• Ask the Philadelphia Eagles to #BoycottTheWhiteHouse
    We could not be prouder of our Eagles for bringing home the Super Bowl Championship to Philly this year. We stand with every Philadelphian when we say we are overwhelmed to be from Philly today. As we prepare to celebrate we would like to ask our Eagles team to stand with Philadelphia by declining as a team any invite from Trump and boycotting the White House. Stand in unity with the thousands of immigrants in Philadelphia who love you and the millions more across the country who have been criminalized by this president. Stand with the overwhelming number of Philadelphia residents that have been incarcerated, detained, been put on probation or held down by an unjust criminal justice system. Stand with our brothers and sisters from Haiti, El Salvador and other Black and Brown nations who have been insulted by this president time and time again. And make a statement against police brutality by taking a metaphorical knee by not going to the White House. President Trump and Jeff Sessions have targeted Philadelphia since they entered into office for our Sanctuary City status, deportations have risen by over 30% in our city and thousands of men and women are reeling from a criminal system that profits off of their incarceration. Show them that you stand with Philly by refusing the invitation to the White House. #BoycottTheWhiteHouse #Not1More #FreeMeek
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  • Release Benjamin Valdez from Custody
    Benjamin has been a productive and beloved member of the community in Springfield, KY. He has been a worker, a leader and a foreman, and has been given and has proven himself worthy of responsibility on large farms, primarily in the tobacco industry. It was on a day that Benjamin had stopped to collect workers for the farm that ICE agents appeared and pulled him from the life and family he'd known for more than a decade, throwing him in prison like a common criminal. Benjamin is a hard worker and a respected leader. He has never been accused or convicted of a crime in the US or Mexico. Benjamin has lived primarily in the US since the latter 1990s. He came here to work, and to escape the violence of his state, Veracruz, where he was shot, "mistakenly" and almost killed by the police, who are in cahoots with the cartels. He has lived here continuously for 11 years, and has been married to an American citizen, Pansy Coleman Valdez, for 12 years. Together, they have a foster daughter, Keeland, who is twelve years old. Keeland loves her "Big Daddy" so much that she convinced Pansy and Benjamin to have a vow renewal, all decked out like a second wedding, because she had missed the first. And for her, their little "Pupcake," they will do anything! She had her own "wedding dress!" Benjamin's life is centered around his family, his church, his garden, and helping others. Even while imprisoned these six months, he has practiced his faith and forbearance by teaching Bible lessons and hymns to other inmates. Meanwhile, he has been denied his medications and has been without his C-Pap machine which he needs for sleep Apnea and asthma. He has lost sixty pounds while in prison. After he was taken away, I went over to see if I could help with his garden, and I was astounded. It was the most well-tended, productive, and organized garden I'd seen outside of grand estates. Clearly, Benjamin had spent countless hours lovingly tending it. What I learned only recently is that this whole area had been covered with scrubby trees and that Benjamin had cleared them all before he had even started the garden, which covered an acre or more. He had not seen his wife and daughter for almost six months, as Pansy does not drive out of the state. Benjamin has been the provider as well as the emotional support for his small family. He stood by Pansy as she cared for her dying mother for several years. He is a devoted father to Keeland, who is suffering from his loss, especially since her birth mother died in the Fall of 2017 from a drug overdose. Keeland already suffers from numerous developmental delays and emotional traumas caused during her early years, including RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder.) Pansy is unable to work outside the home due to disability. There is no question of them going to Mexico, even to visit. They cannot take Keeland out of the country, due to the permanent custody agreement. Furthermore, as Benjamin has argued, his home state is by far the most dangerous, and he has a certainty that, having lived in the US for so long, he will be targeted for kidnapping or ransom. Not only do Pansy and "Pupcake" need Benjamin, they love him with all their hearts. To send him away would be a grave injustice and would do great harm to his family.
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  • Demand LULAC stop speaking for our people and GO AWAY!
    Roger C Rocha Jr., the President of LULAC just wrote a letter congratulating white supremacist Trump for “setting out a reasonable framework on immigration reform and border security.” LULAC has proven their time is up and it’s time to go. Sign this petition and demand that LULAC stop aligning with white supremacy, attempting to speak for our people, and keep their respectability-vendido-outdated selves out of issues and those of the people they have never represented.
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    Created by Mijente
  • Give Immigrants and Youth a Vote on Philly School Board!
