Thursday, April 26, 2018

Republicans Seek to Win by Attacking Immigrants/ Sanctuary

A Matter of Concern 

In the race for U,S. Senate it is quite clear that Diane Feinstein will win the primary and move on to the general election.  The critical question is who will come in second in the primary and move on to the general election in our top two system.

Until yesterday this was not a significant issue.  It looked like Kevin de León was well ahead and would come in second and thus move on to the Fall election contest.  As you may know Kevin de León was the principal author of the California Values Act- or Sanctuary bill.  He has been a leader in defense of immigrant communities.  As Senate pro tem he was also been a leader in favor of a number of issues including passing a bill for Health Care for Alllater blocked in the Assembly, and a progressive budget among a number of issues.
As of April 26 poll by the Institute for Government Studies at U.C. Berkeley, de Leon only leads Republican James P. Bradley  by 1 point, it is a statistical tie.  Bradley is running on an America First campaign.  Bradley if focused on opposing sanctuary legislation and this position is very popular among Republicans and conservatives.  He supports “taking America and California back” and America First. His web page points to the Hispanic population as a cause for alarm, ( they are by far the largest population group by ethnicity). 

The race for second place today is between Kevin de León and James P. Bradley.  The race is significant because the November race will either be between Diane Feinstein’s a moderate Democrat  and the campaign of a right wing provocative Republican, or it will be between Feinstein and Kevin de León a well established, experienced  candidate who has defended immigrants’ rights, jobs  and the multicultural California. 

In the race for Governor the leading Republican candidate is making a similar argument.
John Cox is a businessman and a Republican with a shot, after the June primary, of being one of the two candidates on the November ballot for governor. California Today has been doing occasional question-and-answer sessions with candidates for office. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

U.S. Must Resume DACA and Accept New Applications, Federal Judge Rules - The New York Times

U.S. Must Resume DACA and Accept New Applications, Federal Judge Rules - The New York Times

Fewer Deportations in Cities That Adopted “Welcoming” Policies

A Year Later, Fewer Deportations in Cities That Adopted “Welcoming” Policies

Where local governments collaborate with ICE, deportations have increased more than 75 percent. New Mexico shows a different way.

A year after the Santa Fe City Council adopted in February 2017 a resolution strengthening its welcoming and non-discrimination policies toward immigrants, the federal government launched a series of audits demanding verification from local small businesses that their employees were eligible to work in the country. In response to this blitz, advocates and city officials held a press conference in early March calling out an attempt to disrupt business, wreak havoc, and create a culture of fear and panic.
“Today, children will wake up at home wondering if there will be a knock on their door; parents will go to work wondering if there will be a knock at the door of their place of employment; families will wonder if they’ll have one more meal together,” said then-Mayor Javier Gonzales, who, following President Trump’s election, became an outspoken proponent of cities enacting sanctuary and non-discrimination policies. “That is not what our country has ever been about, but it is what this administration is trying to do by dividing our communities. All of us in our community know that one of the best values Santa Fe incorporates every day is the value of welcoming people.”
And that value of welcoming is not just compassionate talk. There is proof that sanctuary policies are working, keeping residents safer than in places that collaborate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement tactics.
According to a new study from Pew Research Center, nationwide deportations made by ICE in 2017 increased 30 percent from the previous year. But these increases are not distributed evenly. In regions where city and state governments worked hand in hand with ICE, deportations have increased more than 75 percent. In regions where sanctuary policies are more prevalent, increases have remained relatively low.
Along with California, New Mexico has emerged as one of the most welcoming states for undocumented immigrants. And it’s not just the capital, Santa Fe. Across the state, immigrant rights groups and faith communities are working alongside local governments in innovative ways to resist the Trump administration’s deportation efforts. Not only have these efforts succeeded, but they have provided a blueprint for other towns, cities, and states to emulate.

Republicans Make Repeal of Sanctuary a Major Campaign Effort

Remember Proposition 187 ?

John Cox is a businessman and a Republican with a shot, after the June primary, of being one of the two candidates on the November ballot for governor. California Today has been doing occasional question-and-answer sessions with candidates for office. 
This interview, with Mr. Cox, was edited and condensed for clarity. 
Q: How does a Republican win an election in a state like this? 
A: The biggest issue is the sanctuary state. The politicians seem to be favoring criminals over law-abiding citizens. The politicians are ignoring the rule of law in favor of political expediency. The other big issue is the tax burden — the gas tax in particular. They enacted this tax increase using a lot of political games to get it accomplished. 
Q: Does the Republican Party need to expand its appeal to become more competitive here? 

