• STOP Wage Theft at Vanderbilt Divinity School Renovation
    Between May 2018 and June 2019, Armando Arzate and his fellow workers put long hours of skilled labor into Vanderbilt Divinity School’s expansion. Vanderbilt University contracted with Orion Building Corporation, their frequent construction partner, to oversee the project. Orion Building Corporation then subcontracted with Joe Haas Construction Company for cement work, and Joe Haas Construction hired Armando and his team. Even when Joe Haas started withholding wages, the workers continued and completed the work with pride and skill, determined to stay true to their word. At this time, Armando and his team are awaiting $66,000 in claimed wages. Armando and the other workers, with the support of VDS student and alumni volunteers, have repeatedly requested of both Joe Haas and Orion that their wages be paid, only to be met with threats and indifference. This week, over a month after we initially reached out to them, members of the administrations of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Divinity School met with us and heard our concerns. They listened as Armando once again described how he and his crew has been mistreated, and they expressed their intention to investigate and seek a resolution. However, they did not commit to a schedule for payment, and meanwhile Armando and his team continue to experience economic hardship. Until they are paid we will not relent in ensuring that the administration faces the urgency and the weight of this situation. It is shameful that Vanderbilt University would allow the buildings and infrastructure that provide opportunities to its students to be built with exploited labor. It is all the more a moral travesty that Vanderbilt Divinity School, which professes to be committed to justice and liberation, will be celebrating the grand opening on August 23 of a new addition built by workers who continue to suffer. Guests will mingle and admire floor tiles declaring “JUSTICE” and “LOVE,” but the declarations will be hollow and ironic. Vanderbilt University has the opportunity to redeem this situation by doing all in their power to influence Orion to make their subcontractor, Joe Haas, pay their workers the $66,000 in claimed wages, or if necessary to take responsibility and correct the deficit themselves. It is also incumbent upon Vanderbilt University to publicly cease business with Orion until Orion commits to using high road contractors that treat their workers fairly, and that quickly address any violations. Armando and his fellow workers are suffering because of the greed of Vanderbilt University and its contractors, and we must join together to correct this injustice immediately. ________________________________________________________________________________________ PETICIÓN: Alto al Robo de Salario en la Renovación de la Escuela de Teología de Vanderbilt! Nosotros quienes firmamos abajo pedimos que la Universidad de Vanderbilt asegurar el pago completo e inmediato de todos los trabajadores quienes han trabajado en el proyecto de expansión y renovación de la Escuela de Teología de Vanderbilt. Entre Mayo de 2018 y Junio de 2019, Armando Arzate y sus compañeros de trabajo pusieron horas largas y trabajo especializado para expandir las instalaciones de la Escuela de Teología de Vanderbilt. La Universidad Vanderbilt contrató con el Orion Building Corporation, su contratista frecuente, para manejar el proyecto. Orion luego subcontrató con Joe Haas Construction Company para trabajo de concreto, y Joe Haas Construction contrató a Armando y su equipo. Aun cuando Joe Haas Construction empezaba a retener sus pagos, los trabajadores siguieron y terminaron el trabajo con orgullo y habilidad, comprometidos a comprobar su palabra. En este momento, Armando y su equipo siguen esperando $66,000 en sueldos no pagados. Armando y los demás trabajadores, con apoyo de estudiantes y graduados voluntarios de Vanderbilt, han pedido varias veces que Joe Haas y Orion paguen la cantidad debida, y respondieron con indiferencia y luego amenazas. Esta semana, más que un mes después de que los contactamos, administradores de Vanderbilt y la Escuela de Teología se reunieron con nosotros y nos escucharon. Escucharon mientras Armando otra vez les contaba cómo el y su equipo habían sido maltratados, y expresaron su intención de investigar y buscar una resolución. Sin embargo, no comprometieron a una fecha de completar el pago, mientras que Armando y su equipo siguen en condiciones de dificultad económica. Mientras no han recibido su pago completo no paramos de asegurar que la administración se enfrenta con la urgencia y peso de esta situación. Es una vergüenza que Vanderbilt permita que sus edificios y infraestructura, que proveen oportunidades a sus estudiantes, sean construidos con labor explotado. Es un escándalo moral que la Escuela de Teología de Vanderbilt, lo cual expone un compromiso a la justicia y la liberación, celebrará la apertura de la adición construida por trabajadores quienes siguen sufriendo. Los visitantes se festejarán y admirarán la loseta declarando “JUSTICIA” y “AMOR,” pero estas declaraciones serán vacías y hipócritas. Vanderbilt tiene la oportunidad de redimir la situación, usando su poder sobre Orion para asegurar que la contratista Joe Haas pague sus trabajadores los $66,000 en pagos reclamados, o si se necesaria tomar la responsabilidad de pagar lo que falta ellos mismos. Vanderbilt debe de dejar de pasar contratos a Orion hasta que Orion se compromete a usar solamente contratistas quienes tratan correctamente a sus trabajadores, y arreglar inmediatamante cualquier irregularidad. Armando y sus compañeros de trabajao están sufriendo por la avaricia de Vanderbilt y sus contratistas, y tenemos que corregir esta injusticia inmediatamente.
