October 2009 Archives
I'm hoping this post will mean the SanctuarySphere and my posting at Citizen Orange is back in swing. My apologies for the long absence.
DREAMer Nightmares refered from Dream Act Texas.
She is undocumented, but has been in this country since the age of three and is a top student at her high school. Yet, unless the law changes soon, she will be unable to continue with her studies. She tells my students at the University of Arizona that it is wrong that she will not be able to attend college next year: "I consider myself a U.S. citizen. It's the only country I've ever known."
Loco Lou Dobbs Claims he was Shot At! Blames Geraldo! ANTI Websites Reporting LIES as Truth! at Immigration Talk With A Mexican American.
Despite the persistent high rate of unemployment in the United States, the need for comprehensive immigration reform is as urgent today as the first day Obama took office.
Cross-posted at Young Philly Politics.
Julio Maldonado was deported to Peru on Thursday, October 22, 2009, after arriving in the U.S. 38 years ago at the age of 3.
He and his cousin, Denis Calderon, had been victims of an attack based on their ethnicity in 1996. Julio was wrongfully convicted of aggravated assault, incarcerated for a total of 8 years, and then deported.
His family's pleas for justice were ignored by local, state, and federal decisionmakers--except for the convicting judge, Judge Gregory Smith, who actually vacated his own verdict after an evidentiary rehearing. That decision was appealed by the District Attorney's office and overturned. A jury of Julio's peers also found him not guilty of the murder of one of his attackers. So how then was Julio locked up for so long and deported, when the convicting judge (in the aggravated assault trial) and the jury (in the murder trial) both decided he was not culpable?
When it came to wrongfully convicting, imprisoning, and deporting Julio, prosecutors and the Department of Homeland Security zealously worked to prevent a just result. When it came to acknowledging that a mistake had been made and families would be torn apart, everyone's hands were tied, from prosecutor Seth Williams to Governor Rendell (mayor of Philadelphia in 1996, now with the power to pardon an egregious error that occurred on his watch) to Thomas Decker, director of Immigration Customs and Enforcement in Philadelphia, to Janet Napolitano, head of DHS.
The case has broader significance, as Seth Williams will likely be Philadelphia's new District Attorney. He will have to decide, along with the mayor and police commissioner, whether to continue along Philadelphia's current track of close cooperation with ICE to target immigrant communities. Currently, Philly PD is routinely arresting Latin@ immigrants for minor traffic stops and turning them directly over to ICE, or actually joining ICE on home raids. This is in direct contravention of Mayor Nutter's expressed desire to make Philly an immigrant-friendly city. It is hard to be friendly when the immigrant community is terrified of the police, which is working hand in glove with the local ICE contingent to deport every last one of them.
Seth Williams didn't lift a finger to undo the damage he had done to Julio Maldonado and his family, despite repeated promises to the family. At least, we have no evidence he took any favorable action.
Will Philadelphia's elected officials side with the immigrant community, or with Lou Dobbs and others who want to see immigrants chased out of the U.S.? Right now, they are saying one thing and doing another.
[Image: Democratic candidate for District Attorney of Philadelphia, Seth Williams.]
The movement to ban Gilchrist from the conference was largely initiated by Kyle A. de Beausset '11, who in early October began using different university mailing lists to build support for uninviting Gilchrist due to his involvement in the Minuteman Project, which organizes civilians to patrol the border for illegal immigrants and to report crossings to the Border Patrol.
"It might be an interesting intellectual exercise for Harvard students to hear extremist views," de Beausset wrote in one of these e-mails, but he added that the "broader implications of legitimizing these extremist views with the Harvard name" were more important.