Monday, April 16, 2018

When ICE Arrests Parents

ICE GUIDANCE FOR PARENT ARRESTS: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement posted online Friday an updated policy on what to do when the parents of minor children are arrested and detained. ICE made public the August 2017 directive, which supersedes Obama administration guidance from four years earlier, after Morning Shift obtained a copy and queried ICE about it.
The 2013 Obama guidance said ICE should ensure its enforcement activities "do not unnecessarily disrupt" parental custody of minor children. The new guidance tells officers merely to "remain cognizant" of the effect their enforcement actions might have on children; in keeping with the Trump administration's less forgiving view of deportations, the guidance does not demand prosecutorial discretion. Michelle Brané, director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission, said the change "will no doubt result in broad separation of families." The new directive does maintain a few features of the Obama-era policy: ICE officials must make arrangements for detained immigrants to participate in child custody hearings, and children must be permitted to visit parents in detention. In addition, absent signs of abuse or neglect, officers must allow parents to make arrangements for their children at the time of arrest. "We hope these are implemented and help at least keep children safe when a parent is detained," Brané said.
During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing Thursday, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) questioned Matthew Albence, an ICE associate director, about the changes . The directive, Albence said, required an overhaul to align with President Donald Trump's January 2017 executive orders on border security and interior immigration enforcement. Read the new 2017 policy here and the 2013 directive it replaced here.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Farmworkers March to Oppose Immigration Raids

Story and photos by David Bacon
Capital and Main - 4/13/18

For a complete set of images, click here

 In Salinas, California, on Sunday, over a thousand farm workers and allies filled the streets of its working-class barrio to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies, including an increase in immigration raids that, according to United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, are "striking terror in rural communities across California and the nation." It was one of six marches taking place this month in agricultural communities around California, Texas, and Washington state. 

Highlighting the cost of the immigration crackdown was the deaths last month in Delano of husband and wife Santos Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Porfecto. On March 13, the couple, both farm workers, had just dropped off their daughter at school on their way to work when two black unmarked Jeeps with tinted windows, driven by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, stopped them. The couple drove off, but lost control of their car, hit a utility pole and flipped over, killing them both. They leave six children behind.

According to a police report obtained by the Los Angeles Times, immigration agents told police that they were not in "pursuit with emergency lights/sirens," but that surveillance footage appears to show the ICE vehicles following the couple with emergency lights flashing. The Delano Police Department have asked Kern County prosecutors to investigate the discrepancies in the immigration agents' accounts of the incident. On Monday, ICE spokesperson Richard Rocha sought to divert blame in a statement to the Times that sanctuary policies, "have pushed ICE out of jails," and "force our officers to conduct more enforcement in the community - which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public ... It also increases the likelihood that ICE will encounter other illegal aliens who previously weren't on our radar." 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Brown Agrees to Send National Guard to the Border

California Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to President Donald Trump's request to put additional National Guard troops on the borderwith Mexico, though he will limit their involvement with immigration enforcement efforts.
Brown, the fourth-term Democrat, announced Wednesday that he would accept federal funding to add 400 California National Guard members to statewide operations on drug smuggling , human trafficking and other organized crime through Sept. 30.
"But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission," Brown wrote in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James Mattis. "This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws."
Trump last week asked the governors of four southwestern states to deploy the National Guard as part of a plan to secure the U.S.-Mexico border against gang activity and illegal immigration. He later told reporters that he wanted up to 4,000 troops on the border, "until such time as we get the wall."

Friday, April 06, 2018

No National Guard to the Border

Illegal border crossings in the US are at their lowest levels since 1971. We must keep our country safe, but border patrol agents are more than prepared for the ebb and flow of border crossings.
So why is Trump requesting that National Guard units be sent to the border while he waits for his racist sham of a wall to be built? 

The same reason his Justice Department is suing California over legislation we passed to protect immigrants: to use racism and xenophobia to divide us, incite fears, and stoke tensions with Mexico.  

Here's how we fight back: Pooling our collective voices and power together, demanding accountability, and demanding that states across the country rise to the challenge. 

Your voices can help provide the support states need to reject Trump's request, and keep their National Guard units at the ready for real threats, not Trump's political ploys.

Add your name today to tell Trump that we won't stand for a militarized border with Mexico >>

Duane, all my life, as a kid growing up in poverty in a border town, as a community organizer, and as a legislator, I've seen first-hand the the contributions of the undocumented community to California’s culture and economy.

I know that tearing families apart is bad for business, not just our global image.

And I know that militarizing our border with Mexico is the act of a desperate president, eager to appease his extreme right-wing base at any cost to our nation.

California needs a leader in the Senate to take these fights head on and win. Nothing less than the future of our state and country is at stake. That's why I'm running.

Please take action now and send a message that a militarized border is unacceptable.

