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.

Immigrant Laborers Rebuild Work Center, Restore Their Sense Of Mission | Fox News Latino

They toiled to repair and rebuild the homes, s apartments and businesses that Hurricane Sandy damaged. They ran into areas where danger lurked — contaminated water, downed power lines, hidden debris capable of puncturing skin. And while the day laborers of Bay Parkway Community Job Center helped in the recovery of Hurricane Sandy, their own facility laid in shambles.  Sandy’s angry, unforgiving winds shook the old center, an 8-by-12 wooden shack, off its foundation, blowing it 100 feet away, causing major damage. But with grants from several foundations and the work of the laborers, the center was brought back to life. It is a renaissance of sorts for the center — now a 40-foot trailer the workers painted in red and yellow, the colors of the old shack — and also a new incarnation for the laborers and their place in the larger community.

How Obama Could (but Probably Won’t) Stop Deporting Illegal Immigrants Today – Keegan Hamilton – The Atlantic

If the current congressional push for immigration reform were to fail, however, a presidential pardon for undocumented immigrants with no criminal history might be Obama’s last ditch alternative to prosecutorial discretion. Rather than scaling back on detentions, Obama could instantly–and permanently– legalize millions of illegal immigrants….

Immigrant advocates push bill at Statehouse rally | Boston Herald

Immigrant advocates are pressing lawmakers to back legislation they say will help reduce the level of deportations in Massachusetts. Several dozen activists rallied on the steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday in favor of the bill that would instruct local law enforcement agencies not to forward information to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on illegal immigrants who don’t have serious criminal convictions. Sen. James Eldridge, the bill’s lead Senate sponsor, said the measure is a reaction to the federal Se Communities program, which shares arrestee fingerprints with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Eldridge said most of those deported under the program from Massachusetts had no criminal convictions. He said lower level encounters with police, like traffic stops, shouldn’t end up triggering deportations.

Deferred Action for Victims of Arpaio’s Raids

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(Originally published at Politic365.com)
Despite the fact that political winds are blowing away from Arizona-style attrition politics, some officials in that state are determined to keep their tent staked in the ground, by hook or by crook.  For those living under the shadow of Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio, looking at federal immigration reform comes with a specific perspective and particular issues to be resolved. When asked what his favorite song is, Arpaio immediately snaps back, ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra.  One can see why.  Even as Congress crafts proposals to reform our immigration system, which will possibly include some form of legalization, a well-oiled deportation machine continues to churn in Arizona.  Through interlocking departments, it criminalizes and deports the very people who stand to benefit from that same legislation.  For such reform to be meaningful, it must improve the lives of the people of Maricopa County and reign in the immigration and law enforcement actions that were once considered rogue and now look as if they’re taking root system-wide.