End ICE Collaboration with Police
Uncovering the Truth on ICE and Police Collaboration
On April 27 national and local immigrant rights, criminal justice and social justice groups throughout the country will kick off a week of actions aimed at "Uncovering the Truth on Police and ICE Collaboration."
Deportation programs like the Department of Homeland Security’s misnamed "Secure Communities" program is already in place in approximately 150 jurisdictions. It is set to be in every U.S. jail by 2013 without the public, elected officials, and sometimes police chiefs themselves knowing. Indeed, the program has been advanced in secrecy despite significant public attention paid to the devastating consequences to communities where police enforcement of immigration law has been piloted. The implementation of “Secure Communities,” the 287(g) program and ICE-police collaboration has proven to be both dangerous and ineffective. All are causing immediate concerns about, racial profiling, unlawful arrests, public safety, community policing.
The National Day Laborer Organization (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law have filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (FOIA), for information pertaining to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) new “Secure Communities” program.
The program, launched in March 2008, further involves state and local entities in the enforcement of federal immigration law. “Secure Communities” institutes a mechanism to run fingerprints through various databases when individuals are arrested [not charged, but arrested] – even for minor charges or if charges are dismissed. These checks are performed on presumptively innocent arrestees prior to conviction, raising serious doubts as to the program’s true objectives. Although ICE presents “Secure Communities” as an innocuous information sharing program, it seems designed to function as a dragnet to funnel even more people into the already mismanaged ICE detention and removal system.
However, no regulations have been promulgated and little information is available about the program in the public domain. The limited information that has been released is vague and seems to indicate that ICE is not executing its stated enforcement priorities.
The "Uncovering the Truth" week of activities is intended to be a coordinated effort to get local groups asking questions about police and ICE collaboration in their communities, and to get lawmakers in Congress focused on holding the Department of Homeland Security accountable.
Please join us to discuss plans for a week of coordinated local and national events, that include a large federal Freedom of Information Act request on the "Secure Communities" program, press conferences, community forums, release of reports, vigils at detention centers, audio testimonials, and initial meetings with local officials.
Together, we will gather the information necessary to make informed decisions about policies affecting our communities and the country to take further action.
For more information or to organize your own event contact: sarahi at ndlon.org.
Contact: Cesar Espinosa (713) 459-8923, americaptodos88 at yahoo.com
11:00a.m. – Mickey Leeland Federal Building
1919 Smith Street, Houston, TX
Press Conference: Houston will join in a national effort to put an end to ICE and Police Collaborations. Community leaders, leaders of faith and community members will ask the Obama Administration to put an end to these programs and stop separating our families! VISUAL: Melting the ICE.
Contact: Mackenzie Baris (202) 974-8224, mbaris at dclabor.org
10:00 a.m. – The Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC
Press Conference: Rights groups will be joined by national and local speakers to announce FOIA litigation against various federal agencies for information pertaining to ICE’s so-called “Secure Communities” program and asking for a termination of the program in Washington D.C. The press conference will also launch the “Uncovering the Truth” campaign.
NEW YORK, NY
Contact: Ravi Ragbir (917) 566-4816 rrchanges at gmail.com
12:00 p.m. – Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY
Press Conference and Rally: Rights groups launch the national “Uncovering the Truth” campaign.
Contact: Jonathan Fried, (305) 281-9377, jonathan at we-count.org
11:00 a.m. – We Count Worker Center
18901 SW 106 Avenue, Miami, FL
Press Conference: Florida Immigrant Coalition and WeCount! release a report “Immigrants, Police and Community Safety: A Community Study about Why Immigrants Do Not Trust Local Law Enforcement in Miami-Dade County” and announce a second public information request to Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department concerning the county's participation in ICE's Secure Communities program.
MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY
Contact: Diana Mejia (201) 563-1062 WindoftheSpirit1 at aol.com
7:00 p.m. – Town of Morristown
200 South Street, Morristown NJ
Morristown Town Meeting: Local residents will testify at the Morristown Town Meeting before city council members about the negative impact of programs like 287(g) and the so-called “Secure Communities” program on community policing. They may also present preliminary findings from surveys with Morristown residents.
Contact: Azadeh Shahshahani (770) 303-8111 ashahshahani at acluga.org
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Catholic Charities of Atlanta
680 West Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, GA
Training: “Responding to ICE Enforcement in 2010” is an intensive one day training on current ICE enforcement mechanisms and providing assistance following an ICE action. The training will highlight enforcement issues in Georgia. Sponsored by Catholic Charities of Atlanta and Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc (CLINIC).
