Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ACTION ALERT: Call Congress & President Obama: End Raids, Suspend All Detentions & Deportations, Demand Rights & Accountability

Call President Obama and Congress

Demand an End to ICE Raids & Abuses


Dear NNIRR members, partners, allies & friends,


Please call President Obama and your Representative and two Senators to denounce the brutal ICE raid against immigrant workers that took place yesterday in Bellingham, Washington (see background information below).


Call (202) 456-1414 and tell President Obama:


Ø     The ICE raid yesterday in Washington state violates the rights of immigrant workers, harms the economy and makes our communities vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

Ø     You must end all raids and suspend all detentions and deportations.

Ø     Restore and protect our Constitutional rights

Ø     Please investigate ICE abuses and end the inhumane treatment immigrants are suffering in detention and deportation.


You can also send fax President Obama at: (202) 456-2461


Call (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative’s and Senators’ offices, tell them:


Ø     The ICE raid yesterday in Washington state violates the rights of immigrant workers, harms the economy and makes our communities vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

Ø     End all raids and suspend all detentions and deportations.

Ø     Restore and protect our Constitutional rights

Ø     You must hold hearings to investigate ICE abuses and end the inhumane treatment immigrants are suffering in detention and deportation.


You can also get full contact information for your Congressional delegation at:


Please take action today!


For more talking points and messages to our elected officials, see NNIRR’s letter with signatures

to President Barack Obama at




BACKGROUND: ICE Raid & Immigrant Protest Brutal Treatment in Detention


ICE Raid in Bellingham, WA

Yesterday morning, the Department of Homeland Security sent some 75 agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the Yamato Engine Specialist plant in Bellingham Washington. With a typical overwhelming show of force, the ICE agents arrived in SUVs accompanied by buses and a hovering helicopter.


The ICE agents, dressed in riot gear and heavily armed, invaded the plant and terrorized all. ICE agents interviewed all the workers and arrested 28 for immigration status. ICE agents handcuffed the immigrant workers and chained together at the ankles before boarding them on buses. The immigrant workers are now in detention.


Immigrant Prisoners Rebel against Inhumane Treatment and Abuses

Also, in January, immigrants serving sentences for being undocumented or deportable in the Reeves County Detention Facility Complex, in Pecos, Texas, began a protest after prison officials refused to take a gravely ill prisoner out of solitary confinement to the hospital.


The protest began after a group of immigrant prisoners attempted to meet with the detention facility’s authorities, demanding that a gravely ill detainee be released from solitary confinement and be taken immediately to a hospital. The prison authorities refused to listen and did not take action. The detainees responded by protesting after being ignored.


After the detainees began a spontaneous protest, a melee ensued. A fire broke out during the protest and guards immediately left the premises, locking in the prisoners behind. Some prisoners broke windows to get to other detainees who were choking and fainting, overcome by the smoke.


Then the guards got into SWAT vehicles (or some type of armored vehicle described as a “tortuga,” a turtle, by an inmate) and began firing teargas and rubber bullets at the prisoners who had been abandoned in the facility that was on fire.


Afterwards, the prison guards forced the immigrant inmates to stay outdoors in the prison facility yard on Saturday night. Since then, they have only been fed once a day; they have little or no water and have only three restroom facilities for almost 3,000 prisoners.


The prison authorities only let the inmates back into the facilities after a week. But the prisoners are being forced back into a smoke-damaged building contaminated with carbon monoxide from the fire. The facility now has little or no ventilation since windows have been boarded up.


The Geo Group already has more than 2,800 prisoners in a facility meant to hold 2,400 in Pecos.



Thursday, February 19, 2009

FW: Zack de la Rocha Calls on Fans to March in Phoenix, Feb. 28th

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**For Immediate Release / Excuse Cross-Postings/ Please Forward Widely***

Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine Calls on Fans to Turn the Tide Against Hate, Join March in Phoenix, Arizona.

Famous Lead Singer to Join Thousands to Denounce Sheriff Joe Arpaios Out of Control Intimidation and Humiliation

Who: National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Puente Arizona, and Zach de la Rocha

What: March to Stop the Systematic Persecution of Migrants and Latinos in AZ.

