• No Fences, No Cages -- Revoke GEO's business license to operate the NWDC!
    On July 6th, 2018, Mayor Woodards stated, “I vow that I will continue to fight for the health, safety and success of immigrants and refugees.” At the same time, the City of Tacoma is building a fence to prevent activists from calling attention to human rights abuses at the NWDC. The fence is merely a symptom of the disease of detention and deportation that the city facilitates. This reveals the contradiction in Tacoma City government. How can Tacoma call itself a “Welcoming City” with people who fight for the health and safety of immigrants when city government fails to enforce health and safety regulations at the detention center? We say that it cannot. Amid long-term issues regarding a lack of nutritious food, clean clothes and drinkable water, the NWDC is right now experiencing a health crisis -- a chickenpox outbreak. GEO Group’s failure to manage the health and safety of the people there is currently on display, as even US Representative Derek Kilmer was unable to visit to investigate conditions due to health concerns in June 2018. El 6 de julio la Alcaldesa Woodwards dijo “Me comprometo a seguir luchando por la salud, seguridad y éxito de inmigrantes y refugiados.” Al mismo tiempo la Ciudad de Tacoma está construyendo una barda para prevenir que lxs activistas sigan llamando la atención a los abusos a los derechos humanos en NWDC. La barda es sólo un síntoma de la enfermedad de la detención y deportación que la ciudad permite. ¿Cómo puede Tacoma autodenominarse una “Ciudad Acogedora” con la gente quien lucha por la salud y seguridad de inmigrantes, cuando el gobierno de la ciudad fracasa en enforzar las regulaciones de salud y seguridad en el centro de detención? Nosotrxs decimos que no puede. Entre varios preocupaciones que han ocurrido por mucho tiempo con respecto a la falta de comida nutritiva, ropa limpia y agua potable, en el NWDC hay una crisis de salud - un brote de varicela. Es obvio que el Geo Group ha fracasado en manejar la salud y la seguridad de la gente, como el representante Derek Kilmer no lo dejaron entrar a investigar las condiciones debido a las preocupaciones de salud en junio del presente año.
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  • Calling All Latinx Therapists Into Action to Abolish ICE
    For the past two months our Latinx migrant community has experienced tremendous amounts of physical and emotional trauma. Thousands of migrants have arrived at the U.S. border after traveling through several countries to ask for asylum, only to be denied entry. They find themselves in despair and limbo, overwhelmed by the thought of the long treacherous journey back home. For the thousands who have been able to enter, they have been captured and imprisoned. Unjustly criminalized, they face charges that will forever impact their ability to live in the U.S. free from fear and persecution. Their children have been forcibly taken from them and incarcerated in migrant prisons across the country. We have yet to understand the emotional and physical toll of this latest assault on our community. For over twenty years, migrant adults have been mandatorily detained with countless accounts of abuse and death, including the detention of entire families (American Civil Liberties Union, 2016). This crisis, though not new, has taken a new form of brutality—to incarcerate children and youth by the thousands. For years, unaccompanied minors have been incarcerated for months at a time. Few in the U.S. are aware that a growing number of migrant youth are being locked up in detention, accused of gang affiliation. We are deeply concerned to learn that medical staff, including mental health professionals, are being used as tools of the state to further control and oppress these children and youth (Nilsen, 2018). The Trump administration continues to fund and funnel children newly separated from their parents to Shiloh Treatment Center in Texas. Shiloh was recently sued by the Center for Constitutional and Human Rights for administering a cocktail of psychotropic medications, including antipsychotics with limited FDA approval. It has been found that these drugs have had severe effects on the bodies of the unaccompanied minors being held in these detention centers (Reuters, 2018.) Migrant youth and children are suffering detained across the country. At the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Virginia, youth as young as 14 years old say they were beaten while handcuffed and left shivering naked in solitary confinement (AP, 2018). Recent victims of the current zero-tolerance policy are showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Doctors throughout the state of New York who have treated migrant children say many of them have begun to hear voices after being separated from their parents and detained. Additionally, a recent investigation showed that therapy notes of counselors working with detained children are being used in court to further criminalize and incarcerate them (Nilsen, Vox). We denounce this unethical