SAN BERNADINO, CALIFORNIA
Contact: Suzanne Foster (310) 486-8499, sfoster.peoc at verizon.net
San Bernardino City Hall
300 North "D" Street
San Bernardino, CA 92418
Immigrant rights advocates will announce a FOIA request of the San Bernadino Sheriff's Department on recent implementation of Secure Communities as well as its ongoing participation in the controversial 287(g) program, along with the announcement of a May 1st Immigrant Workers' Rights March in San Bernardino, and a call to end racial profiling in Arizona.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Contact: Dani Martinez-Moore (919) 856-2178, dani at ncjustice.org
12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – NC Justice Center
224 S. Dawson St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Brown Bag Lunch & Workshop: “Uncovering the Truth: Institutionalized Racism in Public Policy” is an opportunity for participants to learn more about two key policies making national news-- the racial profiling inherent in ICE collaboration with local police, a dangerous and disastrous practice that is at the heart of the new Arizona anti-immigrant law currently receiving wide national media attention. An action will be taken at immediately following the event. http://tinyurl.com/apr302010
Contact: Jen Rock, (267) 275-7810, nsmphiladelphia at gmail.com
1:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Mifflin Park
6th Street and Ritner Street, Philadelphia, PA
Community Barbecue: Join the Cambodian Association of Greater Phildelphia, New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia and JUNTOS/Casa de los Soles for the Family Unity Barbecue celebrating the strength and diversity of the immigrant community of Philadelphia, which is being threatened by Philadelphia Police Department collaboration with ICE. The event calls for an end to this collaboration and for the creation of local policies that support and protect all families.
We are ALL Arizona. Arizona (AZ) Governor Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1070, an Anti-Immigrant Racial Profiling Law. Communities in Arizona and across the country are building opposition, calling for ending SB 1070 and [federal programs allowing local police to enforce immigration law.]
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the anti-immigrant, racial profiling bill April 23 at 1:30 pm Pacific Time, despite a massive outpouring of opposition from within the state and nationwide.
In the state of Arizona, massive protests have been taking place and are expected to continue. Thousands of high school and college students, largely from immigrant families, broke away from classes to take part in protests against this horrific legislation that could have a devastating effect on all communities.
The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights joins these grassroots voices and mobilization of Arizona communities to denounce SB1070.
Take Four Actions
NNIRR urges you take four actions NOW to take a stand for justice and human rights.
1. Raise your voices for fairness and equality at the border.
Call Gov. Brewer’s office and tell her SB 1070 is a disaster for the rights of all our communities. SB 1070 will intensify racial discrimination, criminalization of immigrants – or anyone who does not pass as white or a U.S. citizen. CALL (602) 542-4331 | You can also email Gov. Brewer at: email@example.com
2. We are all Arizona:
Organize a house-meeting, a vigil and other actions to express support for immigrant rights in Arizona and in your community. Also ask your family members, co-workers, neighbors and friends to talk about what is happening in Arizona. Ask them to make calls and send emails to Gov. Brewer with this message: “We are all Arizona. Your law cannot break our spirit of community; your law will not stand. Racial profiling and racial discrimination are illegal and SB 1070 will be stopped.”
3. Build the movement for justice and human rights — tell President Obama to end all federal immigration and local police-collaboration initiatives.
Call President Obama to ask him to speak out against SB 1070. SB 1070 depends on federal immigration policing programs. Ask President Obama to rollback the federal immigration enforcement programs that allow local police agencies to collaborate in immigration control. The 287(g) and "Secure Communities" programs are encouraging the kind of activity we are witnessing in Arizona. CALL the White House at (202) 456-1111.
4. Give direct support and express your solidarity to communities organizing on the ground in Arizona.
The Coalición de Derechos Humanos, (DH) based in Tucson, is organizing and working with grassroots community groups and activists to demand accountability and an end to U.S. immigration and border control policies that deliberately funnel migrants through Arizona’s deadly desert and mountain regions where hundreds die and disappear every year.
Gov. Brewer in signing SB 1070 and also increasing the militarization of immigration and border communities, calling for the deployment of National Guard troops on the Arizona border. Derechos Humanos (DH) is in the frontlines of the fight for rights in justice and against the militarization of immigration control and border communities, (www.derechoshumanosaz.net).
Community Indictment Against State of Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer (Et Al)
For violation of civil and human rights of citizens and non-citizens protected by the U.S. constitution, the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
18 U.S.C. § 241
Section 241: Conspiracy against rights
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured - They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
18 U.S.C. § 242
Section 242: Deprivation of rights under color of law
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Violation Of Human Rights In Treaty Of Guadalupe Hidalgo Teritories (US-Mexico 1848)
The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the mean time, shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Adopted on December 10, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations (without dissent)
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Adopted by the General Assembly September 13, 2007
1. Indigenous Peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.
2. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right.