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  • Investigate Metro Nashville Police Department Collaboration with ICE
    On Monday July 22nd, ICE agents attempted to detain a father and son in Hermitage. ICE agents called Metro Nashville Police Department and requested assistance in detaining the family, and Nashville Police Officers. The police officers stood by ICE for several hours as the father and son refused to exit the van. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: https://www.facebook.com/mixnashville/videos/2105602209734333/ At one point ICE agents intimidated the father and son by stating that if they didn’t exit the vehicle- they would have Nashville police officers arrest him, saying, “We’ll just call the cops and they’ll arrest you, and then when they’re done with you in the jail, then we’ll get you”, and threatening to come back for his wife. You can watch this video that was recorded by the courageous dad while he was surrounded by ICE. We demand an investigation of Metro Nashville Police Department's decision to accompany ICE. After Monday’s thwarted ICE arrest, Metro Nashville Police Department, along with Mayor Briley, released a statement saying the presence of Metro Police served as crowd control and as a “peacemaker”. We know from video accounts and statements of our responders that MNPD showed up when ICE called them to assist with the arrest, long before there was a “crowd”. Additionally, MNPD repeatedly and falsely informed responding friends and neighbors that ICE had the correct warrant, when they did not. The actions by Metro Nashville police officers go against MNPD stated policy, which indicates the department does not actively collaborate with ICE. We demand an audit of MNPD practices that waste Metro Government resources by deploying public servants in acts of terror against the communities and neighborhoods they serve. We also are calling on Metro Nashville Council Members to vigorously pursue policy changes that will prevent further cooperation between MNPD and ICE that puts Nashville families at risk. It does not serve the safety of our neighborhoods for our local law enforcement resources and personnel to be deployed in support of a deportation campaign against immigrant members of Nashville’s communities. Other organizations signing on to the effort include: Community Oversight Now Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights Mijente National Workers Dignity Mijente Louisville Siembra North Carolina Congress of Day Laborers, Showing Up for Racial Justice - Nashville No Exceptions Prison Collective Nashville Indivisible Middle Tennessee Indivisible
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  • No room for CBP in Chicago! Tell Marriott to cancel CBP Conference
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is holding its annual trade symposium at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Chicago on July 23rd & 24th. We are calling on Marriott Marquis Chicago to cancel the conference and want to make it clear that CBP is not welcome in our city in any capacity. On July 11, 2019, Marriott International published a statement declaring that they would not allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to use their hotels as a detention facilities for immigrants. The statement came after ICE announced it planned to use hotels in place of detention centers to address overcrowding in their facilities. Marriott stated: "Our hotels are not configured to be detention facilities, but to be open to guests and community members as well.'' By hosting the Customs and Border Protection Trade Symposium, Marriott is showing that they in fact are not an open and safe space for guests and community members, and are actively enabling CBP and its profiteer company collaborators to continue to build the deportation machine which is used by both CBP and ICE to terrorize immigrant communities. By hosting a conference full of CBP officials and collaborators, Marriott is participating in creating an unsafe environment for Chicago residents, and it needs to be known that CBP, ICE, & DHS are not welcome in our city. In order to show that they truly stand with immigrants, Marriott must cancel the symposium and refuse to collaborate with CBP and ICE in any capacity moving forward. In addition to signing this petition, please call the Marriott Marquis at 312-824-0500 and voice your support to cancel the CBP conference!