practice by the Trump Administration. As Latinx mental health practitioners, we will not to be used as tools of oppression nor will we sit idle as our communities are caged, abused and traumatized. The photo and video images of children crying, standing by U.S. Border Patrol Officers and their mothers as well as the audio of dozens of children screaming in tears asking desperately for their parents, has created tremendous grief and anxiety among Latinx living in this country. The levels of dehumanization and violence we are exposed to on a daily basis can cause secondary trauma at a mass collective scale. Millions of people in our communities are migrants who are undocumented. Many of us have lived in fear for years. Many of us have suffered abuse at the hands of police and ICE agents. Many of us have been in deportation proceedings or have served time inside migrant prisons. These images in the media are haunting reminders wreaking havoc on our nervous systems. American Civil Liberties Union, D. W. (2016, February). detentionwatchnetwork.org. Retrieved from www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/default/files/reports/fatal%20Neglect%20ACLU-DWN-NIJC-pdf AP. (2018, June 21). www.cnbc.com. Retrieved from cnbc.com: www.cnbc.com/2018/06/21/young-immigrants-detained-in-virginia-center-allege-abuse.html Nilsen, E. (n.d.). Vox. (K. w. them., Ed.) Retrieved from Vox.com: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/18/17449150/family-separation-policy-immigration-dhs.orr-health-records-undocumented-kids Reuters. (June, 21 2018). NBC News. Retrieved from nbcnews.com: https://nbcnews.com/health/kids/u-s-centers-force-migrant-children-take-drugs-lawsuit-n885386
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  • Dramatic Increase of Mass Prosecutions Intensifies Family Separation and Criminalization Crisis
    Today news broke that the Trump administration is significantly escalating its “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to immigrants seeking refuge in the U.S. and plan to introduce a “fast-track” mass prosecution program. Akin to the already existent Operation Streamline in southern Texas and Arizona, the program means that immigrants will be moved through the criminal system in mass hearings, from arraignment to sentencing - up to 150 migrants per day - in just a few hours. From children being torn apart from their parents to chained groups of people being prosecuted en masse it is clear we have a human rights crisis. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is throwing the book at people without regard or discretion and this latest move will exponentially increase family separation and the prosecution and incarceration of migrants simply for the act of migration. This in addition to more money going to fund sentencing and private prisons.
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  • Chicago suburb turned father over to ICE, help stop his deportation!
    On May 7, 2018, Luis was arrested by the Town of Cicero police after an altercation with his friend. Now he is at risk of deportation. A few hours after the police arrested Luis, they turned him over to ICE who took him to a detention center a few hours from Chicago. Luis is currently detained and is now in removal proceedings. He is the primary caretaker of his three children and has lived in the U.S. for more than 14 years. The details of his arrest do not negate the fact that Luis has established a life here and deserves to remain here with his family! Officials at the Town of Cicero have publicly claimed that the suburb, located to the west of Chicago, does not turn people over to ICE and have cited a 2008 resolution as proof that the Town is a “sanctuary” suburb. Yet Town officials turned Luis over to ICE even after Luis was given a $150 bond to walk free. Luis is now in deportation proceedings and at risk of being separated from his children, his family, and his community. Luis is a fun and caring father who loves taking his daughters to the park. He works selling carpets to financially support his three daughters and to send money on a weekly basis to his family. He loves sports especially baseball and has even coached adult soccer teams for fun. The Town of Cicero, IL should not have turned Luis over to ICE, help us stop his deportation by signing this petition!
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  • Support Lulu's Fight to Remain Home!
    Lulú Martinez has been fighting alongside her community for nearly a decade, and has been a part of significant actions demanding dignity for the immigrant community. In 2013, Lulú took part of the DREAM 9 action where she and a group of other young people left the country and re-entered seeking asylum. The DREAM 9 action directed attention to harmful immigration and border policies as well as helped uncovered dangerous conditions in detention centers. Five years later, Lulú is still going to court for her asylum case. Lulú has risked a lot in the actions she has taken, and now it is time for her community to show up and demand justice for Lulú.
