Sunday, June 30, 2019

Close the Concentration Camps: Demonstrate Tues.

Into the Streets: Tell Congress- close the camps !

Tuesday, July 2 at noon

Robert T Matsui United States Courthouse
501 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Children denied soap and toothbrushes, crowded into unsafe conditions. Separated from their families, subject to cruel treatment that leads to lasting traumas. And some dying in custody—or dying with parents as they cross the Rio Grande. We've seen the images and heard the stories coming out of child detention centers. Horrifically, these conditions aren't an accident. They are the byproduct of an intentional strategy by the Trump administration to terrorize immigrant communities and criminalize immigration—from imprisoning children in inhumane conditions to threatening widespread raids to break up families to covering up reports of immigrants dying in U.S. custody and abuses by ICE and CBP agents. It’s going to take all of us to close the camps. This Tuesday, July 2, while members of Congress are home for the Fourth of July holiday, we will gather at Noon at their local offices in protest. Our demands: -Close the camps -Not one dollar for family detention -Bear witness and reunite families Join Us! Follow the event on Facebook for updates here:

Stand up for human rights & justice:

Call for an end to immigrant detention!

Close the Camps - Tuesday, July 2

Threats of mass deportations, tragic photos of migrants dying at borders, exposure of inhumane detention conditions of children, their families, and other migrants and asylum seekers have pushed many to ask what they can do to stop these policies and practices. Even presidential hopefuls are pressing to end the criminalization of undocumented border crossers--something that has largely gone without comment by most politicians.

Click here to find out where #ClosetheCamps local actions are happening and JOIN THEM TOMORROW!

NNIRR is joining dozens of groups nationally to mobilize for protests at congressional district offices. The actions are being locally organized and will mainly be staged at noontime or after work hours. The actions are demanding that the U.S. government:
Close the camps
Not fund one dollar for family detention and deportation
Reunite families

If you can't get to an event near you, drop off a letter to your member of Congress office. Here's a draft letter.

These events help to raise awareness and broaden public support to end immigration detention. Organizing and advocacy against detention has--and continues to proceed--around the country as it has for years, for decades. These cruel, racist, punitive policies and practices have been in place through successive administrations, but have been sharply escalated under Donald Trump, whose presidential campaign centered on his fear driven anti-immigrant platform. By all accounts, Trump's 2020 election bid will continue this hateful rhetoric.

Build a movement to end detention!

The Administration's answer to criticism of horrible detention conditions is to build more detention facilities! Dangerously, the detention infrastructure has expanded dramatically under Trump as the practice of detention has become even more central to U.S. immigration deterrence/zero tolerance policies. We have a long road ahead to end immigrant detention!

JOIN the National Network to connect in a nationwide alliance of organizations and individuals who are committed to human rights for all immigrants--we are in it for the long haul!
Learn more about the criminalization of immigrants - read NNIRR's fact sheet on Operation Streamline.
Connect with groups like Detention Watch Network, a national membership organization that coordinates strategies and initiatives, strengthening the movement to end detention.
Learn about what you can do to #DefundHate to help us defeat funding for ALL destructive immigration enforcement policies and infrastructure.
Immigrant detention is a global concern, and is included in the agenda we share with our international partners like the Global Coalition on Migration. And check out initiatives like the Global Campaign to End Child Detention.

There are many local and national activities lifting up detention concerns, supporting the right to asylum, rights at the border and more. We'll share more information soon on Lights for Liberty, the July 12 activities also calling attention to detention.

We are heartened by efforts at many levels to break the downward spiral of immigration and refugee policies and to mitigate the human cost. Much can be done along the way towards long term, durable solutions to the human rights crisis in migration. Whether it's making donations to immigrant shelters, legal services, organizing or political advocacy, signing petitions, protesting at detention centers, or calling on members of Congress to do the right thing--all contribute to raising awareness, changing narratives and activating our own humanity.

Sharing information for affected communities:

Many community and legal service groups are sharing needed information for immigrant communities targeted by Trump's deportation machine. The reality is that some undocumented families are preparing their emergency files--setting up documents that detail who can take care of children if parents are rounded up and deported. Setting aside money, taking care of property--all the preparations for the unthinkable. Know-your-rights info, hotline numbers, guides on what to do in case of a raid, or if ICE comes to your house or workplace--this is information flowing among communities in various languages. NNIRR has put together resource links and downloads drawn from many excellent sources in the immigrant rights community. Visit them here:

Know Your Rights/Conozca sus derechos

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Donald Trump's Immigration Policy

Current policy caused the death of two migrants trying to cross the Rio Grande river after waiting for two months "in line" to apply for asylum. Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23 month old daughter Valeria. 
Photo La Jornada.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

U.S. House approves $4.5 Billion for assistance to migrants and immigrants

U.S. House of Representatives  approved  $4.5 Billion emergency funding for assistance to children and migrants at the border. It is unknown of Trump will sign the bill.

