Las tácticas sin escrúpulos de ICE violan nuestros derechos

Las tácticas sin escrúpulos de ICE violan nuestros derechos

ICE Tactics PressConference

 

En los últimos seis meses, desde la aprobación de la orden ejecutiva histórica de Filadelfia que termino con el uso de los ICE Holds, más de 200 locales en todo el país han adoptado políticas similares que limitan las interacciones entre ICE y los departamentos locales de policía y cárceles. Desafortunadamente, en los últimos seis meses, los miembros de la comunidad y líderes pro inmigrante en Filadelfia, así como en todo el país han visto que las tácticas de ICE han cambiado para ellos poder seguir cumpliendo con su cuota de deportaciones draconiana.

Juntos trabajo con la Red Nacional de Jornaleros en un informe publicado recientemente titulado, “Delay Destructivo”, que demuestra el verdadero costo humano de los retrasos en Washington. A medida que el Presidente continúa posponer acciones sobre inmigración, agentes de ICE se están convirtiendo cada vez más agresivos para ampliar su alcance. El costo incluye otras violaciones de los derechos civiles y humanos a manos de funcionarios de ICE en su intento de llegar a su cuota de deportaciones a cualquier costo.

“Le han pedido a nuestra comunidad que espere hasta que sea el momento correcto políticamente para que el Presidente Obama actue y de un alivio sobre las deportaciones. Nos han pedido que esperemos hasta poder cambiar polizas de inmigración que el mismo ha llamado “inhumanas” y mientras esperamos agentes de ICE están destruyendo de nuevo la confianza entre las comunidades y el gobierno local con nuevas tácticas que violan nuestros derechos civiles y humanos. “, Dijo Erika Almiron, Directora Ejecutiva de Juntos.

Familias de Pennsylvania, que tienen familiares en proceso de deportación, compartieron sus historias, cómo estas nuevas tácticas han impactado sus vidas y compartieron sus reacciones a las conclusiones del informe. Thomas Decker, director de la oficina local de ICE, fue invitado a responder a las preocupaciones de las comunidades y responder a el comportamiento pícaro ilustrado en el informe, pero no pudo asistir. Juntos ha recibido dos cartas anónimas en las últimas cinco semanas que parecen ser enviadas por alguien que trabaja dentro de Aduanas y Control de Inmigración (ICE). Las cartas confirman lo que la comunidad, los organizadores y los abogados en el área metropolitana de Filadelfia sospechaban, que sigue existiendo la colaboración con el ICE y el sistema de justicia penal en ciertos lugares en Pennsylvania.

Una carta reporta que un supervisor de ICE llevó a cabo una operación conjunta con la policía “para limpiar a la poblción ilegal mexicana” en Norristown, una localidad 20 millas al noroeste de Filadelfia. Otra carta denuncia la colaboración entre ICE y cárceles en los condados Montgomery, Chester y Bucks. Esta argumenta que cada vez que una persona con un nombre extranjero, particularmente latino, es liberada de cárceles en dichos condados inmigración recibe una llamada— con dos horas de anticipación. “Conforme van saliendo, inmigración los arresta. Todo mundo en las cárceles lo sabe y por eso no quieren ni pagar su fianza, porque tienen miedo”, lee la carta. “Hay personas cuyos casos fueron desestimados y aun así le llaman a inmigración y son arrestados camino a casa”.

Pilar Molina, líder de Juntos, dijo, “Estamos enviando un mensaje a la oficina local de ICE en Filadelfia. Sus tácticas sin escrúpulos no se tolerarán en nuestras comunidades. Las prácticas que se basan en gran medida en el perfil racial destruyen a nuestras familias y deben terminar. No vamos a parar hasta que ICE esté fuera de nuestras comunidades y nuestras familias están a salvo”.

El Informe puede ser encontrado en: http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Destructive-Delay-final1.pdf

Historic milestone in Norristown for Immigrant Community

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It was a historic day in Norristown, PA this past Sunday (Jan. 5th). The Norristown Juntos committee held a town hall hosting Police Chief Talbot to listen to the experiences of the Latino immigrant community in regards to their history and experience with local police.

One of the main issues discussed at the event were immigration holds. A civil immigration detainer, also known as an immigration hold, is a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to local law enforcement officials. It asks local officials to detain an individual in their custody for 48 hours longer than they otherwise would, to facilitate transfer to ICE. Juntos leaders have analyzed and identified this practice as a key factor in the growing sense of fear and mistrust towards local police on behalf of immigrant communities.

Certain cities, counties and states have taken steps to rebuild trust between local police and the community by passing policy addressing immigration holds. They include Santa Clara County, California, Cook County, Illinois, Miami Dade, Florida as well as Newark, NJ which refuses to honor any detention holds regardless. It appears Norristown might be added to the growing list of municipalities doing this as well.

After a presentation from Juntos Norristown leaders on the significance of ICE holds, Chief Talbot commented and said to the crowd, “I will make myself available any day this week to sit down with representatives of your organization to draft a policy that ends the immigration holds… the Norristown police department is not going to fight against you any more we will fight with you.”

