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Our struggle is to bring social, political, and economic justice to our nation. This is an effort of the Chicano/Mexican American Digital History Project. Campbell
Updated: 8 hours 42 min ago

Know Your Rights - Workplace (Spanish)

16 hours 29 min ago
Categories: Human Rights

You are invited to a Picnic

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 19:25

Categories: Human Rights

Call Your Assemblyperson. Pass SB 54

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 16:00
You've been making your voices heard in the debate over SB 54, the California Values Act, and the Assembly has been listening. The California Values Act cleared another major hurdle last week when it passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee with overwhelming support. Our calling campaign has been going on for five months, and we have the momentum to pass SB 54 into law. We have to keep the pressure on.SB 54 still has to pass the Assembly Judiciary Committee before it comes to a full vote.If you live in the Sacramento region, call Assemblyperson Jim Cooper (Elk Grove) (916) 319-2009  and Assembly person Ken Cooley, (suburban Sacramento) (916) 319-2008. .  They have not indicated their votes. 
See posts below for more information. 
 Until that happens and the bill passes, we need to continue to make clear our demands for protection for our immigrant friends, neighbors, and family members. Our broken and severely outdated immigration system criminalizes immigrant communities that contribute greatly to the great state of California, and to our country as a whole. This harsh, punitive system allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to separate, detain, and deport hard working people—and local and state resources are devoted to helping ICE do just that.That's not who we are. We need to stop ICE and their abusive attacks on our immigrant communities and give sanctuary to the millions of immigrants who call this country home. Please call your Assemblyperson and tell them to support SB 54, the California Values Act. With enough of us working together, we can continue leading for the country and provide sanctuary in California to protect our immigrant communities.
The problems with our broken immigration system aren't going away, and they aren't going to get better unless we take collective action to fix them. We know that ICE has made us less safe, not more so. Creating terror and fear across our state is contrary to law enforcement values. We can begin to restore trust with law enforcement, but it's going to take this clear step by the Assembly to pass the California Values Act.Call your representative in the California Assembly and tell them to support SB 54, the California Values Act and protect our immigrant communities from Trump's dangerous, anti-family policies.Thank you for taking action with us today.
Categories: Human Rights

Support SB 54: The Sanctuary Bill

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 17:04

Yesterday, the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed SB 54 by a 5-2 vote! Now it's time to call Governor Brown.

Please call Governor Brown this week to urge passage of a strong SB 54, the California Values Act.  

Categories: Human Rights

Trump Immigration Arrests

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 15:20
In the first three months of the Trump Administration, ICE agents arrested some 41,000 people.  This is an increase of almost 40 % over the same period last year. 
Categories: Human Rights

William J. Barber II | Shifting the Moral Conversation | Portside

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 14:17
William J. Barber II | Shifting the Moral Conversation | Portside

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Repairers of the Breach founder William J. Barber II talks about America's history of systematic racism and explains how citizens can protest racism, inequality and injustice
Categories: Human Rights

Help Pass the California Sanctuary Bill SB 54

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 15:49
Sacramento area Assemblymen Cooper and Cooley are not reliable votes yet. 
Your phone calls have made the difference in getting SB 54, the California Values Act, through the Senate to the Assembly. This campaign has serious momentum, and we're ready for the next step. The Assembly Public Safety Committee is holding a hearing on SB 54 this Tuesday, and our next task is making sure it passes the committee vote.The California Values Act gives sanctuary to undocumented California residents and their families by prohibiting state or local law enforcement cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. ICE has made communities less safe, not more. When undocumented people are so scared of being detained or deported that they won't report serious crimes that our law enforcement should be dealing with, we all suffer.SB 54 protects our neighbors from detention and deportation, and makes communities safer as a whole by allowing law enforcement to focus on crimes that actually endanger people. Please call your assemblyperson today and get their support for SB 54, the California Values Act.The need for immigration reform predates Donald Trump's presidency, but ever since he took office our immigrant communities have been put in even greater danger. No undocumented person is immune from detention or deportation. There is no regard for their job, family, time lived in this country, or even children who are American citizens. It is our duty to take action, and California's to lead on making a home for our beloved immigrant communities when the federal government won't. That's what this campaign is about.
The last time that immigrants posed a threat to the people of this country, the English were landing at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown. Every group's arrival since then, from African slaves to Irish, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, German, Italian, Southeast Asian, and now Latinx immigrants and refugees from all over the world, have come looking for work and found prejudice, discrimination, and exploitation. And it is America's shame that we must look back on every single one of these instances with profound regret for how our people have been treated.We aren't going to continue repeating the mistakes of the past. That's why we need your help passing SB 54, the California Values Act. Please call your assemblyperson today and get their support for this vital sanctuary bill.We will protect and defend our immigrant neighbors. Thank you for joining us in making your voice heard.
Categories: Human Rights