    Philadelphia has won back local control of our School Board after almost two decades of state control over our public schools. For too many years our families have felt powerless in trying to improve our schools but now we see an opportunity for change. As the city and our Mayor prepare to appoint new School Board members we must ensure that the voices of those most impacted by an unjust and unequal education system are at the forefront of how decisions are made. Philadelphia is home to tens of thousands of immigrants and their voice and vote MUST be a part of this new school board if we wish to call ourselves a welcoming city. That is why we ask that you sign this petition in support of having two amazing immigrant rights leaders, Olivia Ponce and Edgar Villegas, appointed to our next school board so they can represent our community with their voice and with a power to vote on decisions that will affect our everyday lives. Olivia Ponce is an is an immigrant mother from Mexico of two and community leader in South Philadelphia. She has a daughter who graduated from the School District of Philadelphia and has a son who is a freshman at Central High School. As such, she has experienced first hand the hurdles faced by many immigrant families in our city. In 2012 while her son's elementary school was slated for closure, she helped lead organizing efforts to keep her son's school open. Eventually his school was closed but it was her leadership along with many others that prevented many other schools from closing that year. She has passionately fought for language access in schools, more equitable funding for children of color, ending the criminalization of youth, parent participation in their schools regardless of immigration status and has been active in pushing for Sanctuary Schools. Edgar Villegas is a 15-year-old freshman who attends the Creative and Performing Arts High School. He is the son of undocumented parents from Mexico, and as such he knows firsthand the experience of growing up in a mixed status household. He got involved with the latino immigrant rights organization Juntos when he was 13 years old because he understood the growing threat of deportation that many undocumented people in his community face and wanted to fight back against it. While studying at Abigail Vare School in 2012, he was active in the organizing efforts to keep his school open. He strongly believes in the power of youth leadership and is committed in ensuring that all young people, regardless of immigration status, have their voices heard when it comes to their education
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  • Free Selena and Drop the Charges!
    Yesterday afternoon January 22nd, 18-year-old Bethany Renee Nava was violently harassed and dragged off the Metro subway by a police officer at MacArthur Park Station in Los Angeles. Police arrested her simply for having her foot on her train seat. Selena Lechuga, a local chef and vocalist, was also arrested for trying to defend Bethany. Bethany has been released and is due in court on February 15th. She was taken to a hospital with a sprained wrist and some contusions following the incident. Selena was held in jail with a $20,000 set bail for allegedly spitting on the officer (after she was arrested) and now LAPD is charging her with "assault and battery." While Selena has serious charges set up against her that should definitely not qualify as assault or battery, there have been no actions taken by LAPD to address the obvious abuse of power by the officer with badge #5203 in the video. Instead of de-escalating the situation and doing their job, LAPD is showing how easy it is for police to criminalize anyone, especially people of color. This is unacceptable. Sign this petition to demand they drop Selena's charges immediately and stop criminalizing our communities #FreeSelena #StopPoliceAbuse #StopLAPD Additional note: LAPD officers clam they do "code of conduct" work on the metro regularly and have "large public support" for it. Why does @MetroLosAngeles continuously allow harassment like this to happen on their trains? Fundraising link: You can donate to Selena's bail and legal funds here: https://www.gofundme.com/free-selena-lechuga Watch video footage by Brock Bryan here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/mTFW5B81X6k ---------------------------- Ayer por la tarde, 22 de enero, Bethany Renee Nava de West Hollywood, fue agresivamente hostigada y arrastrada fuera del metro por un oficial de policía en la estación de MacArthur Park en Los Ángeles. La policía la arresto simplemente por tener su pie en el asiento del tren. Selena Lechuga, chef y vocalista local, también fue arrestada por tratar de defender a Bethany. Bethany fue liberada y tiene que ir a la corte el 15 de febrero. Fue llevada al hospital con una lesión en su muñeca y algunas contusiones después del incidente. Selena estába detenida en la cárcel con una fianza de $ 20,000 por presuntamente escupir al oficial (despues de ser arrestada) y ahora LAPD la tiene acusada de "asalto y batería." En lugar de reducir la situación y hacer su trabajo, LAPD está demostrando lo fácil que es para la policia criminalizar a cualquiera, especialmente a personas de color. Esto es inaceptable. Firma esta petición para exigir que LAPD libere inmediatamente a Selena de cargos y deje de criminalizar a nuestras comunidades #FreeSelena #StopPoliceAbuse #StopLAPD
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  • ICE Serves Deportation Notice on Undocumented Leader for Organizing Detained Immigrants
