their lives, even though the event itself is still seven years away. If current trends continue, nearly 4,000 people will die constructing stadiums by the time the World Cup actually begins – a shocking
United 4 the DREAM, a local, Charlotte based, youth led migrant justice organization stages scenes depicting the reality of our broken immigration system using a technique called Theater of the Oppressed.
The scenes included family separation, unequal access to education for undocumented students, migrant labor exploitation, and anti-migrant racism, stereotyping and profiling.
This action occurred to today on the corner of Trade & Tryon - one of the biggest intersections of Charlotte’s downtown.
TRANSPORTATION NOT DEPORTATION CAMPAIGN FORCES TRANSIT POLICE TO TERMINATE AGREEMENT WITH CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY
Friday February 20, Vancouver
“This afternoon, Transit Police informed representatives of the Transportation not Deportation campaign that they will terminate their Memorandum of Understanding with CBSA, that officers must receive permission from a Watch Commander to initiate contact with CBSA, and that they will not detain people without warrants for items that are simply contravention of immigration law,” confirms Omar Chu of Transportation not Deportation.
Since 2007, Transit
Police and the Pacific Region Enforcement Center of CBSA have had a
Memorandum of Understanding. Transit Police reported three hundred and
twenty eight people to Canada Border Services Agency in 2013, one in
five of whom faced a subsequent immigration investigation including
deportation. Only 1.5% of all those referred to CBSA even had
immigration warrants out. From November 2012 to January 2013, Transit
police made had more referrals to CBSA than any other BC police force
including the VPD and RCMP.
One of these people was Mexican
migrant and hotel worker Lucia Vega Jiménez, who later committed suicide
while in CBSA custody. At the coroner’s inquest into her death, a
Transit Police officer testified that he turned Lucia over to Canada
Border Services Agency, in part, because Lucia had an accent and that he
believed “she wasn’t originally from Canada.”
is not be a border checkpoint. This MOU should never have been in place
but now as a direct result of grassroots community mobilizing including
forty organizations and over 1500 people demanding an end to Transit
Police and CBSA collaboration, Transit police will not be enforcing
federal immigration policy,” says Harsha Walia of Transportation not
The Transportation not Deportation! campaign will
continue with our intention to flood the Transit Police board meeting on
Friday, February 27th to ensure implementation of this policy that
keeps public transportation free from immigration policy enforcement.
Transportation not Deportation is a community campaign calling for an
immediate end to Translink and Transit police collaboration with Canada
Border Services Agency. Everyone deserves access to public
transportation without fear of being criminalized, abused, detained, and
Press release from Unión del Barrio (Los Angeles) calling for protest against the Gang of 8 “immigration reform” bill– please share!
URGENT: SCIC & IMMIGRANT RIGHTS’ ADVOCACY GROUPS VOICE OPPOSITION TO GANG OF 8 IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL
For Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Contact: Ron Gochez, email@example.com
Invite Community to Participate in May 1st Immigration Protest March & Rally
Los Angeles, CA | The Southern California Immigration Coalition, along with other immigrant and workers rights’ groups, will hold a press conference to voice their strong opposition to the Gang of 8’s immigration reform proposal, and call on immigrant rights supporters to join the coalition in its May 1st march & rally in support of a reform package that includes legalization for all, an end to the raids and all deportations, and no guest-worker program.
“The proposal by the Gang of 8 is another example of the failure by this President and Congress to deliver on their promises of real immigration reform. Instead of fixing a broken system that would allow the 11 million undocumented (im)migrants to live in the US with their families as permanent residents and citizens, Washington lawmakers have chosen instead a path that would make hardworking families and their loved ones each pay up to $2,000 in fines; pay back taxes; wait 13 years to apply for citizenship; militarize the border; and force thousands of farm workers to work in slave-like conditions without improved standards of living and worker protections,” said Ron Gochez, member of Union del Barrio and founding member of the SCIC. “This proposal is a slap in the face for our (im)migrant community. Shame on President Obama and Congress, and shame on organized Labor and other immigration advocacy groups who see this reform proposal as a victory for our community. This May 1st, we will send a strong message to those CIR supporters that we will continue our fight until an immigration reform package that legalizes all, that ends ICE raids, stops the deportations, that does away with e-Verify, and that does not offer a guest-worker program is passed.”
The Southern California Immigration Coalition is a grassroots movement comprised of teachers, students, unions, labor groups, activists, community volunteers, artists and women’s rights advocacy organizations – all of diverse ethnic backgrounds – who are standing up and speaking out for hard working immigrant families.