Lulac, ACLU, Sue to block Texas SB 4

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 18:40
ACLU MOVES TO BLOCK SB4: The American Civil Liberties Union filed a preliminary injunction Monday to block a Texas law against so-called "sanctuary cities." The ACLU, along with the City of Cenizo and the League of United Latin American Citizens, filed suit in a federal court in San Antonio to prevent the measure from taking effect on September 1. Under SB4, state and local law enforcement officers will be empowered to ask about immigration status during routine encounters and police chiefs could face fines for a refusal to enforce immigration laws, among other provisions. Read the filing here and a memorandum in support here.
Categories: Human Rights

The Return of Workplace Immigration Raids

Sun, 06/04/2017 - 22:15

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - David Huerta, President of United Service Workers West, SEIU, speaks at a meeting of San Francisco janitors and other workers supporting AB 450, a bill protecting workers during immigration raids and enforcement actions.  David Bacon, At the end of February immigration agents descended on a handful of Japanese and Chinese restaurants in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi, and in nearby Meridian. Fifty-five immigrant cooks, dishwashers, servers and bussers were loaded into vans and taken to a detention center about 160 miles away in Jena, Louisiana.Their arrests and subsequent treatment did more than provoke outrage among Jackson's immigrant rights activists. Labor advocates in California also took note of the incident, fearing that it marked the beginning of a new wave of immigrant raids and enforcement actions in workplaces. In response, California legislators have written a bill providing legal protections for workers, to keep the Mississippi experience from being duplicated in the Golden State.Once the Mississippi restaurant workers had been arrested, they essentially fell off the radar screen for several days. Jackson lawyer Jeremy Litton, who represented three Guatemalan workers picked up in the raid, could not get the government to schedule hearing dates for them.  He was unable to verify that the other detained immigrants were being held in the same center, or even who they were. The Geo Corporation, formerly known as the Wackenhut Corporation, operates the LaSalle Detention Facility in Jena. Geo's roots go back to the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which became notorious in the nineteenth and first half of the 20th century for violent assaults on unions and strikers. Today Geo operates 16 immigrant detention centers around the country, according to its 2015 annual report. It runs privatized prisons as well, some of which have been investigated by the federal government after allegations of bad conditions and understaffing. The LaSalle facility has 1,160 beds. Litton says it is normally full, so taking in an additional 55 detainees would result in severe overcrowding.
The use of Jena's immigrant jail to hold workers detained in workplace raids has a bitter history in Mississippi. In 2008 481 workers were arrested at a Howard Industries electrical equipment factory, in Laurel, Mississippi, in the middle of union negotiations. They, too, were taken to the LaSalle detention center. There they were fed peanut butter sandwiches at mealtimes, and according to Patricia Ice, attorney for the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA), “There weren’t even enough beds and people were sleeping on the floor.” Eight workers detained in that raid were charged with aggravated identity theft in federal court, for having given a false Social Security number to the employer when they were hired.“This latest raid is causing a lot of fear in our community,” says MIRA director Bill Chandler.  “There's fear everywhere now because of the threats from Trump, but here in Mississippi our history of racism makes fear even stronger.”Agustin Ramirez, an organizer for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in California, told me that the Mississippi raids have heightened fear among West Coast immigrants, too. “What we have seen in the past, and the threats from Trump, tell us this is coming. We may not have had a raid like this here yet, but we can see the sky is dark, and we know it's going to rain. We just don't know when.”In California, with many times the immigrant population of Mississippi, the potential impact of workplace raids is enormous. Of the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, over 2.6 million live in this state—almost one in every 10 California workers is undocumented. They make up almost half of its farm workers, and over 20 percent of its construction workers. The National Restaurant Association says that of the country's 12 million restaurant workers, 9 percent are undocumented, while the Restaurant Opportunities Center estimates that in large cities they make up almost half of that industry’s workforce.The legislative response in California came from United Service Workers West (USWW), the union for janitors, security guards and airport workers affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. “We want to lead the nation with the strongest resistance efforts to protect workers, not just in the community, but in the workplace,” explained David Huerta, USWW’s president.In cooperation with labor attorney Monica Guizar, USWW worked with San Francisco Assemblymember David Chiu to craft Assembly Bill 450. The bill, called the Immigrant Worker Protection Act and introduced March 24, addresses workplace immigration raids in four ways:·AB 450 requires employers to ask for a judicial warrant before granting access to a workplace by agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)·The bill prohibits employers from sharing confidential information, like Social Security numbers, without a court order.·If there is an immigration raid, or if an employer is told by ICE to hand over information that employees provide on I-9 immigration-status forms, the bill requires the employer to notify the state labor commissioner, the workers themselves and their union representatives.·AB 450 authorizes the labor commissioner to certify workers who report claims against their employers, prohibiting employers from retaliating against them, and helping them to gain visa status as witnesses in legal proceedings.Assembly Bill 450 was co-authored by Bay Area Assemblymembers Phil Ting and Rob Bonta, and State Senator Scott Weiner. “Trump's threats of massive deportations are spreading fear among California workers, families and employers,” Chiu told a news conference, adding that the bill “goes beyond California's existing defense of immigrants to offer new legal protections for individuals in our workplaces.”In a highly publicized April 11 event on the Arizona-Mexico border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions emphasized the Trump administration's hard line on enforcement. In a highly publicized April 11 event on the Arizona-Mexico border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions emphasized the Trump administration's hard line on enforcement. Chiu cited Sessions’s previous statements and orders as a reason for the bill's new measures of protection. Sessions told the press in Arizona that enforcement would now prioritize identity theft among other factors. “And it is here that criminal aliens, and the coyotes, and the document-forgers seek to overthrow our system of lawful immigration,” he announced.By using phrases like “identity theft” and “document-forgers,” Sessions is treating as a criminal offense the means used by every undocumented worker to get a job. Like all other workers, undocumented immigrants must supply Social Security numbers to employers to get hired. But since the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, they have been prevented from applying for them. Workers therefore invent Social Security numbers or use numbers belonging to others.In the past, the federal government has occasionally interpreted this as not only as a reason for deportation, but as a federal crime. Sessions is threatening to make these occasional charges mandatory in every case. The irony is that undocumented workers, using those bad numbers, contribute about $13 billion annually to the Social Security Trust Fund, and are disqualified from receiving any benefits that those contributions are supposed to pay for.Heavy immigration enforcement against workers is hardly new. Under President George W. Bush, large-scale raids led to the detention and deportation of thousands of workers, especially in meatpacking plants. At Smithfield Foods in North Carolina and Agriprocessors in Iowa, 389 immigrants were jailed, charged with felonies for using bad Social Security numbers. Under President Obama, ICE agents audited the information provided by workers on I-9 forms, comparing it with the Social Security database. ICE then told employers to fire those immigrants whose information didn't pass muster. The government developed an enormous database, called E-Verify, for rooting out undocumented workers. Thousands were fired, and in 2010 alone ICE audited about 2,000 employers.Anger over these enforcement actions has a long history in California. Los Angeles janitors, members of USWW, sat down in city intersections to protest firings by Able Building Maintenance in 2011. The union fought similar firings in Stanford University cafeterias, and among custodians in the buildings of Apple and Hewlett-Packard. Two thousand seamstresses protested their firings at Los Angeles’s American Apparel. Members of UNITE HERE, the union for hotel workers, mounted a hunger strike outside the Hyatt in San Diego over the same issue. In the Bay Area, 214 workers at the Pacific Steel foundry fought firings for almost a year, while at the Alameda County Industries recycling plant in San Leandro, they even went on strike to try to stop them.Over the years, unions have charged that employers use the firings when workers try to organize, or when they are negotiating contracts. Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, says, “raids drive down wages because they intimidate workers—even citizens and legal residents. The employer brings in another batch of employees and continues business as usual, while people who protest get targeted and workers get deported. Raids really demonstrate the employer’s power.”To help workers protect themselves in the workplace, the ILWU, Filipino Advocates for Justice and several other groups organized a training session about actions workers can take on the job, in the face of a raid or I-9 firings. Workers from Alameda County Industries acted out a teatro-based sketch on their own strike to stop the company from terminating them for not having papers. In another skit, they dramatized the way workers might demand that their boss bar ICE agents from the workplace if the latter have no court order. Other unions described their experiences over the past decade in organizing workers to fight off raids and firings.“Our experience tells us that workers can resist raids at work, and the more they do that the better off they are,” Agustin Ramirez says. “We are getting prepared, trying to give people as much information as possible. We're trying to spread this idea that in addition to AB 450, workers can take action on the job to protect themselves.”
 Previously posted on Capital and Main, and the American Prospect.

