Thursday, June 15, 2017

Support SB 54: The Sanctuary Bill

Yesterday, the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed SB 54 by a 5-2 vote! Now it's time to call Governor Brown.

Please call Governor Brown this week to urge passage of a strong SB 54, the California Values Act.  

Trump Immigration Arrests

In the first three months of the Trump Administration, ICE agents arrested some 41,000 people.  This is an increase of almost 40 % over the same period last year. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

William J. Barber II | Shifting the Moral Conversation | Portside

William J. Barber II | Shifting the Moral Conversation | Portside

Repairers of the Breach founder William J. Barber II talks about America's history of systematic racism and explains how citizens can protest racism, inequality and injustice

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Help Pass the California Sanctuary Bill SB 54

Sacramento area Assemblymen Cooper and Cooley are not reliable votes yet. 

Your phone calls have made the difference in getting SB 54, the California Values Act, through the Senate to the Assembly. This campaign has serious momentum, and we're ready for the next step. The Assembly Public Safety Committee is holding a hearing on SB 54 this Tuesday, and our next task is making sure it passes the committee vote.
The California Values Act gives sanctuary to undocumented California residents and their families by prohibiting state or local law enforcement cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. ICE has made communities less safe, not more. When undocumented people are so scared of being detained or deported that they won't report serious crimes that our law enforcement should be dealing with, we all suffer.
SB 54 protects our neighbors from detention and deportation, and makes communities safer as a whole by allowing law enforcement to focus on crimes that actually endanger people. Please call your assemblyperson today and get their support for SB 54, the California Values Act.
The need for immigration reform predates Donald Trump's presidency, but ever since he took office our immigrant communities have been put in even greater danger. No undocumented person is immune from detention or deportation. There is no regard for their job, family, time lived in this country, or even children who are American citizens. It is our duty to take action, and California's to lead on making a home for our beloved immigrant communities when the federal government won't. That's what this campaign is about.

An Underground College for Undocumented Immigrants | Portside

An Underground College for Undocumented Immigrants | Portside

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Lulac, ACLU, Sue to block Texas SB 4

ACLU MOVES TO BLOCK SB4: The American Civil Liberties Union filed a preliminary injunction Monday to block a Texas law against so-called "sanctuary cities." The ACLU, along with the City of Cenizo and the League of United Latin American Citizens, filed suit in a federal court in San Antonio to prevent the measure from taking effect on September 1. Under SB4, state and local law enforcement officers will be empowered to ask about immigration status during routine encounters and police chiefs could face fines for a refusal to enforce immigration laws, among other provisions. Read the filing here and a memorandum in support here.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Return of Workplace Immigration Raids

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - David Huerta, President of United Service Workers West, SEIU, speaks at a meeting of San Francisco janitors and other workers supporting AB 450, a bill protecting workers during immigration raids and enforcement actions.  
David Bacon, 
At the end of February immigration agents descended on a handful of Japanese and Chinese restaurants in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi, and in nearby Meridian. Fifty-five immigrant cooks, dishwashers, servers and bussers were loaded into vans and taken to a detention center about 160 miles away in Jena, Louisiana.
Their arrests and subsequent treatment did more than provoke outrage among Jackson's immigrant rights activists. Labor advocates in California also took note of the incident, fearing that it marked the beginning of a new wave of immigrant raids and enforcement actions in workplaces. In response, California legislators have written a bill providing legal protections for workers, to keep the Mississippi experience from being duplicated in the Golden State.
Once the Mississippi restaurant workers had been arrested, they essentially fell off the radar screen for several days. Jackson lawyer Jeremy Litton, who represented three Guatemalan workers picked up in the raid, could not get the government to schedule hearing dates for them.  He was unable to verify that the other detained immigrants were being held in the same center, or even who they were. 
The Geo Corporation, formerly known as the Wackenhut Corporation, operates the LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena. Geo's roots go back to the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which became notorious in the nineteenth and first half of the 20th century for violent assaults on unions and strikers. 
Today Geo operates 16 immigrant detention centers around the country, according to its 2015 annual report. It runs privatized prisons as well, some of which have been investigated by the federal government after allegations of bad conditions and understaffing. The LaSalle facility has 1,160 beds. Litton says it is normally full, so taking in an additional 55 detainees would result in severe overcrowding.