Monday, June 24, 2019

“Somebody Is Going to Die”: Lawyer Describes Chaos...

Choosing Democracy: “Somebody Is Going to Die”: Lawyer Describes Chaos...

Public Outrage Moved Children Out of Clint Texas Facility

You and I did it !

By Caitlin Dickerson  NYTimes
June 24, 2019

Following a public outcry, hundreds of migrant children have been transferred out of a filthy Border Patrol station in Texas where they were detained for weeks without access to soap, clean clothes or adequate food, the authorities confirmed on Monday.

Some of the children were transferred into a shelter system maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, while others were sent to a temporary tent facility in El Paso, according to Elizabeth Lopez-Sandoval, a spokeswoman for Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who began looking into the overcrowded facility in Clint, Tex., last week after reports about the conditions there.

The move came days after a group of lawyers was given access to the station in Clint and said they saw children as young as 8 years old caring for infants, toddlers with no diapers, and children who said they were waking up at night because they were hungry. After they arrived on June 17 and observed the conditions, the lawyers immediately began lobbying for the children to be released.

The Border Patrol had been routing children to Clint because the agency was facing an unusually large influx of border crossers and had insufficient space to house them during the normal 72-hour processing period at the border. The infants there had either been separated from adult family members with whom they had crossed the border or were the children of teenage mothers who were also detained there. Some of the minors had been detained there for nearly a month.

[Read about the children held in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.]

The lawyers who visited the facility, first interviewed by The Associated Press and later by The New York Times, said that children lacked access to private bathrooms, soap, toothbrushes or toothpaste. Many were wearing the same dirty clothes that they had crossed the border in weeks earlier.

Widespread overcrowding in Border Patrol facilities has been documented recently in reports by the agency’s inspector general, but journalists and lawyers have been given little access to fenced-off facilities.

Some sick children had been quarantined in Clint, and the lawyers who traveled there were allowed to speak to those children by phone, but not in person.

Ms. Lopez-Sandoval said that only 30 children remain in Clint. The Border Patrol station there was meant to be temporary; children are supposed to be transferred out after 72 hours. But many had been languishing there because the Department of Health and Human Services’ shelters were full.

Trump- Children held in dangerous conditions.

See  more posts on dangerous overcrowding of children in detention.  2 posts down. 
I have often wondered why good people of good conscience don’t respond to things like slavery or the Holocaust or human rights abuse.
Maybe they simply became numb to the horrific way we now rarely think about or discuss the men still being held at Guantánamo Bay without charge or trial, and who may as well die there.
Maybe people grow weary of wrestling with their anger and helplessness, and shunt the thought to the back of their minds and try to simply go on with life, dealing with spouses and children, making dinner and making beds.
I believe that we will one day reflect on this period in American history where migrant children are being separated from their parents, some having been kept in cages, and think to ourselves: How did this happen?
Why were we not in the streets every day demanding an end to this atrocity? How did we just go on with our lives, disgusted but not distracted?
Thousands of migrant children have now been separated from their parents.
As NBC News reported in May:
“At least seven children are known to have died in immigration custody since last year, after almost a decade in which no child reportedly died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”
Homeland Security’s own inspector general has described egregious conditions at detention facilities.
And, last week, an attorney for the Trump administration argued before an incredulous panel of judges on the Ninth Circuit that toothbrushes, soap and appropriate sleeping arrangements were not necessary for the government to meet its requirement to keep migrant children in “safe and sanitary” conditions.
As one of the judges asked the attorney:
“Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you do something other than what I described: Cold all night long. Lights on all night long. Sleep on the concrete floor and you get an aluminum blanket?”

Stop and think about that. Not only do these children in question not have beds, they are not even turning off the lights so that they can go to sleep. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, plain and simple.
How is this happening? Why is this happening?
An Associated Press report last week discussed the descriptions by lawyers of “inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens” at a Texas border patrol station.
According to the report:
“A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they’ve been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago.”
The report explained at another point:
“Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and had no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.”
The report described at another point:
“A 14-year-old girl from Guatemala said she had been holding two little girls in her lap. ‘I need comfort, too. I am bigger than they are, but I am a child, too,’ she said.”