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  • Keep Alejandra Home. Tell AZ Gov. Ducey to Pardon Activist Alejandra Pablos and Keep Her Home
    Since Alejandra was released from detention she has worked to advocate for human and civil rights, dedicating her life to organizing for reproductive rights and the rights of immigrants. She is an active member of Mijente, a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx movement building and works as a Field Coordinator for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where she organizes to raise the voices of Latinas in Virginia for policy change at all levels of government on issues that impact their lives, women’s health care, and other social justice issues. Alejandra is yet another name added to the growing list of immigrant rights and human rights defenders in the United States who have been targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation. She was released from immigration detention by a judge at Eloy Detention Center on April 18th, 2018, but continues to be in deportation proceedings. Getting a pardon from Governor Ducey would significantly increase her chances to be able to stop her deportation and allow her to stay home.
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  • Rosa is a survivor. Let's keep her safe here with her community!
    (EN ESPAÑOL ABAJO) Rosa del Carmen Ortez-Cruz came to the U.S. from Honduras in 2002, fleeing extreme domestic violence – she was stabbed multiple times by a former partner, spending over a month in the hospital at age 19. She is the mother of four children, three of whom are U.S. citizens. Not only is Honduras one of the most dangerous countries in the world, but Rosa cannot return because her abuser has threatened her life. Despite the fact that immigration courts recognized that Rosa fled Honduras to save her life, the courts ultimately denied her case, effectively sentencing her to the hands of her abuser if she were deported to Honduras. Church of Reconciliation (Presbyterian Church USA) and Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship (Mennonite Church USA) have offered sanctuary to Rosa while her attorney fights for her life in court, with support from AFSC/Siembra NC. Join your voice to ours as we together call upon ICE to allow Rosa to stay in the United States, where she can live without fear of further abuse. —- Rosa del Carmen Ortez-Cruz vino a los Estados Unidos desde Honduras en 2002, huyendo de la violencia doméstica extrema: fue apuñalada en múltiples ocasiones por una ex pareja, pasó más de un mes en el hospital a los 19 años. Es madre de cuatro hijos, tres de los cuales son ciudadanos estadounidenses. Honduras no solo es uno de los países más peligrosos del mundo, sino que Rosa no puede regresar porque su abusador ha amenazado su vida. A pesar de que los tribunales de inmigración reconocieron que Rosa huyó de Honduras para salvar su vida, los tribunales en última instancia negaron su caso, efectivamente sentenciándola a manos de su abusador si era deportada a Honduras. La Iglesia de la Reconciliación (Iglesia Presbiteriana de los Estados Unidos.) Y la Hermandad Menonita de Chapel Hill (Iglesia Menonita de Estados Unidos) han ofrecido refugio a Rosa mientras su abogado lucha por su vida en el tribunal, con apoyo de AFSC/Siembra NC. Une tu voz a la nuestra mientras juntos exigimos a ICE permitir que Rosa se quede en los Estados Unidos, donde puede vivir sin temor a nuevos abusos.
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  • Peter Thiel does Trump’s Dirty Data Work, Remove him from Facebook’s Leadership
    This week Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress to answer questions about Facebook's’ role in the 2016 election, and how the political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to personal information on 87 million Facebook users. He apologized and committed to taking steps to protect user privacy. But real reform begins with cleaning house. Yet, Peter Thiel, founder and owner of Palantir, is a key member of Facebook’s Board of Directors. Palantir is the data company that helped Cambridge Analytica find ways to collect people’s information on Facebook. It has been reported that a Palantir staffer “produced the idea to harvest Facebook user data” to begin with. Palantir also created and manages the data processing and surveillance program that ICE uses to create “target lists” for their home and workplace raids. They are the technology firm behind Trump’s increase in arrests and deportations. If Facebook wants to be taken seriously in their efforts to protect our data, privacy, and rights they need to start with kicking Peter Thiel off their Board of Directors.