Where: March Start Location for Feb 28th: 300 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012

When: March to Stop the Hate in Phoenix to be held 9:00 am on February 28.

Recently the nation witnessed the ritual humiliation of migrants in a spectacle evocative of some of the most horrific episodes of human history, explains Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.People across the country are outraged at the shameful violations of human rights perpetrated by the Maricopa County Sheriffs and they are being moved to action.

In the last month Sheriff Joe Arpaio intensified his on-going escalation of attacks against Latinos by segregating the county jail and parading undocumented migrants shackled in a chain-gang into tent city. He erected and surrounded the tent with an electric fence in a grotesque display of human degradation.

Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine responded to the news by saying, To witness what is happening in Arizona and remain neutral is to be implicated in human rights violations that are occurring right here on US soil against migrants. History will not be kind to Joe Arpaio. He will be remembered with other infamous sheriffs like Bull Connor who subjugated and terrorized communities for shortsighted political gain.  I hope everyone will join me in protesting Sheriff Joe.

More details can be found at


Yadira Hernandez Herrera

National Day Laborer Organizing Network

675 S. Park View Street, Suite B

Los Angeles, CA 90057



Listen without defending. Speak without offending.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FW: No to Arpaio! Come to Arizona Feb. 27th And Organize a Teach-in in Your Town!

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REPLY TO: Yadira Hernandez Herrera []

***please forward widely****

Call for Teach-ins Across the Country: 

No to Sheriff Arpaio, No to Hate.

Sign up for action alerts:

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) along with a broad coalition of grassroots and national organizations is calling for you to mobilize to hold teach-ins and organize local actions leading up to a massive march and demonstration in Phoenix 2/28 to shut down the immigrant detention camp.

These teach-ins serve to resist the systematic normalization of hate and xenophobia occurring in Arizona through the use of immigration laws. Arizona is the testing ground for right-wing immigration policy.  If we cannot stop it there, we'll see similar activities spread across the country.

It is crucial that you help raise awareness and collect resources in support of the communities terrorized by the Maricopa Sheriff and his volunteer posses.

Last week, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa, Arizona marched 200 chained and shackled immigrants from a detention center to a segregated "tent city," in the desert surrounded by a recently installed electric fence, where it will soon reach 120 degrees daily. Sheriff Arpaio has cut their access to healthcare and plans to force them to work in chain gangs if they "misbehave."

We are calling for federal intervention in this crisis and for Pres. Obama's appointee to the Dept. of Homeland Security, Arizona Governor Napolitano, to sever Sheriff Arpaio's agreement with federal immigration authorities due to his gross human rights violations

Please join Community organizations, faith-based institutions, students, and academics by holding a teach-in to discuss the human rights crisis in Maricopa, Arizona and coming to Phoenix February 27th and 28th. The teach-ins explore the latest civil and human rights violations in Arizona as an alarming trend to criminalize immigrants that last week reached apartheid-like proportions.

Sign up for action alerts: 

If you are interested in hosting a teach-in and would like a tool-kit or a speaker from the campaign contact: or


New York TImes Editorial re: segregated tent city.

Another information source is

Video of the forced march:


Arnoldo Garcia

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Red Nacional Pro Derechos Inmigrantes y Refugiados

310 8th Street Suite 303

Oakland, CA 94607

Tel (510) 465-1984 ext. 305

Fax (510) 465-1885


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

See NNIRR's letter with signatures

to President Barack Obama at


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * 


Thursday, February 12, 2009

FW: Introducing the BAJI Reader: Black Perspectives on Race, Immigration and Globalization

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,


I am writing to ask your support for a new BAJI initiative.  Next month, we are commencing the publication of the BAJI Reader. Three times a year the BAJI Reader will bring the perspectives and opinions of progressive African Americans and Black immigrants on immigration issues. Our premier issue of the BAJI Reader is ready to go to print.


To help us meet the costs of printing and postage, we’re asking your organization to preorder in bulk. Your members and constituencies can benefit from well-reasoned and concise commentary from immigrant rights and racial justice activists, religious leaders, scholars and trade unionists.  Our suggested donation for a single copy is $5.  But if you order in bulk, you will receive a discount outlined in the table below.