Thank You - Volunteers in Deming , New Mexico

Thank you to the volunteers in Deming, New Mexico who provided emergency relief, food and shelter to the migrants dumped in their city by the Border Patrol.

Send donations to a volunteer shelter of your choice. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sacramento Resistance - ICE

 What to do if ICE comes KNOCKING - Do you know your rights? (English & Spanish) dd caption

As you may have seen in the news last night, President Trump is claiming that ICE will begin to conduct mass enforcement next week. Sacramento stands firmly against these proposed threats. We want to take this opportunity to remind you all of our local protocol in the event there is mass enforcement in our area:

We have a 24/7 hotline run by Sacramento ACT that should be utilized in two types of situations (1) Individuals that are witnessing active ICE enforcement and (2) Individuals that were apprehended by ICE within the last 12 hours.  The hotline number is (916) 245-6773 and we have attached the FUEL Rapid Response Procedure here for further information.

For those of you that have been trained as Legal Observers, Sacramento ACT will be your point of contact in the event of mass enforcement.  For immigration attorneys that signed up to volunteer in Rapid Response situations, the FUEL network staff will be in contact with you should we need assistance at the ICE processing center.

If you’d like to coordinate a Know Your Rights Presentation or Family Emergency Planning Assistance for the families you work with, please contact or the partner organizations listed in the FUEL Referral Sheet.

Resistance to Trump's New Deportation Orders

To the Barricades! How to Counter Trump’s New Deportation Orders. Inasmuch as virtually every policy Donald Trump implements is grotesque, it’s a good thing he telegraphs his punches.

Last night, the Tweeter-in-Chief gleefully tweeted that his immigration goons would begin deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants next week. The Supreme Three-Year-Old isn’t much for keeping secrets; be thankful he wasn’t president on the eve of D-Day.

Now that ICE agents are under orders to run amok again, that means they’ll be once more separating parents from children—a practice not confined to families arriving at the border. They’ll be taking exemplary as well as non-exemplary humans from their homes, workplaces, and communities, incarcerating and sending them to their countries of origin where their lives may not be worth the proverbial plugged nickel. 

Which means that Americans of good will need to mobilize as well. Civilly disobedient blockades of ICE offices and the jails and concentration camps where detainees are held, police non-cooperation in sanctuary cities, attorneys on call to represent the detainees—all these and more need to go into overdrive, now that our president has tipped us off to another Trumpian assault on civil society. As concerned citizens and public officials in antebellum Northern states tried and sometimes succeeded in thwarting the Southern thugs—some of them federal officials—who kidnapped fugitive slaves to return them to bondage, so the concerned citizens and public officials in our immigrant-rich cities today need to go on high alert. In the 1850s, as I wrotelast year, Northern states passed their own version of sanctuary legislation denying federal jurisdiction over escaped slaves, and citizens filled the streets to protest and occasionally stop the seizure of fugitives.  

Today, another invasion of the body snatchers is set to commence. Americans, to the barricades!HAROLD MEYERSON

Follow Harold Meyerson on Twitter

Sunday, June 16, 2019

49,000 Immigrant Children Held in Detention Camps

Jorge Ramos

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — When you first look around, everything seems normal: hundreds of kids, some in classrooms, others playing soccer, others in the dining hall or in their dorm rooms.

Soon, though, it becomes clear that something is wrong. None of the youngsters are holding cellphones or tablets. And they all have stern or sad expressions on their faces, as if they’re holding something back. Eventually, you realize what the problem is: These children aren’t allowed to leave. They’re in detention.
I recently visited the Homestead Job Corps center in southern Florida, a detention facility serving roughly 1,600 children between the ages of 13 and 17, most of them from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador. At the time of my visit, 3 out of 4 were boys. (You can watch a video of my visit here )
The Homestead children endured shocking experiences to reach the United States. They fled violence, gangs and extreme poverty, and made the journey across Mexico (which, according to many Central Americans, is the worst part of the trip north) unaccompanied. They then crossed the U.S. border illegally or surrendered themselves to immigration authorities at a legal port of entry.
All of the children at Homestead were wearing new clothes — they looked just like regular teenagers anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk to any of them. I was only allowed to visit Homestead Job Corps on the condition that I did not interact with any of the minors housed there (a measure to protect them, the authorities said). Each child spends an average of 58 days at the detention facility, which is run by a private company that, according to one of the managers, receives around $750 per child per day, from the U.S. government.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Meet Baby Constantin