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  • Georgia Community Organizer Arrested for Driving Without A License, Could Be Taken to ICE
    Adrian Sauced-Luviano is a community organizer with the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) and a migrant worker who has lived in the U.S. for over 10 years. He has participated in the fight for immigrant rights in Georgia and representing migrant workers nationally. Adrian was pulled over by a county Sheriff, and charged with nothing more than Driving without a License. In Georgia, people call that charge "Driving while brown" because it has been a way for Sheriffs to profile Latinxs attempting to find undocumented immigrants. In Georgia, Driving without a license is considered a felony, and is part of the state laws targeting undocumented immigrants. The Sheriff in Cullen Talton has refused to release immigrants even after they are eligible for bond, and insists on turning them over to ICE. Please call the Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton: (478) 542-2080, (478)542-2125 // Adrian Sauced-Luviano es un organizador con Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) y un trabajador migrante que ha vivido en los EEUU más de 10 años. Ha participado en la lucha por los derechos de los inmigrantes en Georgia y representando trabajadores migrantes a nivel nacional. Adrián fue detenido por un Sheriff del condado, y acusado únicamente de conducir sin licencia. En Georgia, la gente dice que el cargo es "Conducir mientras ser una persona de color" porque ha sido una forma que los Sheriffs discriminan contra Latinxs intentando encontrar inmigrantes indocumentados. En Georgia, conducir sin licencia se considera un delito grave, y es parte de las leyes estatales dirigidas a los inmigrantes indocumentados. El Sheriff en Cullen Talton se ha negado a liberar a los inmigrantes incluso después de ser elegibles para la fianza, e insiste en entregarlos a ICE. Llame al Sheriff del Condado de Houston Cullen Talton: (478) 542-2080, (478)542-2125
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  • Justice For Mele
    Undocumented loved one and father of three young children Melesio Morales Mata was detained by ICE this morning after his lawyer presented a stay of removal at the monthly check-in. ICE demands that Melesio continue to fight for a stay of removal from within the for profit prison the Northwest Detention Center. Melesio received a letter to appear earlier this year and after showing up to his scheduled appointment with community support ICE decided to put him under a monitor program by having him wear an ankle bracelet. This program is run by a private subsidiary of Geo Group the Intensive Supervision of Appearance Program (ISAP). For his second check-in this month ICE decided to put Melesio in detention, concurrent is Geo’s existential need to continue profiting off of detention. Geo makes $.85 per dollar ICE spends to keep a person detained as net profit and ICE ensures this profits continues with federal contracts that include minimum bed quotas. As the latest report by Detention Watch Network exposes, “the drastic expansion of mandatory detention combined with a skyrocketing detention budget has created a sprawling and unaccountable system of mass detention. As a result, the number of individuals detained has grown dramatically. The average daily population of detained immigrants increased from approximately 5,000 in 1994, to 19,000 in 2001, and to over 39,000 in 2017. After three decades of expansion, the detention system now captures and holds as many as 400,000 immigrants each year.”... And all those people could be facing immigration cases amongst their families and community instead of detention. Melesio’s partner Monica had this to say, “ When we first went into our appointment, the officer told Melesio, ‘we’ll give you until June so that you can stay with your children until they finish school’, but they did not keeping their word, and that just interrupted our lives because I really thought we had until June. Yesterday detaining him was a big shock. And I guess what I’m trying to say is that they don’t care. They don’t have to keep their word. And now it hits me hard because he’s the sole provider for our family. How long is he going to be gone? How am I gonna pay the bills for this month or next month? And what if his stay is not granted and he is deported back to Mexico? It worries me because you know I read the news about what happens inside the detention center, hunger strikes, the officers not treating people with any respect. That just makes me wonder... What is happening in there? Is he going to be given the treatment he needs and the respect he deserves? I just want him home.”
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    Created by NWDC Resistance Picture
  • Stop Yesica's Deportation!