Suggested Donation


50 or more $4.50 each

51 – 100 $4.00 each

Over 100 $3.50 each


Please fill out the attached order form and fax or mail it to me. Thanks in advance for you support.


Take care,



Gerald Lenoir, Director

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

PO Box 2528

Berkeley, CA 94702

(510) 849-9940 (office)

(510) 435-0382 (cell)

(510) 644-9596 (fax)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Read & Share Network News! Order Your Copies Today

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Dear NNIRR members, partners, allies & friends!



ou should have already received a copy in the mail of Network News,  a publication of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.


Network News is available on-line at:


If you haven’t received Network News in the mail, it could mean one of three things:

1.     You aren’t a Network member. NNIRR members receive Network News and other information, invitations, action alerts, updates and other publications as part of their membership. Join today!

2.     You aren’t a Network News subscriber! Please consider subscribing today! And/or,

3.     You are a member or subscriber, but we don’t have your current mailing address! Please send us your mailing address today – with your membership or subscription fee if you’re not a member or subscriber already – and we’ll send you a copy today. Join or subscribe today!


If you’ve already received Network News, here’s an opportunity to share it with your family, friends, co-workers and other activists and organizers: Send for copies to share!


See order form below.




After Obama:

Justice & Rights for Immigrants Rises Higher on the Agenda


The latest issue of Network News includes:

·        An in-depth look at the significance of President Barack Obama and the prospects for immigration reform

·        Viewpoint and analysis of the militarization of immigration and border control

·        The effort to report and document human rights abuses in immigrant communities

·        An interview with organizers on the impacts of the raids in Iowa and Mississippi;

·        A look at the “triangle of exploitation,” the emerging international regime of trade, managed migration and enforcement and its significance for immigrant rights. And

·        Lots more other news, resources and updates that are indispensable to the movement!


Build the Movement, Share Network News


Network News features critical stories and analyses on immigrant rights. All our immigrant rights movement activists, organizers and our allies should be reading it!


You can help build the movement by getting copies of Network News into more hands.


We are offering multiple copies of Network News for a small donation to cover shipping and handling costs. (Order form and prices below.)


Network News is an organizing tool.

·        You can use the articles in Network News kick off a discussion at a meeting on the issues facing immigrant communities and what is to done.

·        You can share a copy with co-workers, friends and family to engage them in the issues or to get their support for actions, policies and other opportunities to advance the fight for socially just legalization.


Order Copies of Network News & share with your friends in the movements for justice!


You can disseminate new ideas, initiate dynamic discussions and work to build the movement by sharing Network News! Your donation helps cover some of the costs for printing and shipping and handling:

·        Individual copy: $2.00

·        For 2-4 copies, send $8.00

·        For 5-10 copies, send $15

·        For 11-15 copies, send $25

·        For 16-20 copies, send $35

·        For 25 or more copies, please inquire.




Subscriptions (three issues of Network News)


·        $20.00 Regular

·        $10.00 Low income

·        $5.00 Fixed income/unemployed

Institutions: $35.00




Annual NNIRR Membership Dues (includes Network News sub.)


·        $25.00 Regular

·        $15.00 Low Income

·        $10.00 Fixed Income/Unemployed


Organizational (based on annual budget)

·        $50.00 $50,000 or less

·        $75.00 $50,000-99,900

·        $100.00 $100,000-199,999

·        $150.00 $200,000-349,999

·        $250.00 $350,000+


Print and mail form (cut here): -------------------------------------------------------------------------


SEND COPIES OF NETWORK NEWS TO (please type or print):



Organization (if any)


City State Zip Code:






[ ] Send ____ copy/copies of Network News


[ ] I want to join the National Network. Indicate as: ____ Individual | ____ Organization

·        Membership dues $_________

·        Contribution for _____ copy/copies of Network News $________




Thanks for supporting the National Network!


