We had a powerful meeting this Sunday at ACJP, where three families all successfully resolved their cases through mutual support. They didn’t know each other a month ago, but will be forever united in their life stories. They live in different counties, even speak different languages at home.These images are a part of ACJP‘s “Time Saved” Series, documenting the stories, and amount of time saved from incarceration, due to community intervention in court cases. Submission and Photos by Charisse Domingo.
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Congratulations to Becky Cardenas and the rest of the ACJP team on their two year anniversary of ACJP at East Valley Pentecostal Church! Every Tuesday, rain or shine, the ACJP squad has met with families who have come to those evening meetings seeking assistance for themselves and their loved ones. The ACJP team have partnering with them to better understand the court system (both criminal and immigration court), identify what role they can play as a supportive family, and ultimately change the outcome of countless cases. The gatherings have allowed families to know that they are not alone, can get supported by the community, and can bring their loved ones home. Families have learned how to better connect with the appointed lawyer, and ensure that their loved one is receiving the zealous defense they deserve. We’ve had a countless number of families come through our Tuesday ACJP sessions, but here were some examples that show a glimpse as to the transformative power of family and community organizing. And if you are so moved, we would love if you “like” the blog page, “follow” the blog to stay updated, and share the work with those who may be interested.
ACJP at EVPC In Action:
1) Families Can Transform the Courts: Mom Attends First ACJP When Son is Detained, Son Attends First ACJP When He is Released
2) Charges Dropped After Illegal Search
3) Three Strikes Sentencing Looses.Family Wins.Father Home to Raise Baby Girl
4) Son’s Advocacy Steers Court Away from 2 Year Prison Sentence for Mother
5) San Jose Mercury News: Some living in Santee neighborhood allege security guards roughing up residents
With Comprehensive Immigration Reform possibilities becoming a reality, the immigrant rights movement has a decision to make — will the movement be inclusive, or will immigrants with criminal records be sacrificed in the negotiations? In alot of ways, CIR, as it’s currently being discussed, could very well make things more difficult for immigrants who are entangled in the criminal justice system. These families are ACJP families, and we hope CIR becomes an opportunity for all, and that our immigrants rights movement can be advocates for all. Here is a piece on the topic by Valeria Fernández of New America Media.
PHOENIX — In Arizona, more and more immigrants find themselves joining the ranks of a group that could be excluded from immigration reform: undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
The local grassroots pro-immigrant group PUENTE is calling on Congress to enact an immigration reform package that includes those whose criminal records are related to the state’s crackdown on undocumented workers.
But the question is a controversial one, and one that some immigrant rights advocacy groups may not be willing to touch. A movement that has long touted the motto, “We are not criminals,” may not want to fight for the legalization of those who have any kind of criminal record. Continue reading