Category Archives: Blog

Day Laborers Denounce Governor Brown’s Veto of TRUST Act, Pledge to Continue Fighting President’s Secure Communities Mass Deportation Program

In response to Governor Brown’s veto of the TRUST Act (AB 1081), Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:

“By vetoing the TRUST Act Governor Brown has failed California’s immigrant communities, imperiling civil rights and leaving us all less safe. The President’s disastrous Secure Communities program is replicating Arizona’s model of immigration enforcement nationally, causing a human rights crisis. Immigration and Customs Enforcement strong-armed the Governor to defend its deportation quota instead of defending Californian’s rights. On this sad day, we renew our commitment to fight to keep our families together despite the Governor and the President’s insistence on seeing them torn apart.” Continue reading

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Why the term ‘Illegal Immigrant’ is a Slur

When you label someone an “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant” or just plain “illegal,” you are effectively saying the individual, as opposed to the actions the person has taken, is unlawful. The terms imply the very existence of an unauthorized migrant in America is criminal.

In this country, there is still a presumption of innocence that requires a jury to convict someone of a crime. If you don’t pay your taxes, are you an illegal? What if you get a speeding ticket? A murder conviction? No. You’re still not an illegal. Even alleged terrorists and child molesters aren’t labeled illegals.

By becoming judge, jury and executioner, you dehumanize the individual and generate animosity toward them. New York Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes says “illegal” is often “a code word for racial and ethnic hatred.” Continue reading

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Press Release: State Senate Committee approves bill to counteract disgraced “S-Comm” deportation program

Today, by a vote of 5 to 2, the California State Senate’s Public Safety Committee approved the new version of the TRUST Act (AB 1081 – Ammiano). The committee heard powerful testimony from Blanca Perez, a Los Angeles mother facing deportation due to an arrest last year for selling ice cream on the street who urged the state to set an example for the rest of the country with the passage of the bill. “Immigrants in Alabama and Arizona are afraid today, but as my experience tells us, immigrants in Los Angeles, here in Sacramento and even in San Francisco, have reason to be afraid as well,” Ms. Perez told the committee.

“Blanca’s story confirms that ICE’s priorities are stunningly out-of-whack,” said Assemblymember Tom Ammiano. “This is something I’d expect in Arizona, not in Los Angeles. Persecuting this courageous, hard-working mom for selling ice cream on the street is a ridiculous waste of resources. Today’s vote recognizes that S-Comm is sabotaging our public safety. The TRUST Act is the solution we need to begin rebuilding the confidence that our local law enforcement worked so hard to build, but that ICE has shattered.” Continue reading

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Immigration Enforcement Pushback Moves Forward In California

Opponents of the controversial immigration enforcement program Secure Communities won a small but significant victory on Tuesday when a California State Senate committee approved a bill meant to narrow the program’s scope to only dangerous felons.

The bill, called the TRUST Act, was introduced by Democratic Assembly Member Tom Ammiano in response to concerns with Secure Communities, which uses fingerprints taken by local police to detect and detain undocumented immigrants. Since the state cannot opt-out of the program, the TRUST Act is meant to do the next best thing: limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s use of local police to only serious offenders. Continue reading

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California lawmakers take aim at Secure Communities

California lawmakers will decide Tuesday whether to set strict limits on how local law enforcement agencies participate in a controversial federal immigration program, Secure Communities.

The Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools, or TRUST Act, is intended to settle an ongoing battle over how Secure Communities operates across the states. If the bill is approved Tuesday by the Senate Public Safety Committee, it will move on to the appropriations committee. Continue reading

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CA Senate Committee Approves TRUST Act

The California State Senate’s Public Safety Committee on Tuesday approved, by a vote of 5 to 2, the new version of the TRUST Act (AB 1081), introduced by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano). If enacted, the bill would change California’s participation in the Secure Communities program. Although local police would still be required to send fingerprint data of all arrestees to a federal immigration database, the TRUST Act would allow local governments to limit the detention of immigrants in local jails for deportation. The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. Continue reading

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America’s immigration history is race-based and complex (Insight)

Assuming your European ancestor did in fact arrive here legally, without violating the law of the indigenous people already here, then they surely have either been a part of, or have benefited from, 200 years of unconstitutional, illegal and race-based immigration laws.

So please, before you ask “Why don’t they just come legally like our ancestors did?”, let’s recognize the truth of our history and the privileges we have taken for ourselves. Continue reading

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Join TIRRC in Demanding an End to Family Separation and Racial Profiling

Join the TIRRC at the Downtown Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN, this Thursday, June 14th at 10:30 a.m. as the Migrant Women’s Committee kicks off a day of action with powerful storytelling about the reality of living under the enforcement regime of 287(g). Immigrant women and supporters will then march to the Tennessee Supreme Court and rally at the corner of 7th and Charlotte. We invite you to join us and bear witness inside the chambers of the Tennessee Supreme Court, where legal arguments will be mounted against Sheriff Daron Hall’s brutal 287(g) program. Continue reading

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Stephen Lemons: SB1070 Civil Disobedience Must Escalate

Another term for Obama means four more years of massive deportations, and all the family disruption, human tragedy, and unjust incarceration that accompanies them. So if the Supreme Court heads in the direction it seems to be heading later this month, the question for immigrants and their advocates and allies becomes: How do we make the political establishment care? The answer? Make it pay, through disruption, rebellion, and resistance. Continue reading

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Federal Immigration Program Criticized

Migrant Justice held a rally in front of the Vermont campaign headquarters of President Barack Obama on Tuesday after the program was initiated in the state. Migrant Justice Organizer Brendan O’Neill says Secure Communities at one time was an optional program that Vermont is now being forced to participate in. Continue reading

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