You’re Invited: Information Session on Deferred Action

BREAKING NEWS: USCIS announces guidelines for Deferred Action application process.

Therefore, Juntos will be having an Information session on Deferred Action to answer any questions the community might have .

When: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at 6pm

Where: Juntos’ office, 2029 S. 8th St. on the corner of 8th and Snyder in South Philadelphia

Come and bring of a friend if you or anyone you know might be eligible or just would like to know more. Presentation and information will be in Spanish.

Flyer,  Can you be considered for Deferred Action?

Basic Information Brochure On Deferred Action

NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED BEFORE AUGUST 15th!! You must wait to submit until then and if you do your request will be returned.

Juntos Speaks About the Prison and Detention Systems in U.S.

On Tuesday, June 19th, the Pennsylvania Convention Center hosted an event about the American prison system. Juntos was there to raise awareness of the problems that the Latino community faces due to the prison and detention systems in the United States.

Juntos spoke on two separate panels “Immigrant Rights Today: Detention and the Creation of an Exploitable Class” and “The School to Prison Pipeline”

“The School to Prison Pipeline”

Students face many challenges in the school system that can lead to incarceration and even deportation if they are found to be undocumented.

Karla Rojas and Olivia Vazquez from Fuerza, Juntos’ youth leadership committee, told their stories and the stories of the numerous undocumented students in the Philadelphia public school system. According to them, many minority students incorrectly believe that they can’t get into college. As a result, they drop out of high school  which leaves them vulnerable to the prison system that was put there to trap them and the possibility of deportation if they are in the country illegally.

There is a 44% drop out rate in the city of Philadelphia and 50% of those students are Latino. Karla and Olivia used this opportunity to spread the word that there is hope and that dropping out of school is not the correct response to a system that is anticipating the failure of its youth. Keeping this in mind, together we can build a better future.

“Immigrant Rights Today: Detention and the Creation of an Exploitable Class”

The panel on immigrant rights discussed the history of policies implemented in the United States that have negatively affected the immigrant population and further stratified the communities. Currently, many bills are being proposed that will impact the immigrant community and make finding work and living conditions even harder for those that are undocumented as well as for those of a lower socioeconomic status.

The panel consisted of Juntos organizer Olivia Ponce and Juntos Community Organizer Zac Steele and Jennifer Guiterrez and Concepción Flores from New Sanctuary Movement. The panel discussed the impact of legislation on the Latino community and gave personal accounts of being an immigrant in the United States.

After the panel presented, groups were formed to discuss the issues and converse about the current state of immigration reform and the prison and detention systems in the United States.

During the panel participants got the chance to view a video called “Immigrants for Sale” about how the prison system is making money on the detention of immigrants in prisons all over the country:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuGE1VxVsYo[/youtube]

Juntos Stands Opposed to Anti-immigrant Bills on the Move in Pennsylvania

TAKE ACTION: Sign our petition and let PA elected officials know that we do not  want to become the next Alabama or Arizona. Pennsylvania and our communities deserve better.

Juntos is profoundly disappointed by the news that the Pennsylvania Houseand Senate will consider HB380, SB637, and SB9.  We have also been informed that many other  anti-immigrant/anti-worker bills in the state are being called up for consideration.  Juntos strongly opposes any anti-immigrant/anti-worker bill as their impact will reach every individual, citizen or not, and will create a climate of persecution for workers, families, and community members.

Unemployment rates are at an all-time high in Pennsylvania and many families are struggling paycheck to paycheck.  Instead of working budgetary solutions that work for PA families, some lawmakers would rather scapegoat immigrants for cheap political points. The facts are clear, attacking immigrant workers will not bring back jobs or strengthen our unions.  Study after study shows that immigrants do not take jobs. Attacks on immigrant workers  will open the door for more attacks against all workers. That’s why unions stand with immigrant workers and against E-verify, they know it will create more dire work conditions with fewer labor protections for all workers.

Last month Juntos took over 500 community leaders, families, union workers, lawyers, and advocates from across several districts to Harrisburg in opposition to anti-immigrant bills like e-verify.  Labor leaders from SCIU Healthcare PA, Restaurant Opportunities Center of Philadelphia, and the Transit Workers Union Local 234 stood with us and all workers as we chanted ‘The Hate Stops Here’ in both Spanish and English.  Over 3,000 signatures from individuals across our state and nation strongly opposing these bills were presented in Harrisburg to elected officials. This all adds up to thousands of individuals voicing their concern to these short sighted legislations that assaults immigrant workers, hurt families and degrade our Constitution.

Pennsylvania elected officials are wasting our time with divisive issues instead of finding real solutions.  Rather than prioritize assaults on our communities and workers we ask our state officials to focus on passing a fair budget that prioritizes improving/supporting our public education system and creating fair and dignified work conditions.

Juntos’ Statement on Obama’s Announcement; Deferred Action for Undocumented Youth

On Friday, June 15, 2012, The White House announced that President Obama signed a memo calling for Deferred Action to Undocumented youth who:

  • Came to the U.S under the age of 16 and are currently under the age of 30
  • Have lived in the Country for over 5 years
  • Have a High School/GED Diploma or a veteran from the Coast Guard/Armed Forces
  • Have no criminal record and are not considered “to post a threat to national security or public safety ,including having been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors.”

Juntos and our youth leadership committee, FUERZA, consider this mandate to be a step in the right direction,but is not the  solution to a broken immigration system We are proud of the work that DREAMers in the National Immigrant Youth Alliance do to put pressure on officials to do the right thing.  For weeks they have been “Undoccupying” Obama campaign offices demanding action and today, the White House had no choice but to respond.  We at Juntos fully support our brothers and sisters in this struggle because we know, no matter what your immigration status, you have the right to stand up and fight back against injustices.

The vast majority of our communities are not getting a quality education due to an underfunded public education system which every year serves our students less and less.  Many of our youth fall victim to the infamous School to Prison Pipeline and end up dropping out of school.  Statistics show that out of school youth are much more likely to enter into the criminal justice system.  It is clear that our undocumented youth who have entered into the School to Prison Pipeline do not benefit from this mandate.  They will remain in not just the School to Prison Pipeline but the School to Deportation Pipeline.We support all of our undocumented youth who fight for an immigration reform that is inclusive of ALL our communities, including those that have fallen into the School to Prison/Deportation pipeline. Juntos and our FUERZA youth will hold President Obama accountable on this newest promise but our country and our communities deserve better.  We cannot wait any longer.

En la lucha,Juntos