    At 22 years old, Yesica has been detained at detention centers in Texas for almost two years. She is currently being held at CoreCivic's Houston Processing Center. Having survived trauma and persecution in El Salvador, she made her way to the U.S. alone to get to safety and reunite with her family. She braved the abusive detention and deportation machine stretching from Mexico to the U.S. Yesica passed her credible fear interview and has appealed her asylum claim repeatedly, but ICE continues to deny her appeals and release. While Congress just voted to greatly increase the 2018 budget for ICE and Customs & Border Patrol, families like Yesica’s continue being ripped apart by an inhumane and deadly immigration enforcement system. Yesica’s family lives in Chicago, IL and has been waiting for years to be reunited with their oldest daughter and beloved sister. Yesica fled to the U.S. from El Salvador with her mother and two younger brothers in 2015 but was violently separated from her loved ones. In 2016, she was apprehended at the border while attempting to reunite with her family. Her family’s asylum claims have been allowed and are proceeding under the same set of entry circumstances that apply to Yesica’s case. Yesica made the critical decision to flee El Salvador following the murder of her father and after her own life was threatened. Now, Yesica is beset by depression, nightmares, and terror. She fears for her life after so many months in immigrant detention. Every person has the right to move and live freely, in community and with their family, without fear of being separated from their loved ones or displaced from their home. We are asking for your support to put pressure on ICE to stop Yesica’s deportation and release her from detention so she can join her family in Chicago. __ ¿Por qué es importante? A los 22 años de edad, Yesica ha estado detenida en varios centros de detención en Texas por casi dos años. Actualmente se encuentra detenida en el centro de procesamiento de CoreCivic en Houston. Después de pasar trauma y persecución en El Salvador, se dirigió a los Estados Unidos sóla, enfrentándose a peligros, a un sistema de detención y deportaciones abusivo para llegar a un lugar seguro y reunirse con su familia. Yesica ya pasó su entrevista para establecer el nivel de “miedo creíble” y ha apelado su solicitud de asilo en varias ocasiones, pero ICE continúa negando sus apelaciones y su liberación. Mientras que el Congreso acaba de votar para aumentar extremadamente el presupuesto de 2018 para ICE y la patrulla fronteriza, familias como la de Yesica siguen siendo destrozadas. La familia de Yesica vive en Chicago, IL, llevan años esperando para reunirse con su hija mayor y su hermana. Yesica huyó de El Salvador con su madre y dos hermanitos en el 2015, pero ella fue separada violentamente de su familia. En 2016, Yesica fue detenida en la frontera mientras intentaba unirse con su familia de nuevo. Las solicitudes de asilo de su familia han sido autorizadas y proceden bajo las mismas circunstancias de entrada que aplican al caso de Yesica. Yesica tomó la decisión de huir de El Salvador tras el asesinato de su padre y después de que su propia vida estaba en peligro. Ahora, Yesica vive acosada por la depresión, pesadillas, y terror. Ella teme por su vida después de tantos meses en detención. Todxs tenemos el derecho a la movilidad humana y vivir libremente, en comunidad y en familia, sin temor a ser separados de nuestros seres queridos o ser desplazados. Estamos pidiendo su apoyo para presionar a ICE para que detengan la deportación de Yesica y que la liberen de detención para poder reunirse con su familia en Chicago.
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  • LET ENMA STAY
    THIS IS URGENT! ICE IS NOT FOCUSING ON DANGEROUS CRIMINALS like they say. Instead, they are deporting people who have been showing up for annual check in appointments. Enma, originally from Guatemala, came to the United States 25 years ago seeking asylum, but her application was denied. While she waited for a decision, ICE gave her a working permit. After her asylum request was denied, she continued to receive a Stay of Deportation every year. For 25 years, she has been reporting to ICE and renewing her work permit; every year. This year, after reporting for her yearly check-in, Enma was told she would have to leave. She is set to leave on Friday, March 30th, 2018. Enma was denied a hearing before a judge and was coerced into signing a voluntary deportation to avoid going to a detention center with her U.S. born adopted granddaughter after being told she would have to take her with her to Guatemala. In the 25 years she has lived in the United States Enma has never had contact with the police. In addition to her adopted daughter, Enma has two daughters. Her oldest daughter, Evelyn, was diagnosed with liver disease and needed a liver transplant. She was told that due to her undocumented status, she could not get on the list for transplant recipients even if a donor came forward to donate for her specifically. Seeing no hope, Evelyn became despondent, fell into depression and committed suicide at the age of 25, leaving behind a 7-year-old daughter with special needs. Enma adopted Evelyn's daughter, and she is now her sole provider. Enma also plays a significant financial and emotional supporting role for her second daughter who is a DACA recipient, married to a U.S. Citizen, and mother to three young children. If Congress fails to act on behalf of all DACA recipients, she too, will be vulnerable to deportation. Her only option is to try to raise funds to pay for the costly application to adjust status, money she and her husband do not have. Enma practices a unique and rare high-skill trade. She is the only person in South Carolina that can do this work. She does antique rug repair, restoration and maintenance work for Bistany's Oriental Rugs in Columbia. According to her employer, Sylvana Hanna: “Enma is the lifeline of the business, and if she is deported, there will be no one left to train others.” Without Enma, Bistany’s Oriental Rugs, a highly respected and trusted business in the State, and a generational legacy, will most likely shut down, leaving many unemployed. Enma’s only mistake was to come to the United States seeking asylum. She has suffered enough. Let Enma stay, she is not a threat to anyone.
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