Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Immigrant Rights News - Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Immigrant Rights News – Tuesday, July 07, 2009


1. TruthOut: Criminals because we worked

2. Arizona Republic: Hispanic males are now majority in county jails

3. New York Times: Piecing Together an Immigrant’s Life the U.S. Refused to See

4. Arizona Republic [blog]: When migrants' dreams become nightmares



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Criminals because we worked


Saturday 20 June 2009


by: David Bacon, t r u t h o u t | Report


Vernon, California - The production lines at Overhill Farms move very quickly. Every day, for 18 years, Bohemia Agustiano stood in front of the "banda" for eight or nine hours, putting pieces of frozen chicken, rice and vegetables onto plates as they passed in a blur before her. Making the same motions over and over for such a long time, her feet in one place on the concrete floor, had its price. Pains began shooting through her hands and wrists, up her arms to her shoulders.


Complaining also had a price, however. "I was reluctant to say anything because of my need," she says. "I have four children. So I preferred to stay hurt, and take pills for it, than to go out on disability." Finally, though, it got too much. She couldn't sleep without pain constantly waking her, and she was moving through a haze of exhaustion. So, she went to the company doctor.


"He said my nerves were inflamed, and sent me to therapy," she recalls. "I know I have repetitive stress syndrome, but I asked him not to put me on restricted duty, because I knew the company would just send me home. There is no easy work in production. But he put me on restrictions anyway, and that's what happened. It didn't change anything, and eventually I had to go back to my job. It still hurts to work."


It might seem hard to understand that a job like this is worth trying to keep. But being out of work is worse. So every day, Agustiano and 253 others are out in front of Overhill Farms' two plants on East Vernon Avenue, in an industrial enclave in southeast Los Angeles, trying to fight their way back onto those speeding production lines.


The company says Agustiano's Social Security number is no good. That accusation, and the mass firings based on it, has put these 254 workers, mostly women, at the epicenter of the national debate over the nation's immigration laws. Overhill Farms and the advocates of immigration enforcement in the workplace claim the workers shouldn't be at work at all. Hiring people without legal immigration status is a crime, they say, and those suspected of the lack of such status should be fired. […]



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Arizona Republic



Hispanic males are now majority in county jails


by JJ Hensley - Jul. 7, 2009 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic


There's a shift under way in the Maricopa County jails.


The population of White male inmates, after growing steadily for more than a decade, has dropped in the past five years, while the population of Hispanic male inmates has increased to the point that they make up the ethnic majority, according Sheriff's Office data.


Experts say the explanation for the increase is largely due to overall population trends coupled with a series of recent laws and policy decisions targeting illegal immigrants.


The majority of Hispanics in county jails are not in the country illegally. However, most of the illegal immigrants jailed as a result of immigration-enforcement efforts are Latino. […]



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New York Times



Piecing Together an Immigrant?s Life the U.S. Refused to See


By: Nina Bernstein

July 5, 2009


When the 43-year-old man died in a New Jersey immigration jail in 2005, the very fact seemed to fall into a black hole. Although a fellow inmate scrawled a note telling immigrant advocates that the detainee's symptoms of a heart attack had long gone unheeded, government officials would not even confirm that the dead man had existed.


In March, more than three years after the death, federal immigration authorities acknowledged that they had overlooked it, and added a name, "Ahmad, Tanveer," to their list of fatalities in custody.


Even as the man's death was retrieved from official oblivion, however, his life remained a mystery, The New York Times reported in an April article on the case that pointed up the secrecy and lack of accountability in the nation's ballooning immigration detention system. Just who the man was and why he had been detained were unknown. […]



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the end / el fin / tamat <><><>


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