August 2009 Archives

Herta is still set to be deported, so we still need to write letters in support of her.  I will write more about that later, but for now I will just post this press release:

For Immediate Release
19 August 2009

Contact:
Mohammad Abd, dreamactivist.org: 734-262-9705
Ali Jost, SEIU: 202-730-7159
 

After Days of Intense Congressional and Grassroots Activism...

DHS Grants Detroit Honor Student Extension on Deportation to Albania

Activists Continue Pressuring DHS to Extend Herta Llusho's Stay Until Passage of DREAM Act and Federal Immigration Reform

Detroit, MI - Today, after days of activism by Senator Carl Levin, Representative Carolyn Kilpatrick and thousands of grassroots activists, the Department of Homeland Security granted 19-year-old Detroit honor student, Herta Llusho, a temporary extension of her deportation to Albania. Originally planned for August 19, DHS has extended the deportation date until November 9, allowing a growing, national network of activists to continue to push for a more permanent extension for Llusho.
Marissa Graciosa of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement was asked to write a letter in support of Herta Llusho.  You can download a copy of her letter here (pdf).  The text of her letter is below:

Dear Secretary Napolitano,

A bright, deserving student from Detroit is about to be deported, and we implore you to act to
stop this injustice.
Frank Sharry of America's Voice was asked to write a letter in support of Herta Llusho.  You can download a copy of his letter here (pdf).  The text of his letter is below:

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

I am writing to support deferral and review of Herta Llusho's deportation order. She is scheduled for deportation on August 19, 2009.
Herta has produced another stellar media performance in the face of adversity over on the local FOX channel.  Amy Lange and the news anchors did an excellent job of covering Herta's story and their link to dreamactivist.org is much appreciated.  The link to their story on Herta is here and I will embed the video below:


The above picture was taken at a rally in support of Herta Llusho.

I don't have much time to write about Herta' story this very early morning, but I'm going to do my best to update people in preparation for the last day we can do something to stop the deportation of Herta Llusho.  If you have not yet signed this petition and taken the actions listed in support of Herta Llusho, than please do so.  You can get the latest information from this facebook group.

If you have done all of the above, than I encourage you to focus all of your energy onto calling, faxing, and emailing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as it is ultimately in their hands whether Herta is sent back to Albania or not.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a part of DHS.  The latest message I got from the facebook group suggests calling these two numbers, but things are change hourly so check back here for updates:

1: Call LaSal Austin, director of the local DHS in Michigan, at 313-259-8562. Demand that he take legislators' leads and take immediate action to defer the deportation of Herta Llusho.

2: Call John Morton, Assistant Secretary of ICE, at the comment line 202-732-3000 . Demand that he contact Mr. Austin in the local DHS office and take immediate action to defer Herta's deportation.
Stop Herta's Deportation - Facebook (17 August 2009)

SEIU also has a handy-dandy click-to-fax tool up that will send a fax directly to Vincent Clausen, the Michigan ICE Field Officer, whom I hope will do the right thing and defer Herta's deportation.
I was informed of this quite a while ago, but I wanted to formally announce that Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick wrote a letter in support of Herta, yesterday.  I just uploaded a copy of this letter here (pdf).
Channel 7 Action News has a good report on Herta's story.  There was some good media coverage of Herta's story, yesterday, and I can only hope that it's enough to swing things in our favor this last day.

I want to thank Eric Baerren and Richard Hellinga of Michigan Liberal for front paging my post on Herta Llusho.  It seems to have shamed traditional media into giving a little bit of coverage to Herta's case.  Detroit Public Radio,the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News have now covered Herta's story. 

I've got to say though, that the best coverage of Herta's story comes from Hoa Quach of Global Voices.  Quach seems to have grasped the nuances of this story better than most.  It's probably because she has covered the work of dreamactivist.org before.