Make your check or money order payable to “NNIRR” and mail to:



310 8th Street STE 303

Oakland, CA 94607


Tel (510) 465-1984

Fax (510) 465-1885

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FW: Action Needed: Don't Hobble the Stimulus Bill with Immigration Restrictions

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From: National Immigration Law Center []
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:30 AM
Subject: Action Needed: Don't Hobble the Stimulus Bill with Immigration Restrictions


Today and Tomorrow



Don't Hobble the Stimulus Bill with Immigration Restrictions
Leave E-Verify Out of the Bill  
Fix Unfair Tax Credit Rules

Early this afternoon, the Senate voted passed its version of economic stimulus legislation previously passed by the House. The President and Congressional leadership are committed to reaching a "conference" agreement finalizing the language over the next few days. Work is needed to prevent immigration restrictions from hobbling the bill's ability to achieve its purpose of spurring economic recovery and growth.

E-Verify Requirement Still in House Bill

Thanks to your advocacy, we were successful in keeping an E-Verify requirement out of the Senate stimulus bill!  Unfortunately, the House bill still includes a requirement that all businesses and other public or private "entities" that contract to receive money from the stimulus package must use the flawed federal Basic Pilot/E-Verify program.  We need to convince House and Senate leadership that the E-Verify requirement should be stripped from the final bill sent to President Obama because it will hurt millions of workers.  For more information see TALKING POINTS.

Immigrant and Citizen Taxpayers Denied Credit due to Flawed Restriction

The signature "Making Work Pay" tax credit should be eligible to taxpaying individuals and families, so that taxpayers get the relief they need and can help stimulate economic growth.  It is fundamentally unfair to penalize taxpayer based on their spouse's immigration or SSN status. We need to urge House and Senate leadership to fix the tax credit rules so that immigrant and citizen taxpayers get the credit they deserve.  For more information, see TALKING POINTS.

Action Needed TODAY and TOMORROW!

1.    Call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 202-225-0100.
2.    Call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at 202-224-3542.
3.    Tell them:
•    Keep the E-Verify provision out of the stimulus bill.  Including E-verify in the stimulus package completely undercuts the purpose of the bill and will only be counterproductive for workers, business, and the economy.
•    Fix "Making Work Pay" so that citizen and legal immigrant taxpayers get the tax credit they deserve, and are not penalized due to their spouse's status.

Home | About NILC | Publications | Community Education Materials
Immigrants & Employment | Immigrants & Public Benefits | Immigration Law & Policy
Trainings | Links
California Immigrant Policy Center



Arnoldo Garcia

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Red Nacional Pro Derechos Inmigrantes y Refugiados

310 8th Street Suite 303

Oakland, CA 94607

Tel (510) 465-1984 ext. 305

Fax (510) 465-1885


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

See NNIRR's letter with signatures

to  President Barack Obama at


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Monday, February 09, 2009

Urgent: News & Take Action to Support Immigrants Demands for Rights and Humane Treatment at Reeves County Detention Complex in Pecos, Texas

Dear NNIRR member, partners, allies & friends,


Here’s a newspaper report on the recent prison protest by immigrants in the Reeves County Detention Complex (in Pecos, Texas). This report was published in many newspapers across the region and the U.S.


We are asking you to continue making calls and sending faxes and emails to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and directly to the GEO Group private jail at the Reeves and others responsible for the brutal and inhumane treatment and rights violations they are meting out to the immigrant detainees.


For talking points and contact information to support the immigrants’ demands go to:


Thanks to all who have already taken action! Your calls and faxes are making a difference. Please join in and stand up for justice and human Rights.




New York Times,%20but%20Riots%20Bring%20Scrutiny&st=cse


February 7, 2009

Texas Prison Keeps Jobs, but Riots Bring Scrutiny


Filed at 5:08 p.m. ET

PECOS, Texas (AP) -- A remote western Texas county secured its finances and kept jobs at home by turning over its sprawling prison to private management, but two inmate riots in the last six weeks have increased scrutiny on the facility.

About five years ago, Reeves County faced a major boondoggle -- a prison without prisoners. The lack of inmates to fill a newly built third unit put the county at risk of defaulting on the bonds used to finance the unit's construction.