The youngest known child taken from his parents at the U.S.-Mexico border was a 4-month-old baby named Constantin Mutu. While he was sent to Michigan to live with a foster family, his father was sent to a detention facility and ultimately deported to Romania, uncertain when he would see his son again.
Caitlin Dickerson, an immigration correspondent for The Times, found Constantin, one of thousands of children separated under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” border policy. In the latest episode of “The Weekly,” she reveals how he spent five tumultuous months away from those who loved him most.
Episode 3: ‘Baby Constantin’
Producer/Director: Sweta Vohra
Caitlin Dickerson is a Peabody award-winning national immigration reporter, who profiles the lives of immigrants, including those without legal status. Last year, Caitlin reported that the Trump administration was separating hundreds of migrant children from their parents. Weeks later, the administration acknowledged what was happening, calling it a “zero tolerance policy.” She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter: @itscaitlinhd
·       Constantin’s parents, Vasile and Florentina Mutu, left their home in Romania with two of their five children in early 2018 for Mexico, with plans to seek asylum in the United States.
·       They lost each other in Mexico. After U.S. border agents apprehended Vasile and baby Constantin in Texas, his wife and their 4-year-old son returned to Romania from Mexico.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Trump is a bully. And must be treated like one. Jorge Ramos

President Donald Trump is a bully. And there are only three ways to deal with people like him: Agree to let them have their way, ignore them completely or confront them.
It seems that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO, as he’s known, has chosen the third of these options, and rightly so. He recently sent a letter directly to Trump that contained a clear warning, perhaps even a threat: “I’m neither a coward nor timid.”
Of course, this was only a first step in AMLO’s effort to address Trump’s tariff threats against Mexico, the most challenging international crisis his administration has faced thus far. Nevertheless, AMLO’s words ultimately fell short. The Mexican government must take concrete actions to fight back. Letters alone will not suffice.
The only thing that Trump respects is power. Nothing else matters to him (which might explain the soft spot he seems to have for autocrats like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un). And contrary to what many people might think, Mexico holds a strong position with respect to the United States, given that it’s one of the top markets for U.S. products. Mexico also helps control the northbound flow of drugs and immigrants into the United States, and is the only nation in the world that can do so. The United States needs Mexico, and that’s the message we must keep repeating.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Food Doesn't Grow Here Anymore

 That’s Why I Would Send My Son North.’
Climate Change causes migration. 

A stark choice for some Guatemalans: watch crops wither, and maybe die with them, or migrate.
Opinion Columnist
·      June 5, 2019
Ana Jorge Jorge holding a nephew. She sees no future for her only surviving son in their Guatemalan village.CreditDaniele Volpe for The New York Times

Ana Jorge Jorge holding a nephew. She sees no future for her only surviving son in their Guatemalan village.CreditCreditDaniele Volpe for The New York Times
NENTÓN, Guatemala — To understand why President Trump’s new sanctions and other flailing to end Central American immigration aren’t working, step into the dark, melancholy hovel of Ana Jorge Jorge.
She lives in Guatemala’s western highlands in the hillside village of Canquintic, near the town of Nentón, and she’s a widow because of the American dream.
Her husband, Mateo Gómez Tadeo, borrowed thousands of dollars and migrated north to the United States several years ago after his crops here failed. He found work in Alabama cutting flowers but then caught an infection and died, leaving hungry children back home and a huge debt hanging over the family.
An altar in Jorge Jorge’s home.

Two of their sons, aged 7 and 14, soon died as well, apparently of malnutrition-related illnesses. Jorge Jorge pulled another son, Juan, out of school in the second grade so that he could work in the fields and help pay off the debt. If it isn’t paid, lenders will seize the family land.
“We all suffer now,” Jorge Jorge told me grimly. “I have to struggle daily.”

