Monday, April 16, 2018

When ICE Arrests Parents

ICE GUIDANCE FOR PARENT ARRESTS: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement posted online Friday an updated policy on what to do when the parents of minor children are arrested and detained. ICE made public the August 2017 directive, which supersedes Obama administration guidance from four years earlier, after Morning Shift obtained a copy and queried ICE about it.
The 2013 Obama guidance said ICE should ensure its enforcement activities "do not unnecessarily disrupt" parental custody of minor children. The new guidance tells officers merely to "remain cognizant" of the effect their enforcement actions might have on children; in keeping with the Trump administration's less forgiving view of deportations, the guidance does not demand prosecutorial discretion. Michelle BranĂ©, director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission, said the change "will no doubt result in broad separation of families." The new directive does maintain a few features of the Obama-era policy: ICE officials must make arrangements for detained immigrants to participate in child custody hearings, and children must be permitted to visit parents in detention. In addition, absent signs of abuse or neglect, officers must allow parents to make arrangements for their children at the time of arrest. "We hope these are implemented and help at least keep children safe when a parent is detained," BranĂ© said.
During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Thursday, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) questioned Matthew Albence, an ICE associate director, about the changes . The directive, Albence said, required an overhaul to align with President Donald Trump's January 2017 executive orders on border security and interior immigration enforcement. Read the new 2017 policy here and the 2013 directive it replaced here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Farmworkers March to Oppose Immigration Raids

Story and photos by David Bacon
Capital and Main - 4/13/18

For a complete set of images, click here

 In Salinas, California, on Sunday, over a thousand farm workers and allies filled the streets of its working-class barrio to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies, including an increase in immigration raids that, according to United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, are "striking terror in rural communities across California and the nation." It was one of six marches taking place this month in agricultural communities around California, Texas, and Washington state. 

Highlighting the cost of the immigration crackdown was the deaths last month in Delano of husband and wife Santos Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Porfecto. On March 13, the couple, both farm workers, had just dropped off their daughter at school on their way to work when two black unmarked Jeeps with tinted windows, driven by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, stopped them. The couple drove off, but lost control of their car, hit a utility pole and flipped over, killing them both. They leave six children behind.

According to a police report obtained by the Los Angeles Times, immigration agents told police that they were not in "pursuit with emergency lights/sirens," but that surveillance footage appears to show the ICE vehicles following the couple with emergency lights flashing. The Delano Police Department have asked Kern County prosecutors to investigate the discrepancies in the immigration agents' accounts of the incident. On Monday, ICE spokesperson Richard Rocha sought to divert blame in a statement to the Times that sanctuary policies, "have pushed ICE out of jails," and "force our officers to conduct more enforcement in the community - which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public ... It also increases the likelihood that ICE will encounter other illegal aliens who previously weren't on our radar." 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Brown Agrees to Send National Guard to the Border

California Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to President Donald Trump's request to put additional National Guard troops on the borderwith Mexico, though he will limit their involvement with immigration enforcement efforts.
Brown, the fourth-term Democrat, announced Wednesday that he would accept federal funding to add 400 California National Guard members to statewide operations on drug smuggling , human trafficking and other organized crime through Sept. 30.
"But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission," Brown wrote in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis. "This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws."
Trump last week asked the governors of four southwestern states to deploy the National Guard as part of a plan to secure the U.S.-Mexico border against gang activity and illegal immigration. He later told reporters that he wanted up to 4,000 troops on the border, "until such time as we get the wall."

Friday, April 06, 2018

No National Guard to the Border

Illegal border crossings in the US are at their lowest levels since 1971. We must keep our country safe, but border patrol agents are more than prepared for the ebb and flow of border crossings.
So why is Trump requesting that National Guard units be sent to the border while he waits for his racist sham of a wall to be built? 

The same reason his Justice Department is suing California over legislation we passed to protect immigrants: to use racism and xenophobia to divide us, incite fears, and stoke tensions with Mexico.  

Here's how we fight back: Pooling our collective voices and power together, demanding accountability, and demanding that states across the country rise to the challenge. 

Your voices can help provide the support states need to reject Trump's request, and keep their National Guard units at the ready for real threats, not Trump's political ploys.

Add your name today to tell Trump that we won't stand for a militarized border with Mexico >>

Duane, all my life, as a kid growing up in poverty in a border town, as a community organizer, and as a legislator, I've seen first-hand the the contributions of the undocumented community to California’s culture and economy.

I know that tearing families apart is bad for business, not just our global image.

And I know that militarizing our border with Mexico is the act of a desperate president, eager to appease his extreme right-wing base at any cost to our nation.

California needs a leader in the Senate to take these fights head on and win. Nothing less than the future of our state and country is at stake. That's why I'm running.

Please take action now and send a message that a militarized border is unacceptable.

We'll defeat this together,

OPPOSE the National Guard at the Border

We oppose further militarization of border enforcement operations and infrastructure, including Trump's recent call to send National Guard troops to the border. We similarly opposed National Guard deployments under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Those troops provided supportive services that freed up more Border Patrol personnel to engage in direct immigration enforcement activities. The National Guard presence would contribute to the militarized environment of the border region and put border crossers and community members at greater risk of harassment and rights violations.
As we've seen in the past, these kinds of pronouncements about "imminent dangers" of "invasions" can also lead to an escalation of vigilantism and hate activity in the border region against anyone who "looks foreign".
Click here to join an Open Letter to the President and to border state governors opposing the deployment of the National Guard to the border.
Trump has manufactured this sense of urgency in response to news of the caravan of Central American men, women and children, traveling through Mexico to escape violence in their region (the eighth annual caravan, usually undertaken during Easter week). Border crossings by people without documents have declined over several years; the majority of border crossers are from countries other than Mexico, and are likely to be asylum seekers.  
The President's proposal and inflammatory statements expose his ignorance and/or complete disregard of U.S. and international obligations and commitments to refugees and asylum seekers. And his off-the-cuff rhetoric is indicative of his disdain for human rights at international borders. He is shamelessly acting out of contempt and disregard of the desperate conditions that have forced millions of adults and children, including unaccompanied minors, to leave their homes in search of safety and survival. His Easter weekend tweet about "enemy combatants pouring over our borders" is more demagoguery to stir fear and racial hostility among his base, give evidence to his campaign promise to close down immigration, and fuel further division in this country.

For decades, our members, partners and allies in border communities have consistently raised their voices against increased militarization, for its destructive effects on border communities and the environment, and have worked to provide humanitarian assistance -- a basic human response -- to help save the lives of desperate border crossers. This costly and heightened militarized presence can only worsen the problems of lack of border agency accountability and the mistreatment of border communities.
All people at borders should be treated with dignity and respect and provided with the ability to register their claims.
Thank you!