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  • Tell Jeff Bezos & Amazon: Cut Your Ties to ICE!
    Jeff Bezos claims doesn't want you to know: Every day, ICE uses technological weapons hosted on Amazon's cloud to terrorize immigrant communities. We are writing to Jeff Bezos in support of the 52,000 immigrants currently being held in detention camps and the millions of immigrants deported from the U.S. over the last 10 years. —Immigrant families are being torn apart across the U.S. and thrown into detention camps and prisons. The human rights abuses in detention camps have escalated to unprecedented heights—officers forcing immigrants to drink out of toilets, denying immigrants toothbrushes or soap, sexually assaulting immigrants—all undergirded by the constant fear of being detained indefinitely and anxiety over being sent back to their countries or origin, where many face threats of violence and death. —And we know ICE is responsible for many deaths—like the death of 20 month old Mariee Juárez, who died just weeks after being released from an ICE detention camp last year. —Palantir runs on AWS. We know that ICE relies on Palantir to power its detention and deportation machine—using it to hunt down, track, detain, and deport immigrants across the country. In response to your company's ties with ICE, your Executive Brian Huseman noted at a NYC Council hearing that "the government should have the best available technology." Is Amazon proud to be providing the best available technology to Palantir so they can help ICE to detain and deport immigrants, families, and children? Is Amazon proud of enabling human rights abuses and Trump's white supremacist agenda? Don't be like IBM—a company that will forever be remembered for providing its technology to Hitler and the Third Reich & enabling them to hunt down, track, detain, and ultimately commit genocide against the Jewish people. It's time to stand on the right side of history, Jeff. We demand you cut all ties to ICE, including ties to Palantir and any other partners that may be working directly with ICE and its detention machine. Please do it for the immigrants who have passed away in ICE and CBP custody: Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7 Roxsana Hernandez, 33 Felipe Alonso-Gómez, 8 Claudia Gómez González, 20 Carlos Hernandez Vásquez, 16 Wilmer Josué Vásquez, 2 Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle, 10 Johana Medina Leon, 25 Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, 30 And all those who have had their lives torn apart by detention and deportation. Signed, the Prime Day Coalition: MPowerChange United for Respect DailyKos ALIGN NY Communities for Change Make the Road NY https://youtu.be/DCOOj5BfnpQ
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  • Stop ICE in Their Tracks! NO Vans for ICE!
    For the past few weeks, immigrant communities across the country have been living in fear, while thousands languish in atrocious conditions in detention facilities and camps. ICE has been given a blank check by the current administration to perpetrate human rights abuses and feed the detention and deportation machinery. Companies like Enterprise have a choice to make. You can either align yourself with an administration that is openly anti-immigrant and an immigration system that is cruel and unjust, or you can get on the right side of history and choose dignity for all.
