Out Day, over sixty LGBTQ groups call on President Obama to take immediate action to eliminate this destructive program. California Assemblymember and longtime LGBTQ rights activist Tom Ammiano echoed this call: “Every day LGBTQ Californians are being unfairly deported leading to tragic consequences for communities both here and across the country. I am urging the Obama Administration to end the deception around S-Comm and suspend this damaging program.”
“The LGBTQ movement has often been an example of how to hold your head high with pride in the face of discrimination. As migrants, we’re inspired by National Coming Out Day and strengthened by this show of solidarity,” said Sarahi Uribe, Organizer of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
“We hear regular reports of LGBTQ people who find themselves in deportation proceedings after being profiled by their race, class, sexuality, and gender as they go about their daily lives or even as they navigate domestic violence,” said Morgan Bassichis of the San Francisco-based Community United Against Violence (CUAV), the country’s oldest LGBTQ anti-violence organization. “Rather than making anyone more ‘se’, S-Comm endangers all communities by tearing at the fabric of family and support networks and creating a culture of fear.”
The statement marks a historic confluence of movements for LGBTQ rights and migrant rights, and increased attention to migrant issues within LGBTQ communities. “On this National Coming Out Day, we recognize that LGBT immigrants need more than acceptance from family, schools, and neighbors to be “out”: they need to be free from profiling, detention, and deportation,” said Mónica Enriquez-Enriquez of Streetwise and Safe, an organization working with LGBTQ youth of color in New York City and signatory to the statement.
For background information on the Se Communities program, read “Restoring Community” at http://altopolimigra.com/s-comm-shadow-report/
Founded in 1979, Community United Against Violence (CUAV) works to build the power of LGBTQQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) communities to transform violence and oppression. We support the and leadership of those impacted by abuse and mobilize our broader communities to replace cycles of trauma with cycles of safety and liberation. As part of the larger social justice movement, CUAV works to create truly safe communities where everyone can thrive.
National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) works to unify and strengthens is member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize, and organize day laborers in order to protect and expand their civil, labor and human rights.
Streetwise and Safe (SAS) is a New York City-based organization working to create opportunities for LGBTQQ youth of color who experience homelessness, policing, and criminalization to claim a seat at policy discussion tables as full participants, speak out on their own behalf, act collectively to protect and advance their rights, and demand choices that allow them to maximize their safety, self-sufficiency, and self-determination.
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