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Border Patrol Takes Medicine from Kids- Trump wants more visas; for the Irish

Border Patrol takes medicine from kids. 
Border Patrol is confiscating migrant kids' medicine, U.S. doctors say
Trump favors more visas- for the Irish. 
TRUMP TALKS IRISH VISAS: Trump fielded a question about increasing Irish visas during a press conference Wednesday with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Shannon. 
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan quietly pushed legislation late last year that would have added thousands of E-3 visas (currently available only to Australians) for Irish nationals. A related bill cleared the House with an uncontested voice vote, but died in the Senate.
Trump said during the press event with Varadkar that he backs extending E-3s to the Irish and thinks it is "going to be successful," according to a pool report. The president suggest a single senator derailed the vote in the Senate, but he didn't name the lawmaker. "He's a terrific person," Trump said of the mystery senator. "He doesn't mean to do any harm — that, I can tell you. He was telling me he loves Ireland, actually. So I think we're going to be in good shape."

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Trump considers himself an expert on border policy.

Trump considers himself an expert on border policy.  Some data.

In the past six months, the Mexican government has deported more than 80,500 migrants back to their homes in Central America and elsewhere, according to government data. During the same period, Mexican authorities detained about 400 people accused of trafficking migrants. And nearly 25,000 migrants applied for refuge in Mexico in the first five months of 2019.

Mr. Trump has made heavy use of tariffs on trading partners from China to Europe, but imposing tariffs on Mexico, the United States’ largest trading partner, would be a significant escalation in the president’s trade war. Mexico is a key supplier of products like fresh tomatoes and grapes; bluejeans; televisions; medical devices; and automobiles. Many companies have created supply chains that snake back and forth across the border — meaning some companies could be forced to pay tariffs multiple times as their products travel from farms to factories to consumers.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

House Passes the Dream and Promise Act

Washington — With a handful of Republican votes, House Democrats passed the latest version of the DREAM Act, an ambitious expansion of a nearly two-decades-long legislative effort that would place millions of young undocumented immigrants and immigrants with temporary status on a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
The Democratic-led chamber approved the sweeping immigration bill, dubbed the DREAM and Promise Act of 2019, by a vote of 237 to 187, sending the legislation to the Republican-controlled Senate, which is unlikely to consider it. The White House has also issued a veto threatagainst the measure. 

Seven Republicans in the House joined 230 Democrats in voting for the bill. No Democrats voted against the measure.

Mexican Workers Pay the Cost of the Immigration Crackdown

Mexican Workers Pay the Cost of the Immigration Crackdown
Portside Date: 
Author: Fernando Herrera Calderón

Working Class Perspectives
The crackdown on illegal immigration at the southern border and the increase in deportations are taking a toll on Mexican workers in the United States and Mexico. While strict immigration policy is not a new phenomenon, Trump’s hardline anti-immigration policies and incendiary rhetoric exacerbate the situation.
With support from the conservative media, Trump has framed immigration as a “crisis” along the southern border. Warnings that hordes of criminals, rapists, gangbangers, and drug dealers from Mexico and Central America are invading the United States, from both Trump and conservative pundits, encourage people to express their xenophobic or nativist tendencies openly. Trump’s portrayal of undocumented Mexican immigrants as violent criminals defines them as a national security threat, and that has inspired some to take matters into their own hands to weed-out “enemies of the state.” Without a doubt, Trump’s tirades have contributed to the increase of hate crimes. Mexican immigrants of all ages have fallen victim to racially motivated crimes. Many have been run out of towns by locals who deliberately made their lives insufferable. Some towns have enacted laws outlawing landowners to rent to people unable to prove their legal status. Businesses that hire workers illegally in the United States are subject to fines, leading many of them to screen people more thoroughly. Years ago, business owners could get away with hiring an individual without verifying their legal status. Today, the Department of Homeland Security is taking measures to ensure businesses and companies use E-Verify to check whether an individual can legally work in the United States.
All of this creates major challenges for undocumented Mexican workers in the United States, who must navigate in this hostile environment, but it also affects their families in Mexico who depend the money workers send home. Remittances hit a record high of $33 billion in 2018, a 10.5% increase compared to 2017. But those numbers are likely to fall in 2019, as the crackdown on the border intensifies and deportations grow. As a result, millions of families in Mexico will struggle to remain economically solvent in an economy where the urban working class earns just over $5 a day.
Deportation creates additional challenges for those who have lived in the United States for decades and established roots. After years of not being able to move freely across the border, immigrants’ connection to Mexico diminishes, and this presents significant social problems for the Mexican worker on top of financial ones. Many have grown accustomed to their way of life in the United States. Deportees undergo a culture shock and must grapple with unfamiliar laws, norms, and regulations. Many suffer from depression and worry that they’ve disappointed their families. As these feelings increase, so does their desperation to return to the United States –even as that option becomes less accessible.