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  • Tell Mayor Lightfoot To Sign Executive Order to Protect Chicagoans Before Trump's Raids Start
    Two top officials in DHS confirmed the agency will carry out raids targeting over 2,000 families in 10 major cities including Chicago. Community groups believe the Mayor can do more to protect those under attack by the Trump administration's aggressive immigration enforcement policies. On June 29, 2019, the Lightfoot administration received a copy of an Executive Order (EO) drafted by community groups responding to raids and deportations across the city on a daily basis. With the threat of massive enforcement operations targeting families due on Sunday, the Immigration Working group asked the administration to sign the EO as soon as possible and asked for an answer from the Mayor's office by July 11. ANY Executive Order or action by the Mayor that does not include the key points of the community's Executive Order will not be enough to protect our families from this threat. While the Mayor has stated publicly that she ended ICE's access to the city's databases, the Executive Order addresses other loopholes ICE and DHS agents can use to carry out raids in Chicago. Call the Mayor's office, leave a message asking her to sign the Executive Order to end Police-ICE collaboration in Chicago now. Script: Hi, my name is ___ and I am calling to demand that Mayor Lightfoot honors her commitment to protect Chicagoans from ICE raids by implementing the Immigration Working Group’s draft Executive Order sent to her office June 28, 2019. With the threat of raids starting this Sunday, we ask the Mayor to sign the order that would ensure the Chicago Police Department is not assisting ICE in any way to carry out these raids. The Executive Order would also ensure that DHS agents and ICE agents do not have access to the city’s databases. Mayor’s Office, City of Chicago: (312) 744-3300
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  • Help Stop Cristian's Deportation!
    We need support each other and work to end all deportations!
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  • Sign Now: Tell ICE Director to release Francisco!
    It’s hard to an estimate official number on how many queer and gender-nonconforming people ICE is currently detaining, but Francisco is one of them. He has been detained at Dodge Detention Center since October of 2018, far from his friends and the community that is fighting for his release. We were connected with Francisco in a few days after he was detained by ICE through his mother who gave us a call requesting support. While detained, Francisco has faced retaliation by detention officers and was put in solitary confinement for helping other detained people. Francisco suffers from mental health conditions for which he has not received adequate help while in detention. Although he was granted asylum, he was denied parole. For this reason, his legal team is filing habeas requesting his release from detention. We are demanding that Francisco be released!
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  • No Detention in a Sanctuary City!
    Last fall, profit-driven detention company VisionQuest announced plans to detain 60 Central American youth within Philadelphia, a sanctuary city. In response to this announcement, the community mounted fierce opposition. Philadelphia denied VisionQuest’s permit application, affirming its status as a sanctuary city and protecting immigrant youth from a detention company with a decades-long track record of physical and emotional abuse -- and even death. But the fight is not over. VisionQuest, which stands to reap $5.3 million on this immigrant youth jail contract, has now filed a lawsuit against the city. The company is claiming “discrimination” because the city has said no to locking up Central American youth here. On June 13th the courts sided with VisionQuest stating that allowing them to open their detention center now will cause "no adverse impact on or jeopardy of health, safety, or welfare of the employees of VisionQuest or the children placed in the shelter." even after multiple employees have come out publicly stating that the North Philadelphia location “Is not safe for us right now….“How would it be safe for the kids?” We ask that you join us in demanding that Visionquest stop pursuing the opening of their child detention center! VisionQuest is a company with a shocking record of abuse going back decades. Between the company’s founding in 1973 and 1991, twelve children died while being held in VisionQuest’s “care.” In 2017, VisionQuest closed its previous youth jail in Philadelphia after staffers punched, choked, and demeaned children being held there. Philadelphia youth subjected to VisionQuest have also reported being held in restraints, having ribs broken, and being burned with an iron. Speaking up in defense of their undocumented peers, these youth leaders have declared VisionQuest unsafe for youth. Questioned about such abuses in a public meeting, the company dismissed them as past events and argued that the new immigrant youth jail would “revitalize” the neighborhood and “create jobs” for the community -- absurd justifications that community members rejected. These community members prevailed when city officials rejected a new detention-for-profit scheme in our city. Help us keep winning in this fight by signing this petition and sharing it with your networks. En la lucha Juntos
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  • UC Berkeley: Cut your ties to Palantir!