The county turned to a publicly traded company, The GEO Group Inc., to manage the prison and fill it with federal inmates. The influx allowed the prison, Reeves County's largest employer, to stay in operation, but not without a series of disturbances.

The latest was a riot the weekend of Jan. 31. The GEO Group said Tuesday that no major injuries occurred but the prison couldn't immediately resume normal operations because of ''significant'' damage to buildings.

During the earlier riot in December, two employees were taken hostage and an exercise room was burned. That disturbance caused at least $320,000 worth of damage, county records show.

These and other matters detailed in news accounts and court documents indicate widespread tension among inmates over a variety of issues, most notably medical treatment. And, for some observers, they give more voice to the oft-stated criticism of private prisons.

''Generally, these (disturbances) are not random,'' said Bert Useem, a Purdue University sociology and anthropology professor who has written extensively on prison issues. ''They occur in prisons that are facing serious difficulties.''

The GEO Group issued brief statements at the time of the disturbances but did not respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press seeking further comment.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based company previously has attracted scrutiny over conditions in its prisons.

In 2007, the Texas Youth Commission fired the company after nearly 200 teenage offenders were removed from a juvenile justice center it operated in Bronte, citing health and safety violations.

The company also has come under fire for its operation of a facility that houses illegal immigrant detainees in Pearsall. A federal lawsuit charges that two Mexican immigrants were not treated for their mental illnesses. And correctional officers at the facility are threatening to strike over pay and working conditions.

''They operate as a bare-bones, profit-making machine,'' said Howard Johannssen, an official with the union representing the Pearsall officers.

In Reeves County and Pecos, its largest town, The GEO Group is viewed favorably for saving jobs when it was hired to manage the prison five years ago.

Since hiring The GEO Group, the county has filled the center with more than 3,300 federal inmates, including more than 1,207 in unit III. Many of the prisoners are non-U.S. citizens.

The facility employs more than 500 people, most of whom work for the county, and has become increasingly important to the economy as the area has lost several other employers in recent years.

''Any small community with a prison that employs that number of people would see (the value of having such a facility),'' said Robert Tobias, executive director of the Pecos Economic Development Corporation.

The significance of The GEO Group's work on the county's behalf was underscored in January 2006 when the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce gave the company its ''Citizen of the Year'' award. At the presentation, chamber president Jim Dutchover cited the company for injecting an ''infusion of ideas and money'' into the community.

But recent events have left the impression that the prison has been poorly run.

''Prisoner riots are a relatively rare occurrence,'' the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a letter to the Department of Justice requesting that it investigate the center. ''For this reason, two serious disturbances within a two-month period at a single facility is sufficient cause for great concern.''

A message seeking comment from the Justice Department was not immediately returned Saturday. The ACLU says the department hasn't responded to its request for an investigation.

According to information posted on the Web site of another advocacy group, the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the latest riot began when authorities refused to respond to prisoners' request that a gravely ill inmate be released from solitary confinement and transferred to a hospital.

A federal lawsuit filed by an inmate in 2007 claims prisoners were sprayed with mace after staging a hunger strike to protest the quality of medical care and meals. As part of the suit, filed without an attorney, the prisoner included an undated memo purportedly from a prison official saying he was working toward improving meals, medical care and recreational equipment.

The prison was accredited last month by the American Correctional Association, the nation's only such program for adult and juvenile detention facilities.

The accreditation, required by the federal Bureau of Prisons, was based largely on the results of an onsite audit in October in which representatives of the organization would have reviewed paperwork and interviewed inmates outside the presence of prison authorities, said James Gondles, the group's executive director.

''To my knowledge, our auditing didn't raise any red flags,'' he said.

However, because of the riots, it is likely that another auditing team will be sent to the prison, Gondles said.

''Are we concerned when an incident happens at an accredited facility?'' he said. ''The answer is yes.''


Associated Press writer Betsy Blaney contributed to this report.





Arnoldo Garcia

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Red Nacional Pro Derechos Inmigrantes y Refugiados

310 8th Street Suite 303

Oakland, CA 94607

Tel (510) 465-1984 ext. 305

Fax (510) 465-1885