WHO: SCIC, Students, Teachers and Immigrant Rights’ Advocacy Groups
WHAT: Press Conference to Stand in Opposition to Gang of 8 Immigration ReformProposal at May 1st March & Rally
WHEN: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 4:30PM
WHERE: Edward R. Royball Federal Building, 255 E. Temple St., Los Angeles 90012
mad love to Jessica and Estefania - organizers with the Let’s Learn NC (tuition equality for undocumented students - of United 4 the DREAM for bringing all of us out today to take action on pushing instate tuition forward to make post-secondary education a possibility for undocumented students in North Carolina.
Let’s Learn NC
Good for our Students, Good for our State, Tuition Equality Now!
here are some chants form today’s rally and call to action:
no papers, no fears, undocumented and learning here
no papers, no fears, immigrants are learning here
What do we want? Education! When do we want it? Now!
#PLAYFAIR: Think the World Cup is just fun and games? Not for the migrant workers building the stadiums.
441 migrant workers from India and Nepal already died in Qatar last year, the richest country in the world per capita. At this rate, an estimated 4,000 workers will die by the completion of the stadiums. That’d be 62 deaths for every World Cup game played.
SHARE this article to raise awareness of workers’ rights in Qatar!
“Newly revealed documents show U.S. Customs and Border Protection has considered weaponizing drones used along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to a report submitted to Congress in 2010, the agency is not only planning to increase the number of drones, it has also considered equipping them with “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize [targets of interest].” The documents surfaced as part of a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against the Department of Homeland Security in order to obtain more information about drone use.”
Forget this immigration reform gente, it’s time to get Fanon on this migra.
That’s the message from immigration lawyers and labour market
analysts who say that Canada — and in particular Alberta — is due to
lose thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of temporary foreign workers in
the coming weeks and months.
Greg Elliott (GE): Share a little bit about your background and what you bring to your social justice work.
Saul Aleman (SA): I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I came to the U.S. at the age of 3, and part of the reason my parents took the big step and decided to come to the United States was that we had very few resources, like we didn’t have enough food for me or my Mom.
I decided to join the immigrant rights movement after I graduated from high school. It really shook me that there was no opportunity for me to go to college. My dad was always the person to tell me that as long as you have good grades, everything will go swell, don’t worry about the rest. In our situation, being undocumented was something we knew about but didn’t really understand, or I didn’t really comprehend what that would really mean for me, and so I couldn’t go to college.
Luckily, I met a brave warrior. His name is Diego Sanchez, and he recruited me into the movement and helped me go to school, and since then I’ve been involved with the movement. I co-founded Homestead Equal Rights for All (Homestead ERA), and it’s a youth-led immigrant rights group here in Homestead. It’s the largest immigrant youth-led organization in Florida.
And at this point after four years of organizing, I really get to take a step back and be able to mentor a lot of the new leaders. You see a pattern of different struggles and challenges that these activists have, and so I play a really key role in helping them build their leadership, as well as helping people develop actions, campaigns, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) forums, and all of that good stuff.
GE: Could you tell us a little bit about your work with American Friends Immigrant Services (AFIS)?
My work with American Friends Immigrant Services (AFIS) here in Miami has been as an intern, and my role as an intern is to empower undocumented youth in South Florida. I work closely with organizations like Homestead ERA , We Count has several young key, amazing leaders, Florida’s Farmworkers Association , the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and we do a lot of movement building together. I train a lot of the leaders that are coming up in the leadership, and we developed a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) forum to educate people on the eligibility of DACA and now on the eligibility of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents Accountability).
At the local level, we are working to end the collaboration between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the local police. There’s been a lot of check points and raids. A lot of people who are eligible for DAPA—as well as people who are eligible for DACA, people who have no criminal convictions and are good members of our community—have been caught up in these raids, arrested, detained, and in some cases, deported.
So we went to this Council meeting and we told them this was happening, and three or four of them are going to have a meeting with us now, one-on-one, to talk about the collaboration between ICE and the local police because they were unaware it was going on.
Immediately after that council meeting, there was a tense conversation with the local police department, us, and the chief. We had a conversation on ICE and the collaboration. They were a little uneducated and tried to educate us. They told us that most of the people that they are helping ICE arrest are people with criminal convictions, and we’re like, “Well, statistics say that 70 percent of the people being deported have no criminal convictions.” They were a little in awe and surprised, so we’re going to be having a meeting with all of them soon.
On narrative change, changes in the movement, and collective power
GE: I’ve noticed that the narrative of immigrant justice is changing toward migrant justice, migrant youth, etc. Why is that language shift happening, and why is it important?