I hope you are a victim of the next 911 you piece of shitThese were the reactions who found me through facebook by googling my name after the O'Reilly Factor. The only way I know how to interpet Keith Glassman's facebook message, is that he wishes me to have the same fate as 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father. Thankfully, I don't allow non-friends to have access to my profile. Admittedly, not all of the reactions were as hostile. Some conservatives even said they were impressed and asked to be friends. One of my favorite negative reactions was that of someone who spoke like she was my mother:Keith Glassman - Facebook Message (16 October 2009)
Again, not the best performance. I wasn't able to make the most important point. I learned my lesson. Lead off with your most important talking point. Still my face when they cut me off is priceless. It cracks me up every time.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the reason it would have been irresponsible for HULC to invite Jim Gilchrist is because of the violence he encourages and enables with his speech. There are countless examples of this. Jim Gilchrist advocated violence in his statement about being disinvited at Harvard:It is obvious why our Founding Fathers placed the Second Amendment directly after the First Amendment. When free speech is no longer an irrevocable right, well, that's what the Second Amendment is for...to preserve the First Amendment...for everyone on U.S. territory.In a statement about being uninvited from Harvard I can only interpret this as a threat to bring guns to Harvard to "defend" his right to speak. This would be fine if this was all talk and no action, but the case of Shawna Forde has shown us that there can be deadly consequences to this sort of speech.Jim Gilchrist - Minuteman Project (16 October 2009)
Forde, the head of Minuteman American Defense, is being tried for shooting and killing a 9-year-old girl Brisenia Flores, and her father, in an apparent attempt to finance her nativist activism. The only way to truly understand the consequences of hateful speech like Gilchrist's is to hear the audio of Brisenia Flores' mother when she dialed 911 to report that her husband and her daughter were shot and killed. (WARNING: Listening to this audio might be traumatic for those who have suffered violence. I have only listened to it once and that was enough.) Jim Gilchrist is a close associate of Shawna Forde's and has defended her in the past.
If you're coming onto Citizen Orange after seeing me on television, I recommend checking out another blog I am the co-founder of, The Sanctuary.
Kyle de Beausset, an undergraduate student and migrant advocate, who was one of the original Harvard protesters, said yesterday that Gilchrist's removal will allow discussions to move toward policy, rather than animosity.Jim Gilchrist's organization, in characteristic fashion, has responded with hyperbole and falsehoods.
"It's a victory for people who are trying to get hate out of the immigration debate,'' he said. "There's a difference between having views, and hate speech.''
Beausset said more students have been alerted to the group's stance since the arrest in June of a woman with ties to the Minuteman Project.
Shawna Ford and two others allegedly shot and killed a father and son, and wounded the mother in a robbery that Beausset said was to "finance her nativist activism.''
He said the episode showed the extremes to which some members of the movement will go.
"I'm concerned about the broader national implications of legitimizing these extremist views with the Harvard name,'' he said in a letter to fellow students.Milton Valencia - Boston Globe (16 October 2009)
The only way I was able to get Citizen Orange back online was by disabling the search form. I'll have to leave it like that until I can figure something else out.
The blogs are all buzzing with chatter about yesterday's rally and Rep. Gutierrez's introduction of principles for his bill on comprehensive immigration reform. Yes, the principles are more vague than some of us had hoped. No, this appears not to be yet another enforcement-heavy bill like those we have seen in the past few years. So, let's take this moment to recognize this opportunity for what it is - a real opportunity to advance immigration reform this Congress - and come together.I'm not going to refute Sheff because I really respect her willingness to take a stand and push back. That's what social media and the sanctuarysphere should be all about. The reason I'm linking to her is because she highlights a video worth watching on migrant detention produced by Georgia Detention Watch.Becca Sheff - It's Our Community (14 October 2009)
"We want you to work with us," Farahi remembers the agents telling him.
And this is when the imam's five-year battle with the federal government began.
"I have no problem working with you guys or helping you out," Farahi said. He could keep them informed about the local Muslim community or translate Arabic. But the relationship, he insisted, would need to be public; others would have to know he was helping the government.
The award winning filmmaker Arturo Perez, Jr., just released the this powerful video in tandem with Presente.org's announcement that their Basta Dobbs campaign has signed up 50,000 people in support of their demand that CNN get rid of anti-migrant commentator Lou Dobbs. I'm happy to use this opportunity to announce that Citizen Orange has officially endorsed the Basta Dobbs campaign as evidenced by the "Who We Are" page.
Part of the reason I have been dutifully quantifying the number of pro-migrant blogs in the sanctuarysphere is so that I can encourage the sanctuarysphere to throw its full weight behind bastadobbs.com.
Yesterday, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) unveiled his "principles for a new comprehensive immigration reform bill" amid much fanfare. An increasingly disciplined and organized migrant rights movement was able to bring thousands to Washington D.C. in support of Gutierrez's announcement. You can follow almost minute to minute updates of yesterday's event at the Reform Immigration for America blog.
