By Michelle Fei — The Obama administration’s Aug. 18 announcement of a new policy that purports to suspend deportations against immigrants without criminal convictions has sprouted a range of reactions from immigrant rights advocates, from full-fledged celebration to wary suspicion.
I can appreciate why some advocates are praising the announcement. First, it does seem true that the national outcry over the failure of immigration reform and the expansion of the deportation program known as “Secure Communities” – which requires police to share fingerprint data of all arrestees with federal immigration authorities — has prompted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to respond with this “new” policy. It’s worth noting, however, that advocates have long sought to get ICE to actually exercise the discretionary powers it has always held. Second, fewer deportations is certainly a good thing. To the extent that this announcement can actually help the small percentage of people who could qualify for a temporary reprieve from deportation, I share the temporary sense of relief of these immigrants. No family should know the devastation of deportation. Continue reading →
Three years after Department of Homeland Security first rolled out the “Secure Communities Program” which sent fingerprints of those accused of a crime at the moment of arrest from the jails to ICE, DHS reveals they never needed state consent to participate in the program anyway. Immigrant rights organizations are angry, yet are not surprised by DHS’s latest move — which many feel is just part of their business-as-usual tactic to skirt transparency and ultimately deport undocumented immigrants at all costs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2011
CONTACT: Cynthia Bell, (202) 675-2312; email@example.com
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been able to cite only one statutory provision to support its position: 8 U.S.C. § 1722, part of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (EBSA). But EBSA does not authorize the federal government to commandeer states’ resources to screen individuals in state and local custody.
“Three years after introducing Secure Communities, DHS changed the rules of the game by setting aside all the agreements that states negotiated in good faith. Today’s announcement is the latest in a long line of deceptive DHS theatrics and is an insult to governors and state leaders who signed these agreements, which now amount to nothing more than the paper they’re printed on. DHS has recklessly inflicted S-Comm on states and localities across the country without any legal justification for the program,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.
by Raj Jayadev and Angie Junck
On the heels of the one-year anniversary of a historic Supreme Court decision, attorney Angie Junck and organizer Raj Jayadev share lessons learned from a case of a San Jose man who beat a deportation order.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of Padilla v. Kentucky – arguably the most important U.S. Supreme Court decision to date in terms of the nexus between local criminal courts and federal immigration laws. This is also the first week of renewed freedom for Jeysson Minota, a 28-year-old legal permanent resident from Colombia who had been in and out of federal detention centers for the past four years due to charges stemming from graffiti. His detention and his ultimate freedom tell the story of the need and possibility of the Padilla standard.
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“No One Can Do This Alone” — How a Young Family and a Supporting Community Beat Deportation from DE BUG on Vimeo.
Jeysson Minota, a permanent legal resident, faced deportation, stemming from a vandalism charge due to graffiti. After four years of being in and out of detention, he was able to beat the deportation order, and stay with his family in the US. The following mini-documentary shares the story of how Jeysson, his family, and his supporting community at Silicon Valley De-Bug were able to overcome the odds. Jeysson’s family participated in De-Bug’s Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project — an organizing model that promotes community involvement in the court systems. To read more on Jeysson’s case: sjbeez.org/ articles/2011/03/30/ stopping-deportations-before-they-start-how-advocates-can-better-protect-immigrants-facing-criminal-charges/