Friday, July 30, 2010

Community groups blast Arizona SB 1070

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton's ruling yesterday temporarily halting select provisions ofArizona's SB1070 is a good start towards defeating the controversial legislation. Unfortunately, the ruling leaves intact the status quo of anti-immigrant racial profiling and immigration-police collaboration, setting the groundwork for heightened harassment and arrests of immigrants.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton's ruling yesterday temporarily halting select provisions ofArizona's SB1070 is a good start towards defeating the controversial legislation. Unfortunately, the ruling leaves intact the status quo of anti-immigrant racial profiling and immigration-police collaboration, setting the groundwork for heightened harassment and arrests of immigrants.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Provisions of SB1070
The ruling let stand a section on day laborers in which police will be allowed to charge persons with "harboring and transporting" immigrants who have no valid immigration documents.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eliseo Medina on Arizona's anti immigrant movement

Eliseo Medina at Netroots Nation: Unite to Defeat anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic movements from Talking Union on Vimeo.
Wait. it takes some time to load.

Eliseo Medina, international vice president of the Service Employees International Union, spoke at a panel on “civil rights in the modern era” at the just concluded Netroots Nation convention in Las Vegas.  Medina reviewed the impact of Arizona’s SB 1070.

Medina is an honorary chair of Democratic Socialists of America and was the 2004 recipient of Chicago DSA’s Debs-Thomas-Harrington Award.  He was described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most successful labor organizers in the country” and was named one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Latino Leaders” in Poder Magazine. He is currently leading the Service Employees International Union‘s efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that “rebuilds the nation’s economy, secures equal labor- and civil-rights protections for workers to improve their wages and work conditions and provides legal channels and a path to citizenship.”  He  played a leading role in the effort to unite the unions of the Change to Win federation and AFL-CIO around a comprehensive framework for reform.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Judge blocks part of Arizona law- cites U.S. constitution

PHOENIX — A federal judge, ruling on a clash between the federal government and a state over immigration policy, has blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law from going into effect.
In a ruling on a law that has rocked politics coast to coast and thrown a spotlight on the border state’s fierce debate over immigration, United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix said some aspects of the law can go into effect as scheduled on Thursday.
The parts of the law that the judge blocked included the sections that called for officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times. Judge Bolton put those sections on hold until the issues are resolved by the courts.
The judge’s decision, which came as demonstrators opposed and supporting the law gathered here and after three hearings in the past two weeks in which she peppered lawyers on both sides with skeptical questions, seemed unlikely to quell the debate.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Leisa's Journal #4. Haiti today

Dear Friends,

A little before 9 a.m. this morning, boy’s voices chanted a loud lilting response to Wallnes’ insistent drum calling us to Sunday service. Out on the roof of St. Joseph’s make-shift home for street boys there was standing-room only on the already sun baked deck overlooking the pit. (The pit is all that marks the spot where St. Joseph’s stood before the earthquake). The interfaith service was a mix of faith traditions with a vibrant Haitian cadence. Most prayers were sung (which my son Luke really liked). Most hearts seemed touched. Then one clear, young sweet voice swept through the air like breeze itself…fresh and inviting. After a solitary chorus, a softened duomo drum joined in. Gradually we all joined in. And despite the baking heat, we somehow felt refreshed for being allowed to be a part of it.

It was hard to imagine then the down pour that soaked our freshly stomped laundry this afternoon. We had just slopped our clean our laundry between two tubs of precious well water when the storm hit…at least we didn’t have to waste water rinsing…we simply let the rain rinse our clothes on the line. Hopefully, next morning will bring a fresh sunny breeze.

Tonight, Jim, the amputee rehab therapist on our team spiked a 103 fever and our clinic’s doctor was stranded across a rain-swollen river which isn’t expected to resend until early morning...his phone and our Haiti phone both gave out. Lucky for Jim, we were able to treat his high blood pressure, fever and other symptoms by calling our U.S. doctor consultant and by tapping in a bit to the donated drugs we are going to deliver to The Lamp Cite Soleil Clinic.