ORDER TO APPEAR
Before the National Human Rights Commission of the United States, Arizona Working Group
The U.S. Government and U.S. Corporations Are the Real Criminals
On Thursday, April 15, over 800 federal, state and local agents swooped into four Arizona communities — Nogales, Rio Rico, Tucson and Phoenix — in an action described by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “targeting human smuggling networks.” The massive show of force netted only 47 suspects. The raid reinforced the racist, anti-immigrant climate already prevalent in the state.
On Friday, April 23, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB 1070, legalizing racial profiling of Latinos in her state. Local law enforcement is empowered to stop and question anyone they have “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented, which is not defined in the bill. There is already rampant racial profiling in Arizona and now, it will be done under the color of law. Legitimizing racial profiling threatens the rights not just of Latino immigrants, but also all people of color, including African Americans.
This is not the first time that Arizona has showed its true colors. Currently, there is a bill pending in the state legislature that would require presidential candidates to prove that they were born in the United States. This measure was introduced as a result of the patently false claim that Barack Obama was not born in this country. Arizona legislators and members of the “birther movement” will deny it but I say it is one more example of racist attitudes towards our first black president.
And remember the fight over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday? In 1983, Senator John McCain of Arizona voted against establishing a federal holiday in Dr. King’s honor. In 1986, the Arizona state legislature failed to pass a bill for a King holiday but the governor at the time, Bruce Babbitt issued an executive order for the state holiday. In 1987, newly elected Republican Governor Evan Mecham rescinded the executive order, remarking, “I guess King did a lot for the colored people but I do not think he deserves a national holiday.”
The criminalization of black and brown people has been happening for a long time in these United States. One only has to look at the disproportionate incarceration rates for our youth versus white youth. Now, immigrants of color are being criminalized. So-called “illegal aliens” are being demonized for the “crime” of crossing the border without legal papers, which is a civil, not criminal, offense.
But who are the real criminals? The U.S. government and U.S. corporations who are complicit in forcing the flow of migration. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), for example, Mexico opened its markets to subsidized food crops from the United States. The result is that three million Mexican farmers could not compete with cheap U.S. commodities and lost their land and their livelihood. Many of them, along with their families, have migrated to the U.S. looking for jobs.
So, let me get this right, the United States invades the economy of another country and the economic refugees that come here are labeled illegal? What is wrong with this picture?
I say that people have a right to stay in their own country. U.S. intervention has deprived them of that right. And now Arizona, the State of Hate will punish the victims.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer promises to increase the hostility towards immigrants and create the United States of Hate, if you will. Senator Schumer stated, “We believe our blueprint is even stronger than the Arizona senators’ proposal in stopping the flow of illegal immigrants because our plan both increases border security and prevents employers from hiring illegal immigrants.”
According to Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, a Tucson-based immigrant rights group, “U.S. Policy and Border Patrol and DHS [Department of Homeland Security] actions have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 4,000 migrants due to environmental exposure since 1996… This area has become a vast killing field for migrants. Last year, at least 205 bodies were recovered in Arizona alone and who knows how many more whose bodies have not been found in this remote vast oven where the desert floor reaches temperatures of 175 degrees. It is impossible to know. It is a horrific death.”
People who are trying to support themselves and their families are driven from their homes and their country, risk their lives in the harsh Sonoran Desert, and if they make it to the United States, face being treated as criminals, jailed, and deported without due process.
We all must oppose this blatant oppression. I especially call on the African American community to link arms with Latino and immigrant communities to speak out against these blatant forms of racism and economic exploitation. The rightwing politicians, organizations and movements that oppose immigrant rights are not the friends of African American communities.
We have more in common with immigrants of color. We know firsthand about racism and economic exploitation. And we have faced the hostile mobs, biased employers and racist legislators. So, which side are we on?
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national organization whose mission is to elevate the voices and perspectives of South Asian individuals and organizations to build a more just and inclusive society, condemns the enactment of SB 1070 in Arizona. Signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, this measure allows state authorities to question individuals based upon the mere suspicion that they may be undocumented and requires immigrants to carry proof of their immigration status or face criminal penalties.
"SAALT opposes this policy as it will undoubtedly lead to profiling of communities of color, regardless of immigration status. Anyone who appears to be an immigrant can be questioned by police and have to prove their immigration status," said Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of SAALT. "South Asian community members are all too familiar with the pernicious effects of profiling resulting from ineffective national security policies instituted following September 11th."