Juntos leaders of Norristown were thrilled to hear the warm response. “We’re going in the right direction to work with the authorities and for them to treat us with dignity,” said Juntos leader Gelacio Vasquez.

VICTORY: ICE Shut down in Philadelphia

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Yesterday, on the Eve of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, many brave and courageous leaders of Juntos, along with many of our supporters, used their bodies to block ICE deportation vehicles at the downtown Philadelphia ICE headquarters, just as they prepared to transfer immigrant detainees. Our heroes were prepared to risk arrest because they are tired of President Obama’s dragent programs, like “Secure Communities,” or “S-COMM,” as well as the negative impacts Immigration (ICE) Holds, one of the ways police & ICE collaborate under S-COMM, have on our community.

Despite efforts to intimidate Juntos leaders with federal arrests, we stayed strong, held our ground and ICE, the Department of Homeland Security and local Police in the end had to disperse. Yesterday we learned that an organized community is a strong community. Now is the time for President Obama to stop the deportations that tear apart our community and our families and if he won’t stop the deportations, we will.

This is just the beginning. Juntos and others from across the nation will continue to fight back against unjust deportations until Obama listens. And here in Philadelphia we will also work to ensure that local leaders respond to our communities demands of ending local collaboration between police and ICE. We look forward to participating in the upcoming City Council hearings to address this and also look forward to developing solutions, like ending ALL ICE Holds in the city of Philadelphia.

We at Juntos would like to also thank every person who braved the cold yesterday for hours to stand with us as we demanded better for our community. Thank you to everyone who supported us; supporters, allies, artists, students, and most importantly, thank you to the brave individuals who stood up to ICE. We believe your message was heard across the nation; NOT ONE MORE DEPORTATION!

To read more about the event yesterday, see below for press coverage.

Univisión 65: Manifestación
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Protesters gather outside Phila. immigration office
The Daily News: Immigrant-rights advocates block ICE vehicle exits
Al Dia Newspaper: Piden a la Virgen detener deportaciones
NBC 10: Protestors Block Transfer of Immigrant Detainees
NBC 10: Family’s Deportation Experience
CBS3: Protesters Disrupt Traffic Outside ICE Building In Center City
6ABC: Protestors block ICE building in Spring Garden

Our Right to be Here: Deportations and Identifications

License Checkpoint this Spring in Norristown

License Checkpoint this Spring in Norristown

Every year Juntos supports over 300 families through moments of crisis, including deportations.  Not having a valid local identification or a driver’s license, when encountering local police at a traffic stop or in the community, is where many of our deportation cases begin.  In the almost twelve years since the founding of Juntos our community has fought back against thousands of deportations in the state of Pennsylvania that have broken apart our families and have left many young people without one or both parents to support them. That is why Juntos community leaders have identified deportations as the number one issue to address and ultimately build power to ensure the end of policies and practices that separate our families.

Just this past year, through the dedicated involvement of Juntos leaders, we were able to secure a huge victory in Norristown, PA to end the practice of local police working with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) at traffic checkpoints for driver’s licenses.  It was here that the intersections of deportations and identification were made glaringly apparent when we heard story after story of families torn apart because a family member was pulled over and, because of not having a driver’s license, then entered into deportation proceedings.  We have also had similar instances in Philadelphia of individuals who entered into deportation proceedings because on traffic stops or accidents.  Many times we have been witness to deportations starting because of interaction with local police and lack of identification.  There have been numerous cases of individuals who have been booked into custody for either having no ID or for showing their country of origin’s ID, which leads to questions pertaining to immigration status, even though the city of Philadelphia has a directive for police to not ask these questions.

That is why in Juntos we see the issue of addressing lack of local identification and driver’s licenses directly connected to the work we do to stop deportations just as much as we see the need for immigration reform policies that prioritizes ending the deportation machine and the ending of policies like Secure Communities and the voluntary practice of ICE holds that decimate our communities’ right to due process.

Several years ago, when thousands of immigrant Pennsylvanians were illegally stripped of their legally obtained driver’s licenses by Penndot, Juntos was there with the leaders who fought back.  Six of these brave individuals made it to the PA Supreme Court and fought back in a landmark case to keep their licenses; and won. Just this year state legislation was introduced, due to the diligent work of hundreds of leaders from across the state of Pennsylvania (from Philadelphia, Norristown, Easton, and Allentown to name a few) to pass an unmarked driver’s license in Pennsylvania.  Many other states have already passed similar legislation targeted at building trust between immigrant communities and different municipalities.  At the same time, a Municipal ID Bill was introduced in the city of Philadelphia that, if passed, will help thousands of Philadelphians, including young people, the elderly and immigrants, to access necessary & vital resources.

For all of these reasons, we stand in solidarity with all of the leaders who see the need to fight for our human right to remain with our families and our right to be here, in the place we call home. Juntos will continue to fight, just as we encourage all of our community to do so, on issues that our community deems as vital and important and to ending deportations by addressing the root causes of our struggle so we may live the lives we are all meant to live; dignified ones.