Tomorrow, I will interview three more children at the clinic.

The last time I did interviews, one little boy minded me of a Haitian Huckleberry Finn. He was squirming around in the high-back chair belted snugly into one-size-too-big, perfectly clean and pressed clothes that looked like they were actually causing him physical pain. When I told him he was almost done, he finally began to relax. One of the last questions we asked was, “If you won the lottery, what would you buy?”

“Spoons. I would buy spoons for my mother’s kitchen.”

Sort of puts things into perspective when a child’s greatest wish is for his mother to have spoons in her kitchen.

We are finding so many needs…

Please remember it is not too late to make a pledge by replying to this email, or better yet…you can donate online at our blog:

Peace, always and all ways…leisa

Mexico labor solidarity

Mexico was the focus of the Saturday July 10 luncheon session at the LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference. The two speakers were uniquely qualified to address the growing repression of union under the government of Felipe Calderón.
Mexican Unions Fight Repression with International Solidarity from Talking Union on Vimeo.

Benedicto Martinez Orozco is a Co-president of the Frente Auténtico del Trabajois Translating is Robin Alexander, International Affairs Director of the UE. (We will post Alexander’s remarks later in the week.)
The Authentic Workers’ Front or Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) is an independent federation of labor unions, worker owned cooperatives, and farmworker and community organizations. A women’s network operates within all of the FAT’s sectors and as part of the leadership.
For more on the FAT, read this from the UE.
For the latest on labor in Mexico, Talking Union recommends Dan Labotz’s Mexican Labor News & Analysis

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Farmworkers seek overtime protection in Sacramento

Farmworkers seek overtime protection

Several dozen farm laborers marched to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office today to deliver a bill requiring overtime pay equity for farmworkers.
Sen. Dean Florez, a Democrat from Shafter and the author of Senate Bill 1121, led the crowd down the steps from his third floor office inside the Capitol.
Florez was also joined by United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez and Monsignor James Murphy from Sacramento's Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The crowd knelt and prayed outside the governor's first-floor office, then delivered the official copy of the bill to Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear.
Florez's bill would lift a 1941 exemption in state labor code that excludes farmworkers from getting overtime pay after an eight-hour day or a 40-hour week. The more than a half-million farmworkers in California now get overtime pay only after 10 hours of work in one day or a 60-hour week.
Schwarzenegger has 12 days from today to sign or veto the bill. Agricultural interests are pressuring him to veto it, arguing that employers will cut workers' hours to avoid overtime during long harvest days.
"We're talking about (the governor) taking what might be called a 'profile in courage' choice," Florez said at a news conference in his office before going down the stairs.

Read more:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day of Action. July 29

NNIRR calls on members, partners, allies and friends tojoin in a national day of actions against SB1070, the Arizona anti-immigrant racial profiling law this July 29. SB1070 can be stopped by demanding and organizing for justice and human rights for all!

NNIRR is urging the Obama Administration to use all resources at its disposal to stop SB1070 -- and to end ALL immigration-police collaboration.

SB1070 is set to go into effect on July 29, giving Arizona police the power to stop and arrest anyone they suspect of being undocumented. The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against SB1070 to declare it unconstitutional; the DOJ is arguing that the state law usurps federal powers to regulate immigration.
Arizona community groups and their partners are leading dynamic efforts to oppose SB1070 and are organizing diverse actions andcampaigns like "Move the Game" to expose and build pressure to stop the hateful law.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Milbank- Arizona governor has lost her head