Profiling results in community members being viewed with suspicion by not only law enforcement but also the general public and does little but fuel discrimination.
The new Arizona law also underscores the need for immigration reform and anti-profiling policies. In the absence of federal measures, state and local governments are implementing their own immigration enforcement policies that result in profiling, undermine trust between communities and police, and diminish public safety. SAALT calls upon policymakers to oppose the Arizona law, and to enact policies that respect fundamental civil rights.
What can South Asian community members do?
There are a few simple steps that community members can take to oppose Arizona's new law and to support policies that respect civil rights:
• Contact Arizona Governor Jan Brewer with the following message: "I am deeply disappointed that you have signed SB 1070. This law promotes discrimination and profiling by legitimizing suspicion based upon appearance. I ask that this law be rescinded immediately." Her office can be reached at (602) 542-4331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Email President Obama and Congress and ask them to support just and humane immigration reform and to strengthen anti-profiling policies.
• Join rallies occurring across the country on May 1 in support of immigration reform.
• Learn more about the impact of profiling and immigration on the South Asian community by checking out SAALT's resources.
For more information, contact SAALT at email@example.com.
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) expresses deep concern that Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed into law today a measure that would allow law enforcement officers to detain anybody "if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants." The JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization in the nation. Restrictive and punitive immigration laws against Asians were the prime reason for the JACL to be organized in 1929. Since that time, the JACL has fought for fair immigration laws that did not discriminate against one specific group of people.
The National Executive Director of the JACL, Floyd Mori, said upon hearing of the signing of the bill, "This legislation essentially puts a target on the back of anybody who may be viewed as an immigrant, whether or not they are citizens of the United States. This is alarming to those of us of color who are citizens but are often pegged as foreigners simply because of our ethnic heritage. In 1942, Japanese Americans were put into concentration camps simply because of their [nationality]. This was contrary to basic Constitutional guarantees of fair and equal treatment under the law. This new Arizona law repeats the same error of that 1942 action by the federal government. People of a particular ethnic heritage will be the target of law enforcement simply because of the way they look. This is the worst case of racial profiling since World War II that we could imagine, and the government of Arizona is making the same mistake the federal government made in 1942, which caused many people to suffer greatly through no fault of their own."
Larry Oda, the JACL's National President, stated: "The JACL was opposed to the legislation and continues to oppose its implementation as a law. Many innocent people will experience difficulties and hardship simply because of their ethnic heritage. While Governor Brewer has cited the boarder problems as a prime reason for signing the law, it is obvious that the impact will be felt largely in Hispanic communities whether people are citizens or not.”
Citing the universal declaration of human rights that every person has the right to exercise their most essential prerogatives without discrimination, the Mexican National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) conveyed its concerns about the new Arizona law giving police authority to enforce immigration law. The CNDH thinks the law will be carried out in violation of human rights.
The Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan, regretted the decision of the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, to enact the anti-immigrant law SB 1070 and announced that Mexican authorities will “utilize all diplomatic, political and economic resources available to respond to the situation.” He said, “This is racial discrimination,” in a message that he posted on his twitter account.
Patricia Espinoza Cantellano, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations, said the anti-immigration law signed by the governor of Arizona affects the relationship between Arizona and Mexico and obliges the Mexican government “to think about the viability and usefulness of the plans that have been developed with Arizona.” The Secretary regrets that the Arizona governor did not take into account the valuable contributions of migrants to the economy, society and the culture of Arizona and the United States. Espinoza maintained that the Mexican government should take actions “to convey to the government of Arizona the Mexican concerns expressed about approval of the law without obtaining a positive reply on its part.” She added, “the government recognizes the sovereign right of all countries to decide public policies that should apply in its territory,” but in this case she pointed out that she cannot remain indifferent when a measure potentially affects the human rights of thousands of Mexicans.
Citing concerns that the law will bring about persecution and intimidation of undocumented immigrants in Arizona, the Mexican Senate exhorted the Arizona government to veto the bill giving police immigration authority. Further reasons for their request were that the law will put the security of undocumented workers and families at risk as well as the security of the communities where they live. They said the law will cause the harassment of individuals of Hispanic origin, regardless of their immigration status.
In related news, the El Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Relations stated his concerns over the approval of Arizona SB 1070 that requires the state and federal police to verify the immigration status of any person on “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented. The foreign relations office said the bill is anti-immigrant and fears that the implementation of the law would bring discrimination based “physical aspects or ethnic origin.”