SA: So the reason why we’re now calling everyone the “undocumented community,” “undocumented youth,” and “undocumented parents” is to put a face to, and to bring to light, a lot of the people who were left out of the conversation originally. A lot of people like my parents, and even parents who may not have had legal, permanent resident children—bringing them into the conversation to give them some sort of identity and restore dignity to our community. That’s one of the reasons that we want to reshape or rename the narrative to include more people.
In 2008 and 2009, the DREAMer narrative began—this whole idea that young people were being brought to this country through no fault of their own, and that these kids have grown up in schools here, they are the top-notch kids in our schools, have never been arrested, are valedictorians, and all of that good stuff, and that it wasn’t their fault they were brought here. It was through the actions of their parents, right?
The immigrant justice narrative, a lot of people associate that, especially in these last 10 years, to DREAMers advocating for higher education. But the migrant justice narrative is a little more inclusive of parents, of farm workers, of people who don’t fit that valedictorian narrative. I think stressing that is very important. They are also part of the migrant community and the undocumented community. It is key if we want to be able to pass bills in the Senate or House that include a lot more of our family members and our community members, if not all of them.
These last two years have been really inspirational for me seeing organizations like the DREAMers’ Moms come about, as well as United Families, and other organizations that are parent-led to bring the voice of parents who came here as well, and to put a face to the issue, to start humanizing people who were left out of the conversation in the past years, and to include them into this fight. I’ve been really in awe of that, and I’ve been noticing that that continues to develop throughout the years.
GE: As an activist, what inspires you and motivates you to continue doing the work that you’re doing?
SA: One of the reasons that I’m consistently inspired to continue to do the work that I’m doing is seeing people who don’t necessarily have to be part of the struggle, be part of the struggle. A lot of black and brown folks and even white people who are joining the movement and becoming powerful allies of it and raising the voice of the migrant community and undocumented community. And I really encourage that. I’ve seen a lot of Quakers take initiative, and that’s truly been a humbling experience. Also, for me, it’s seeing a lot of undocumented youth who are struggling through high school, and not fitting that valedictorian narrative. I really enjoy seeing them be part of organizations and to educate themselves on the struggle, educate themselves on their history, and educate themselves on why they belong. That entire process of empowering and inspiring themselves is very, very amazing to me.
Also the power that we have as a collective never ceases to impress me and to inspire me. Recently, at the action we had at Marco Rubio’s [presidential bid] announcement, I saw people take initiative in ways that they hadn’t done, in ways I haven’t seen in a while. Marco Rubio was having a screening outside of the Freedom Tower for his supporters who couldn’t be inside of the building, so we decided to go into that supporters’ rally, while they were watching it, stand in front of the screen, and drop a big banner saying, “Rubio’s dream is our nightmare.”
When media came in, people in that rally got very, very mad, to the point they were calling us all of these disgusting words that really dehumanized us and divided us, to the point where I saw mothers who are part of the struggle almost cry.
At one point, there was a supporter who came into our rally just because he was inspired. He didn’t understand nonviolence and peace work. At one point he was about to fight with one of the Rubio supporters, but myself and another leader from Colorado got in between both of them, locked our arms, and started chanting. When we started chanting, the supporter of Rubio backed off and really felt that what he was doing maybe was not right. At the same time, our supporter calmed down and realized that we are an organization that does not support that and we would not stand by that but that we were here to build each other up.
Being able to go to lots of protests and help bring awareness that we’re a peaceful organization, that we’re a peaceful movement, and that we’re nonviolent is very powerful for me.
On how to get involved in the movement
GE: For allies who are looking to get involved in Florida and beyond, would you recommend that people really clue in to what is going on in their specific state?
SA: In Florida, I’m part of a team who’s developing the Florida Immigrant Youth Network. This coalition of organizations was done a while ago to bring undocumented youth and allies to a space to inspire and encourage leaders across the state of Florida, so if they just want to get involved at the local level, folks can definitely talk to me, and I can connect them to these amazing leaders across the state. I feel that everything starts at the local level, real change can be brought at the local level, and that’s how we build national power. I definitely encourage people to get involved in an organization at a local level.
If they want to get involved in another state, I also encourage people to reach out to me. I have a database of organizations in this country, who I think are in 26 or 27 states, so we can definitely connect them to a local organization in order to join the fight and be part of the struggle.
GE: It sounds like you have the resources for if anyone wants to get involved, you can let them know about organization in their state. Certainly anyone in Florida who’s a Quaker can get involved by contacting you directly. You mentioned seeing allies from the Quaker community has been helpful to the movement. Do you want to say anything else about your experience working with Friends?