    Palantir Technologies is one of three sponsors of the 2019 Annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference at U.C. Berkeley, a conference of privacy scholars from across the world that brings together computer scientists, economists, philosophers, political scientists, advocates, lawyers, and many others. Palantir, a Palo Alto data-mining firm founded by Peter Thiel, has a contract with ICE that has aided in family separation by helping ICE arrest the parents and other relatives of children who crossed the border alone. Palantir's contract has been called "mission critical" to ICE's efforts by government documents. We're asking that scholars from across the country denounce this partnership with Palantir. Academic conferences should not be sponsored by firms engaged in human rights abuses, as denounced by the United Nations and dozens of civil society organizations. That a conference focused on privacy is sponsored by a firm whose profits derive from the mass accumulation of personal data for sale to law enforcement agencies is patently absurd.
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  • Free Jesús Lorenzo-Ávila from physical abuse and retaliation
    For the better part of a year, Jesús Lorenzo-Ávila suffered multiple instances of physical and retaliatory abuse at the hands of El Paso Service Processing Center detention facility staff. Verbal harassment and vindictive retaliation now continue at the Otero County Processing Center. For his safety, we demand the immediate release of Jesús from ICE custody. Last year at the El Paso Service Processing Center, Jesús was falsely accused of breaking facility rules and placed in prolonged solitary confinement on multiple occasions. At this detention facility, local advocacy groups have documented a recurring pattern of false accusations and retaliatory use of solitary. Targeted for his sexual orientation, and for his courage to assert his rights, Jesús suffered multiple instances of solitary confinement. In January of this year, the retaliation reached a crescendo when Jesús was beaten by a guard and taken to the hospital. Upon his return to the facility, staff falsely accused him of having assaulted the guard. Jesús was placed back into solitary, denied friend and legal visits, and on one occasion left in his cell in his underwear for not donning the red uniform indicative of high security individuals. Jesús refuses to be treated as a criminal by the very criminals who assault him, and covered it up. Now at the Otero County Processing Center, Jesús is again being targeted for retaliation. At Otero, he spent 30 days in solitary confinement, was released for a single day, again falsely accused by facility staff, and placed back into solitary for at least another 15 days. Right now he is in solitary confinement. Facility staff at both El Paso and Otero rely on fear and intimidation to keep people quietly compliant when their rights are violated. When someone like Jesús courageously stands up without fear to speak up for himself and those around him, the consequences are violent. Clearly Jesús is not safe in a detention facility. He has been discriminated against, violently beaten, and psychologically tortured in solitary confinement by privately contracted detention center staff. ICE is fully complicit with this treatment. For his own safety, Jesús must be released from detention. We also demand an investigation into the abuses at both the El Paso and Otero facilities, and for those who are responsible to be held accountable. ____________________________________________________________________ UNIVISION story covering Jesús “Esto es tortura”: Así hablan los inmigrantes que han sido aislados por tiempo prolongado en celdas de castigo | “Victims of torture?” Immigrants complain of lengthy punishment in solitary confinement cells". https://tinyurl.com/y428qkb2 Recent News about conditions impacting the safety of LGBTQ persons detained at Otero ACLU-NM. Letter of Complaint. “Detention Conditions Impacting the Safety and Well-Being of LGBTQ Immigrants in the Otero County Processing Center.” Letter of Complaint, March 25, 2019. https://www.aclu-nm.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/advance_copy_of_3.25.2019_las_americas_santa_fe_dreamers_project_aclu-nm_letter_to_dhs_re_otero.pdf Bixby, Scott. “Trans Migrant Women in ICE Detention Allegedly Told to Bathe With Men.” The Daily Beast, March 27, 2019, sec. politics. https://www.thedailybeast.com/trans-migrant-women-in-ice-detention-allegedly-told-to-bathe-with-men Moore, Robert. “Gay, Transgender Detainees Allege Abuse at ICE Facility in New Mexico.” Washington Post, March 25, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/gay-transgender-detainees-allege-abuse-at-ice-facility-in-new-mexico/2019/03/25/e33ad6b6-4f10-11e9-a3f7-78b7525a8d5f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.cd3ec8a69a9d
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