By Dana Milbank
Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jan Brewer has lost her head.
The Arizona governor, seemingly determined to repel every last tourist dollar from her pariah state, has sounded a new alarm about border violence. "Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," she announced on local television.
Ay, caramba! Those dark-skinned foreigners are now severing the heads of fair-haired Americans? Maybe they're also scalping them or shrinking them or putting them on a spike.
But those in fear of losing parts north of the neckline can relax. There's not a follicle of evidence to support Brewer's claim.
The Arizona Guardian Web site checked with medical examiners in Arizona's border counties, and the coroners said they had never seen an immigration-related beheading. I called and e-mailed Brewer's press office requesting documentation of decapitation; no reply.
Brewer's mindlessness about headlessness is just one of the immigration falsehoods being spread by Arizona politicians. Border violence on the rise? Phoenix becoming the world's No. 2 kidnapping capital? Illegal immigrants responsible for most police killings? The majority of those crossing the border are drug mules? All wrong.
This matters, because it means the entire premise of the Arizona immigration law is a fallacy. Arizona officials say they've had to step in because federal officials aren't doing enough to stem increasing border violence. The scary claims of violence, in turn, explain why the American public supports the Arizona crackdown.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Who is a citizen?

The U.S. Constitution.

Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Nativo Lopez arrested - again

If my father's case would have taken it's previous course his next court hearing would have been July 12, 2010 at 8:30am in Department 36 of the Los Angeles Superior court in front of Commissioner Kristi Lousteau, but earlier this week he was notified via fax by the imposed public pretender that the Los Angeles, District Attorney, Steve Cooley wanted to move forward with a Grand Jury indictment, which was granted the next day. He was ordered to surrender on the indictment today and heard before Judge Patricia M. Schnegg this morning. The direct orders from his court appointed and imposed public pretender were bring a bondsman, attorney and be present or an arrest warrant will be issued.
It's no mystery to me now why I woke up this morning with extreme pain in my heart and tears rolling down my face I had no recollection of what I had dreamt all I knew was that I felt horrible. Being that I have always been extremely close to my father and a direct witness to his many years of dedication and self-sacrifice to our society for the betterment of and for workers, immigrants, and students and for this I believe he is being targeted and bullied into the court system. One of the millions maybe even billions of victims of the courts tactics of bullying and intimidation by the forced attempts of submission to their jurisdiction and order.
This isn't the first time my family has gone through this and ironically the California Secretary of State has been involved in both matters. I had never so clearly witnessed how corrupt and volatile of a supposed justice system we face in this country, but this experience has opened my eyes to the way so many of our brown and black brothers and sisters are passed through the courts as if they were cattle for profit and indeed they are. The system is to the point of ruin and manifests itself as a big charade of Judge, District Attorney, Public Defender, and Bailiff (and in my father's case at some instances more then three or four Bailiffs), all working together to pass the cattle through with explicit and consistent violations of 14th amendment procedural due process rights.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Another Immigration policy is possible

By David Bacon
Truthout Report 

        Thousands of leftwing activists just spent a week at the US Social Forum in Detroit, gathered again under the banner "Another World is Possible!"  Among them hundreds added a new subtext:  "Another Immigration Policy is Possible!"
        This theme was especially popular among grassroots organizations in immigrant communities.  Today non-traditional worker centers are spreading across the US, including ones for day laborers, domestic workers, farm workers and other low-wage immigrants.  Most are Spanish-speaking migrants from Mexico and Central America, but many also come from the Philippines, India, Pakistan, China and the Caribbean.
    If anyone should be in favor of immigration reform, these groups should be.  Yet instead of embracing the proposals made in Washington by Representative Luis Gutierrez and Senator Charles Schumer, they reject them. 
        The Social Forum was over by the time President Barack Obama made a speech about immigration policy a week later, but the forum's message could as easily have been given to him as well.  There are no significant differences between Obama's ideas and those of Gutierrez and Schumer.
       These grassroots groups don't like the proposals for new guest worker programs.  They have been fighting raids, firings and increased immigration enforcement for years, and are angry that the Washington proposals all make enforcement heavier.  They want the border demilitarized.  And they believe any rational immigration reform must change US trade policies that displace people in other countries.