We'll defeat this together,

OPPOSE the National Guard at the Border

We oppose further militarization of border enforcement operations and infrastructure, including Trump's recent call to send National Guard troops to the border. We similarly opposed National Guard deployments under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Those troops provided supportive services that freed up more Border Patrol personnel to engage in direct immigration enforcement activities. The National Guard presence would contribute to the militarized environment of the border region and put border crossers and community members at greater risk of harassment and rights violations.
As we've seen in the past, these kinds of pronouncements about "imminent dangers" of "invasions" can also lead to an escalation of vigilantism and hate activity in the border region against anyone who "looks foreign".
Click here to join an Open Letter to the President and to border state governors opposing the deployment of the National Guard to the border.
Trump has manufactured this sense of urgency in response to news of the caravan of Central American men, women and children, traveling through Mexico to escape violence in their region (the eighth annual caravan, usually undertaken during Easter week). Border crossings by people without documents have declined over several years; the majority of border crossers are from countries other than Mexico, and are likely to be asylum seekers.  
The President's proposal and inflammatory statements expose his ignorance and/or complete disregard of U.S. and international obligations and commitments to refugees and asylum seekers. And his off-the-cuff rhetoric is indicative of his disdain for human rights at international borders. He is shamelessly acting out of contempt and disregard of the desperate conditions that have forced millions of adults and children, including unaccompanied minors, to leave their homes in search of safety and survival. His Easter weekend tweet about "enemy combatants pouring over our borders" is more demagoguery to stir fear and racial hostility among his base, give evidence to his campaign promise to close down immigration, and fuel further division in this country.

For decades, our members, partners and allies in border communities have consistently raised their voices against increased militarization, for its destructive effects on border communities and the environment, and have worked to provide humanitarian assistance -- a basic human response -- to help save the lives of desperate border crossers. This costly and heightened militarized presence can only worsen the problems of lack of border agency accountability and the mistreatment of border communities.
All people at borders should be treated with dignity and respect and provided with the ability to register their claims.
Thank you!

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Unstable Trump Creates Another "Crisis" on the Border

By Duane Campbell
President Donald Trump announced on April 3, 2018 that he'll deploy troops to the U.S.-Mexico border pending completion of a border wall and implementation of stricter security measures.
As we explained in 2017, the Trump administration is being reckless and poorly informed in matters of foreign policy and immigration issues. To resist we need to know several things about Mexico and migration.  Building Trump’s wall and trying to make Mexico pay for the wall built on U.S. land was a belligerent act championed in the Trump campaign.   This poorly informed effort ignores many of the realities of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.  Mexico provides the primary security against migration to the U.S. on our southern border.  Mexican police and military restrict migration and turn thousands of would-be migrants back each year. 
These poorly informed decisions are the kind we get since when we have President who  listens to Fox News rather than to rely upon persons who know the region and the issues.
The Mexican army and police also provide the primary obstacle to migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala from reaching the U.S. border.  The U.S. pays the Mexican forces to do this enforcement.  Given Trump’s provocative statements and acts, they could simply stop serving as a border security force for the U.S. The end of bi-national police cooperation would massively increase immigration and severely reduce efforts to restrict drug cartels from moving drugs into the U.S.  Update

Monday, April 02, 2018

Trump v Pueblos Sin Fronteras

TRUMP TAKES DACA OFF TABLE: President Donald Trump repudiated legislative deals to protect Dreamers from deportation in a tweet Sunday morning. The president urged Congress to end the legislative filibuster in order to crack down on immigration. "Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!" he wrote. In the same tweet, Trump warned of "caravans" of people headed to the border. "It was unclear whether the president's tweets represented any change in his immigration policy," wrote Katie Rogers in the New York Times, "or were just the sort of venting he is known to do after reading a newspaper article or seeing a television program." That was Rogers' polite way of saying that Trump almost certainly was just venting. 
Trump's "caravans" are actually one (fairly large) caravan of about 1000 people travelling north. "Hundreds of Central Americans - children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras - have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States," Adolfo Flores reported Friday for BuzzFeed News. "Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them. Organized by a group of volunteers called Pueblos Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, the caravan is intended to help migrants safely reach the United States, bypassing not only authorities who would seek to deport them, but gangs and cartels who are known to assault vulnerable migrants."
"When they get to the U.S., they hope American authorities will grant them asylum or, for some, be absent when they attempt to cross the border illegally," Flores writes. "More likely is that it will set up an enormous challenge to the Trump administration's immigration policies and its ability to deal with an organized group of migrants numbering in the hundreds. The number of people who showed up to travel with the caravan caught organizers by surprise, and has overwhelmed the various towns they've stopped in to spend the night." More here