SA: I had the opportunity to be part of Southeastern Yearly Meeting (SEYM) with Quakers in central Florida. And they were able to give us space to talk about migrant justice work and the undocumented community and the movement that we have and how it is. We were able to reconnect with a lot of these Quakers who I guess for a while had not been connected, at least in the Southeast, to the undocumented community and the immigrant rights movement. We inspired a lot of people who wanted to be part of the struggle who said, if you have an action in my area, I need to be there; if you’re in Tallahassee getting involved in pressuring for change, I can house you. That was very humbling and knowing that they have our backs and knowing that they want to be allies of the struggle was very inspiring. Being able to reestablish the relationship that existed with Quakers is always awesome.
WAKE UP, GENTE! THIS IS WAR! Or it would be if we actually fought back. Otherwise it’s just oppression. The DREAM Act won’t save us– we need self-determination, not assimilation! The political systems won’t save us, and capitalism has only ever exploited us. We need to fight back.
Mexican Danilo Lopez, a dairy worker in Vermont who is here illegally, has been ordered out of the country by ICE. He has until July 5th to leave, but his case and the status of more than a thousand like him – who have been credited with saving the state’s dairy industry – has brought to the surface issues of immigration law, workers rights and more. (Photo by RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS)
Tips to the Canadian Federal Government on how to handle undocumented migrants
If they are claiming refugee status, look into it with good faith.
If they have been in the country for a while, have a dwelling, have a job, pay taxes, are independent or otherwise adequately supported, leave them the fuck alone. Or better yet, normalize their status and give them a Permanent Resident card.
If they have paid crazy amounts of cash to smugglers and sneaked out of their country on a ship, please understand that they are extremely traumatized and let support groups deal with them before Federal officials.
If they are 60 or older don’t break their hip or cause them a heart attack.
Lacking documents that allow you to be in the country is not a criminal offence. If you do not have a criminal charge against them, do not throw them in jail. This practice violates not only UN rules on the matter but also the Canadian judicial norms.
Do not deport them to a country they’ve never been.
If you’ve deported them once before and they come back saying they’re persecuted, honestly, please, don’t deport them again.
tldr: Canada’s immigration system is getting worse and worse. Permanent residency has been replaced by the temporary foreign workers program. Temporary foreign workers face harsh abuse from their employers. The government doesn’t care. Temporary foreign workers will start to get deported on April 1st this year (the 4 in, 4 out rule).
Activists unlock 10 foot Scales of Injustice from Ministry of Public Safety Offices. Mass protest on Sunday.
Protesters will be marching to CBSA HQ on Sunday, June 15th: http://endimmigrationdetention.com/2014/06/12/answers-demanded-on-political-meddling-in-immigration-detention/
Ottawa – After 90 minutes to represent the 90 day limit on detentions pending deportation that jailed migrants’ supporters’ have been demanding, a a ten feet tall, golden, scale of injustice with a sign saying “No Justice in Immigration Detention” has been taken down from the Ministry of Public Safety offices (269 Laurier Avenue West). The protest today took place to demand answers from Prime Minister Harper and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney after a recent report revealed political interference in federal immigration detention decision making. The action and report occur asover 100 immigrants jailed in three different maximum security prisons are boycotting their detention review hearings, insisting they are stacked against them insisting they are stacked against them. Migrants in a maximum security prison in Lindsay, ON have been protesting their unfair imprisonment since September 2013.
“These scales were to remind Harper and Blaney that justice is something we all believe in and fight for, its not something that the Tories can just play fast and loose with. Blaney uses a broken justice system to lock up migrants, so today the Scales of Injustice locked out his offices,” says Tings Chak.
Migrant workers in the US illegally – the same workers credited with saving Vermont’s dairy industry – plead for the right to hold valid drivers licenses in Vermont. “This is a really hard life to leave,” said one worker. Nearly all worker are at the mercy of their employers for everything from trips to the grocery store to medical appointments. Mobile link: http://bit.ly/13ddGJN (Produced by RYAN MERCER/FREE PRESS)
“My name is —–, I am a migrant worker employed under Canada’s temporary foreign workers program. I work under the ‘low-wagedtemporary foreign worker’ scheme, a Federal Government program that ties me toan employer, denies me the opportunity to work for another employer andexcludes me from many protections that other workers enjoy. I paid tens ofthousands of dollars to work at my minimum wage job. I came to Canada to
provide an opportunity for my family so that my children can go to school and
have a better life.