I am continuously updating media outlets that have covered Herta's story here.
CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED

Following is a list of blogs media outlets that have covered Herta's story since it was first published by dreamactivist.org on August 11, 2009.
It was a wild two days at Netroots Nation.  It's good to see the Obama administration feeling some pressure from progressives as a result of it, though I wish there had been more of a push back on migration policy.  I didn't attend Valarie Jarrett's talk, but I am told she was asked a question on migration policy.  I should have gone and done my own heckling and hissing on the subject. 

There's so much to write coming out of Netroots Nation, but I'm going to be focused on Herta Llusho's case until Wednesday, when she is set to be deported.  Look for more after then, and in the meantime, join the campaign to support Herta!
If you have not heard of Herta Llusho, yet, she has published her story in blogs far and wide.  I also recommend you read my post on why Herta's story is so important.  More importantly, though, please take the following actions in support of Herta.

It appears social media has beat out old media, yet again.  Since Herta Llusho's story was first published by dreamactivist.org on August 11, 2009, over 2,000 people have both signed a change.org petition and joined a facebook group in support of her.  19 different blogs, both large and small, have covered her case.  I encourage politicians from Michigan to check out that list of blogs because many of their constituents are leaving comments on them. 

Despite all of this social media activity, not a single traditional media outlet has reported on Herta's case.  Fortunately, politicians don't wait on old media anymore.  They listen to their constituents voices, amplified by social media.  That is why I am excited to report, with the heroic assistance of Josh Bernstein from SEIU, that U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) has written a letter in support of Herta Llusho.
While I hope to write as much as I can the best way to see what's happening at Netroots Nation is to follow me on twitter, as well as others whom I will be tweeting with. I'm looking forward to your tweets!
If you can't tell, I've been pretty busy, lately, supporting Herta.  So much so, that I missed an entire day of Netroots Nation, yesterday.  I think it was worth the post and the video I put up, yesterday, though.  I also want to thank Mamita Mala over at Vivir Latino who I attended a New Organizing Institute training with for giving me feedback on Herta's story.  Maegan has gone above and beyond in her support of the DREAM Act, at the same time that she's not afraid to express her criticisms of it, which is precisely as it should be.  In addition to my work with DREAMers it's her writing, mainly, that I think I was in conversation with when I wrote my post, yesterday

In being caught up in Herta's case, I've also neglected my responsibility of advertising a panel that I'm going to be speaking on that I'm going to be speaking on.  I want to thank Will Coley of Aquifer Media for being generous enough to include me on a panel of giants, and for doing so much to bring us all together.  Here's the info:

Stepping it up: Creating Powerful Multiracial Alliances with Progressive Bloggers

Time: Friday, August 14th 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Room: 301/302

At this critical time for our nation, the progressive blogosphere often neglects to discuss larger social justice issues, particularly those related to race and ethnicity. As a result, critical concerns like immigration enforcement and criminal justice are mostly covered by nativist and politically conservative bloggers who use a "personal responsibility" frame to dismiss any attempts at systemic change. This session will examine the importance of tackling this disparity and identify the role of progressive bloggers in shaping public policy around social justice issues. Given corporate media's attention to issues of immigration enforcement and the revival of the comprehensive immigration reform debate in recent months, it is crucial that progressive bloggers are prepared to expand the public dialogue around these issues.

Panelists:
Will Coley, Aquifer Media
Cheryl Contee, Jack and Jill Politics
Rinku Sen, ColorLines Magazine
Jackie Esposito, Detention Watch Network
Kyle de Beausset, Citizen Orange
Netroots Nation (14 August 2009)



If you've taken all of the actions below, you can help others to see this post by digging it, tweeting it, stumbling it, etc.