    The Seattle office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has served a “Notice to Appear,” otherwise known as a deportation notice, to Washington-based community activist and mother, Maru Mora-Villalpando. Maru leads Northwest Detention Center Resistance (NWDCR), an organization that was co-founded when immigrants held at the Northwest Detention Center began a series of hunger strikes in 2014 protesting their inhumane treatment. Mora-Villalpando’s efforts have transformed the NWDC from an ignored facility in an out-of-the-way location to a key site of local resistance, with weekly rallies and vigils outside its gates. Now, in an unprecedented and arbitrary act of retaliation ICE has chosen to target Mora-Villalpando directly. ICE is now purposely targeting people such as Mora-Villalpando who are organizing against the agency and the Trump administration’s racially-motivated deportation agenda. “ICE only knows about me because of my political work,” explains Mora-Villalpando. “I have spoken out to defend immigrants in detention and shared my story as an undocumented mother. I have sat in meetings with immigration officials and challenged their practices. They are an agency whose actions have already been devastating to my community. But with the letter they delivered to my house, they are showing themselves to be an agency that silences any opposition to their practices,” she concluded. ---------------------------- La oficina de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) de Seattle ha enviado un "Aviso de comparecencia", también conocido como un aviso de deportación, a la activista y madre en la comunidad de Washington, Maru Mora-Villalpando. Maru lidera la Resistencia del Centro de Detención del Noroeste (NWDCR), una organización que fue cofundada cuando los inmigrantes detenidos en el Centro de Detención del Noroeste comenzaron una serie de huelgas de hambre en 2014 protestando su trato inhumano. Los esfuerzos de Mora-Villalpando han transformado el NWDC de una instalación ignorada en una ubicación apartada a un sitio clave de resistencia local, con manifestaciones y vigilias semanales en sus puertas. Ahora, en un acto de represalia arbitro y sin precedentes, ICE ha elegido apuntar directamente a Mora-Villalpando. ICE ahora está apuntando deliberadamente a personas como Mora-Villalpando que se están organizando contra la agencia y la agenda de deportación racialmente motivada de la administración Trump. "ICE solo sabe de mí por mi trabajo político", explica Mora-Villalpando. "He hablado para defender a los inmigrantes detenidos y compartí mi historia como una madre indocumentada. Me he sentado en reuniones con funcionarios de inmigración y desafié sus prácticas. Son una agencia cuyas acciones ya han sido devastadoras para mi comunidad. Pero con la carta que entregaron a mi casa, se muestran como una agencia que silencia cualquier oposición a sus prácticas ", concluyó.
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  • Santa Ana City Council: Close the Santa Ana City Jail!
    The Santa Ana City Jail is a for-profit jail, a morally and fiscally bankrupt business operated at the community’s expense. In 2016, the Santa Ana City Council ordered a study to explore potential avenues for closing and repurposing the Santa Ana City Jail. As Vanir, the company selected to conduct the study, prepares to present the report to the City Council in February, we call on the council to vote to close the jail in 2018, and rid our city of its for-profit prison. Built over 20 years ago, the jail has been maintained by decades of multi-million-dollar deficit spending (1), combined with a for-profit business model that until last May relied on an immigrant detention contract with ICE. Today, the funds lost by the termination of the ICE Contract are made up by a contract with the US Marshals to house federal prisoners (2). The City Jail doesn’t even house the vast majority of people arrested by Santa Ana Police because county jails hold them at no expense to the city (3). This means that for all intents and purposes, the Santa Ana City Jail is nothing more than a for-profit prison operated at the community’s expense. Private prisons are a form of violence against communities of color. And the Santa Ana Jail, with its profit-driven purpose is no different. In fact, the jail has been consistently reprimanded for the pattern of abuse towards the people imprisoned inside the facility. This year, a government report “documented widespread abuse at several immigration detention facilities across the country and on that list was the Santa Ana City Jail, where it found delayed medical care and staff mistreatment” (4). In 2016, the City Council demonstrated a commitment toward moral and fiscal responsibility by looking for ways to close the Santa Ana Jail. This year, the Council will have the opportunity they were waiting for. Let 2018 be the year they vote to close the Santa Ana City Jail. References: What Would It Cost to Shut Down Santa Ana’s Jail”: https://voiceofoc.org/2016/04/what-would-it-cost-to-shut-down-santa-anas-jail/ Santa Ana rents more jail beds to US Marshals after ICE cancels contract: https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/08/07/74385/santa-ana-narrows-budget-gap-left-by-canceled-ice/ Space in nearly empty Santa Ana city jail could go to mental health care: http://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-wknd-et-0409-santa-ana-jail-20170408-story.html The Santa Ana City Jail is in violation of the law, federal report finds: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/18/the-santa-ana-city-jail-is-in-violation-of-the-law-federal-report-finds/
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  • 21 Hunger Strikers Demand Better Conditions at McHenry County Detention Center
    21 people currently being detained at McHenry Detention Center in Illinois launched a hunger strike six days ago in response to insufficient food options and mistreatment on behalf of guards towards detainees, according to information provided by detainees and their families to OCAD. In response to the hunger strike, authorities in the detention center have retaliated against strikers by denying the 21 hunger strikers recreational time, confiscating items purchased through commissary, and denying access to showers. “The fact that they are detained should not mean that it is right for them to be mistreated. This is inhumane,” said a family member of a person inside the detention center. The 21 hunger strikers at McHenry are risking their lives and are at risk of retaliation at the hands of McHenry guards. We need your help to amplify their demands and put public pressure on ICE and the McHenry Detention Center officials. Let them know the community is watching.