However, on April 01, 2015, the Federal
Government will take away my ability to work. This is because the ‘four and
four’ rule will come into effect. All low-waged temporary workers like myself
as well as migrants employed under the Live-In Caregiver streams who have
worked in Canada for more than four years will be banned from working and
forced to leave. Tens of thousands of migrants will lose their job. This is one
of the largest deportations in Canadian history.
Please sign this petition by migrant workers and you,
our supporters, to urge the Federal goverment to meet the following demands:
An end to
the 4 & 4 rule so migrant workers can continue to work here.
migrant workers in Canada permanent residency.
migrant worker access to all social benefits and entitlements
legislation to grant permanent residency for all migrants upon arrival.
I and the hundreds of migrant workers, and community
advocates who have been raising the alarm bells on the program are urging you
to take a stand against this mass deportation order. We want meaningful changes
to the Temporary Foreign Worker program that levels the playing field so we can
work with dignity and pride. The temporary foreign program in its current form
is flawed and only provides a pathway to precariousness.
We migrant workers know that government policies
divide Canadian and migrant workers. Popular myths that migrant workers are
stealing jobs and driving down wages of Canadian workers are untrue. The
problem is with provincial laws that allow us to be paid less, and deny us real
protection to ask for our rights. The solution is not to get rid of us, it is
for all of us to work together to ensure no one is paid less than they need to
live, and everyone can demand and win their rights.”
Micha on the Transborder Immigrant Tool, and science of the oppressed! SO inspiring to see femmes/women using science and art together, and creating some badass necessary tools in service of the people!
“My Last Testimony - Please Prevent the Genocide and Crimes in Sri Lanka against Tamils” by Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran
Dear Sir / Madam,
My name is Mr Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran and I am writing to you to record my last testimony as I am facing removal to Sri Lanka where I will definitely be tortured to death. I would like you to document my last testimony as I want you to to use this to prevent the same tragedy happening to anyone. At least my death should save others.
I am an ethic Tamil from Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka. I was born on 28th May 1989 in Vavuniya. I am from a well-educated and decent family. I studied bioscience in Sri Lanka and had a good future.
I was the Head prefect in my School and I became involved in assisting the LTTE with their cultural events. They fought for the independence of the Tamils and not to separate the Country. I also helped them in their propaganda by preparing posters and arranging speeches in the villages. I continued to do this until 2006. My cousin was a member of the LTTE who attained martyrdom in fighting against the Sri Lankan army. Although I do not agree with the LTTE’s violent means of fighting, I am a Tamil Nationalist and I believe in independent Tamil homeland for our people.
On 28th July 2009, I was arrested by the Sri Lankan army and CID on suspicion of supporting the LTTE. I was detained and interrogated. I was subjected to torture and sexual abuse until I was released in 10th December 2009 by paying a bribe. I was required to report on a monthly basis.
I applied for a visa in February 2010, but arrested by the Sri Lankan army again when I went to report. I was again tortured and raped. I sustained visible scars from the torture. My father paid a bribe via the EPDP members and I was released on 1st September 2010.
I fled the country using a student visa and arrived in UK on 16th September 2010, using a student visa valid from 24th August 2009 to 24th February 2010. I never wanted to claim asylum, as I wanted to return to Sri Lanka after problems settle down in Sri Lanka.
My sister was abducted on her way to work in December 2010. This was documented by the local medias. She was threatened to provide information about me and she had to give them a copy of my passport in order to secure her own release. This was also reported to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.
In late April 2013, I received information from my family that my mother had been receiving threatening phone calls about my return. After learning this, I was forced to claimed asylum. However my claimed was refused as I had no money to hire a Barrister to argue my case and to obtain Medical Report to prove that I was tortured and raped. I believed at least Britain would give me safety and justice. But I am the most unluckiest person. They want to remove me to Sri Lanka. I am sure that I will be tortured to death. However I am determined to end my life before being deported as I have no strength to face the torture again.
I am writing to you during the last days of my life. My life is completely destroyed by the Sri Lankan Government. I don’t want this to happen even to my enemy. Please do some thing to prevent this. Tamils are also humans. Why the international world is turning a blind eye? You all failed to stop the war in 2009. At least save my people now. Even after the end of the war, this is what happening in Sri Lanka? Are you going to let the Sri Lankan Government continue its genocide and eliminate the last Tamil in Sri Lanka?
I am happy to give evidence in any international proceedings against the Sri Lankan Government for the Crimes they are committing. There is nothing worst to happen to me. Please record my testimony before I am killed by the Sri Lankan army and use this to prevent this from happening to others. At least my death should help to save my people.
Yours truly, Mr Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran Immigration Removal Centre Perimeter Road South London Gatwick Airport Gatwick RH6 0PQ