Another day another DREAM.  Over the last few days, I have been working hard with Herta Llusho and her brother Lirjon to support their campaign to defer Herta's deportation on August 19, 2009.  If you haven't read her story yet, I recommend that you do.  Please, take the following actions in support of Herta and help her stay in the only country she knows as her home:

ACTION

  1. Join the facebook group for immediate updates: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=111108019510
  2. Sign petition which will be hand-delivered to targets: http://www.change.org/actions/view/stop_deportation_of_dream_student_herta_llusho
  3. Use SEIU Click to Call Action Tool to call DHS: http://call.seiu.org/9/hertadhs
  4. Call Senator Carl Levin at (202) 224-6221. Urge him to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.
  5. Call Senator Stabenow at (202) 224-4822. Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.
  6. Call Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick at (202) 225-2261. Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.
I first heard about Herta through the folks at dreamactivist.org, whom I have been working and spending a lot of time with, lately.  In typical dreamactivist.org fashion, if you get involved they'll find a way to use you anyway they can.  So, while I was in Michigan visiting family, Mo from dreamactivist.org contacted me and told me Herta and her brother, Lirjon, would be coming over so that I could meet with them and help Herta tell her story.  I worked closely with her on her story, and I also recorded the above video.


My name is Herta Llusho, I am 19 years old, and I writing this because I am about to be deported.  I was born in Albania and was brought to the United States when I was 11 years old.   With the help and support of my family, I have struggled through more than seven years of legal proceedings to find a way to stay in this country legally.  Despite our best efforts, on August 19, I will be removed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from the only place I know as my home.  I will be sent back to a country that has become a foreign place to me.  I don't even speak Albanian well anymore.  My only hope of staying here is for as many people as possible to ask DHS to delay my deportation until the DREAM Act is passed.

I'm A "Left Wing Terrorist"

| | Comments (1)
It looks like the folks at the great pro-migrant blog Immigration Clearinghouse are having an effect.  I've documented some of the online guerilla warfare that goes on in the pro-migrant sanctuarysphere.  It appears that nativists have set up a mirror site to Immigration Clearinghouse in which I get called the following along with a bunch of other pro-migrant blogs:

Groups supporting Illegal Immigration & Open Borders! Groups from the far left wing terrorists who want to destroy America.

[...]
Citizen Orange
[...]

All of these organizations promote and or sponsor open borders and no immigration laws! The federal government needs to look into these groups and find out what they are planning! We suspect that they want to take over America and make it part of Mexico. I f you have any first hand knowledge about these groups trying to partake in terrorists activities, please contact your local FBI field operations manager or call the local police department in your town. These groups are left wing extreamists HATE Groups with one thing in mind, the take over of America.
You can tell the sort of Internet dinosaurs we're dealing with by the sophistication of the site they set up.  All I can say is congratulations to the folks at Immigration Clearinghouse.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I'm always happy for the free advertisement, too.  The more links I get, the more people find me.


Peter Dao has it absolutely right on the recent protests over at Consider This News:

I've gone on the record disagreeing with the term 'Teabaggers' and with the use of the word 'un-American' - I've done so because despite the astroturfing and the faux-grassroots opposition to health care reform, I place a premium on citizen activism and I don't want to tarnish legitimate protesters, even if I strongly disagree with their politics and ideology. There's no denying that some Americans have real fears and genuine disagreements with Democratic policies and it is wrong to assail their right to protest.

I have, however, singled out racists and other assorted Obama haters, some of whom are intent on inciting violence. They should be spared no scorn and should be universally condemned. Their actions are not about protest and dissent but about hate and violence.
Peter Dao - Consider This News (11 August 2009)
It's also nice to see various leading progressive bloggers take stand for unauthorized migrants.  Pro-migrant blogging has come a long way.


Lou Dobbs has been an especially deep thorn in migrant advocates' sides for a long time.  Almost every weekday at 7 p.m. ET, Dobbs uses his perch on the "most trusted name in news" to blame a marginalized unauthorized migrant population for almost every one of the U.S.'s problems.  Scapegoating unauthorized migrants is a common trend on FOX News, right-wing talk radio, and among conservative bloggers, but there's something especially scathing about hearing it from the "most trusted name in news."

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