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    Created by Chicago Illinois
  • Not all women have pussy's, not all pussy's are pink, Pussy Hat Project!
    We are in a cultural and political moment when it is critical that we not reify or essentialize "women" as pink pussy owning (cis white women). Doing so threatens to stall a growing movement about broad definitions of gender, identity and orientation, placing trans and gender-nonconforming women and women-identified people at legal, social, political and physical danger.
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    Created by Lisa María Castellanos
  • Tell Tacoma not to Block WA State's Lawsuit Against GEO Group!
    In March 2017, Tacoma City Council enacted emergency interim zoning regulations pertaining to correctional facilities. The explicit goal at that time was to make it more difficult for correctional facilities to expand. Since it opened with 516 beds in 2005, the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) has expanded twice more to 1,575 beds, and one council member was concerned that it would expand again. In December, the Planning Commission rewrote a proposal to change the municipal code to explicitly state that immigrant detention centers are defined as correctional facilities. We think this will only help GEO Group to fight a lawsuit that demands it pay minimum wage to detained immigrants. In September 2017, the Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against GEO for failing to pay minimum wage. GEO Group currently pays people $1 per day, and sometimes only snacks, to do most of the work at the facility, including the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. GEO Group claims it doesn’t have to pay workers minimum wage because the detention center is a correctional facility. In the September 20 press conference announcing the lawsuit, however, Attorney General Bob Ferguson pointed out that immigrant detention centers are not correctional facilities -- correctional facilities are for people going through the criminal justice system, not administrative immigration proceedings. If Tacoma changes its municipal code, GEO can use this change as evidence that it should get to keep paying people $1 per day. Tell the City of Tacoma not to do GEO Group’s bidding, and not to sabotage the state minimum wage!
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  • Drop all criminal charges against workers in Tennessee
    This past November, 20 people were arrested by ICE and the Tennessee Highway Patrol while working at a warehouse in Memphis, TN. Under the Trump administration these workers are now facing federal charges for working without papers and could face up to 5 years in prison before being deported. Trump, US Attorney Jeff Sessions and ICE director Homan want to increase workplace raids, and increase criminalization of immigrants by prosecuting more cases and asking for long prison sentences before deportation. If this Tennessee raid is a sign of what’s to come, taking action is crucial. The decision to pursue or drop all charges is in the hands of US Attorney Michael Dunavant.
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  • There's nothing "catchy" about racism: Pledge to Boycott "Illegal Tacos"
    In a time when there is a president who uses racist rhetoric to describe immigrants on a near-daily basis in order to drum up support for his white supremacist agenda, naming this restaurant "Illegal Tacos" is a slap in the face to those in our community who face this harassment and discrimination in their lives. Bragging about only hiring Mexican chefs to authentically prepare the food, as the restaurant's owner Florian Furxhiu stated in a Philly.com piece, only makes things worse. Once again our community is valued only for their labor and not their huamnity.If Furxhiu wants to open an authentic Mexican restaurant, he should do so in solidarity with the folks making his food and from whose culture the recipes come and not name his restaurant after a dehumanizing slur. PS: If you wish to actually support Philadelphia's immigrant community please consider donating to Juntos. We are a locally based immigrant-rights organization that fights for the rights and humanity of our community. To donate please go to vamosjuntos.org/donate
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    Created by Juntos in Philadelphia Picture