Maegan at Vivir Latino, Prerna at Change.org, and Marisa Trevino at Latina Lista have already expressed their thoughts and I thought I'd add my own. I'll be the first to admit that I was skeptical of Gutierrez's announcement. The way Gutierrez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) have treated the migrant youth movement leaves much to be desired. Why members of the CHC have still not co-sponsored the Development, Youth, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is beyond me. The justification offered is that they want to wait for the DREAM Act to be a part of comprehensive immigration reform, but that doesn't mean you can't cosponsor the DREAM Act to show your support! 100 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have already cosponsored the DREAM Act, and it is an embarrassment that a supposed "champion" of migrant rights like Gutierrez has not.
The Stop Deportation network and the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, along with other groups and organisations, are demanding that the first mass deportation flight to southern Iraq, expected to leave on Wednesday, is cancelled and the detainees threatened with forcible removal are released immediately. Over the last week, detainees in various immigration detention centres have been given 'removal directions' clearly stating they will be removed to Iraq, rather than the Kurdistan Regional Government-controlled region, which was stated in previous removals.
The following is an article in the Racine, Wisconsin publication The Journal Times on the decision to organize the march:
I did want to leave everyone with a video that went viral on facebook, today. I first came across it through Jorge Rivas over at Racewire. It's entitled "Reconsider Columbus Day". Jorge Rivas also links to a petition you can sign for a National Holiday for Native Americans.
The list of almost 130 pro-migrant blogs I've come up with are not a random assortment of obscure blogs. I'm actively in touch with an author at each of these blogs, they have all been updated in the past year, and they meet a stringent set of requirements. Please continue to contact me if I'm missing any. I missed quite a few obvious ones in the beginning.
I will paste the updated list, again, below, and give it a rest for a time.
Julio Maldonado will be deported this week unless DHS exercises its discretion to wait until Julio's pardon request can be heard. **Action requested: call DHS and Governor Rendell at the numbers below!**
Julio and his cousin Denis Calderon, longtime lawful permanent residents from Peru, were victims of a racially-motivated attack in Philadelphia in 1996 during which Denis was beaten and stabbed. Julio and Denis were wrongfully convicted of aggravated assault while their white attackers were never charged with any crime. The original convicting judge later vacated his own verdict after reviewing expert testimony that later came to light, but the District Attorney's office appealed the decision and won on a technical argument. Now Julio stands on the brink of deportation, 38 years after arriving in the U.S. as a toddler and 32 years after receiving his green card.
Julio has spent the last 4 years in jail for "hindering his own removal" by refusing to sign the papers required to process his Peruvian travel documents. Now the Peruvian consulate has issued temporary travel documents that do not require Julio's consent, and DHS wants to deport him now. Julio filed a request for a pardon from governor Rendell on July 1, 2009, but DHS does not want to wait for a decision on the pardon. In denying Julio's request for a stay of removal last month, DHS held that Julio's desire to remain with his family instead of accepting permanent exile to Peru was considered an adverse factor weighing against an exercise of favorable discretion.
Why does DHS view family unity as an "adverse factor"?
***Please call David Venturella, Acting Director of ICE's Office of Detention and Removal Operation, at (202) 732-3100 to request that DHS allow Julio to stay in the U.S. until his request for a pardon is reviewed by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.***
***Please call Governor Rendell's office at (717) 787-2500 and ask the governor (1) to expedite review of Julio's pardon request and (2) to request that DHS wait to deport him until the pardon request is reviewed.***
The Restore Fairness campaign is calling on the U.S. government to restore due process and fairness to our immigration system.I have mixed feelings about the Obama administration's proposed detention reforms. So far, I prefer the analysis of the National Immigration Law Center, as reported by Kevin Johnson of the ImmigrationProf Blog:Restore Fairness Website (7 October 2009)
Flicker of Change, but no Legal Torch to Light The Way: DHS Report Outlines Problems with Immigrant Detention System, but Lacks Enforcement Mechanisms for Proposed Solution
The National Immigration Law Center has issued a press release claiming that the 35-page report on immigrant detention conditions released today by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) (pdf) is a critical first step by the Obama administration in acknowledging the myriad problems with the way the United States treats the nearly 400,000 men and women in its immigrant detention system. The NILC welcomes the report's finding that the framework for the current system, which is premised on a criminal justice framework, must be rejected.
However, although the report recognizes that 89 percent of detainees are nonviolent, it fails to call for any serious attempt to reduce the size of the immigrant detainee population. In addition, although the report calls for the creation of a new set of detention standards geared towards an exclusively civil detainee population, the administration has not indicated that it will make these new standards for detention centers legally enforceable.