David Bacon is a California writer and photojournalist; his latest book is In the Fields of the North.
See prior post.

Categories: Human Rights

Texas Protests Over SB 4 Lead to Call to ICE

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 13:40
By the end of the state legislative session in Texas on Monday, the Capitol had devolved into scuffles and grave accusations. A Democratic lawmaker had accused his GOP colleague of threatening to "put a bullet" in another lawmaker's head. That GOP state representative, meanwhile, accused a counterpart of threatening his life, saying he was prepared to use his gun in self-defense.To understand how the day ended this way, one must first rewind to its start.Earlier Monday, demonstrators gathered in the Capitol to protest a recently signed law aimed at what have come to be known as "sanctuary cities" — or cities that, as NPR's Nina Totenberg put it, "have limited their cooperation with federal immigration authorities." Earlier this month Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law, which also allows "police to inquire about the immigration status of anyone they detain, a situation that can range from arrest for a crime to being stopped for a traffic violation," according to The Associated Press.Protesters from around the state descended on the Legislature, first watching Monday's session in silence then gradually growing louder. The demonstrators, many of whom were Latino and dressed in red, shouted slogans from the second-floor viewing area, eventually interrupting the proceedings below.
It's about this time that decorum on the floor began to break down and later descriptions of the incident begin to diverge.GOP state Rep. Matt Rinaldi says he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the protesters, several of whom carried signs proclaiming "I am illegal and here to stay."Later, he told the Texas Tribune he did it "to incentivize them to leave the House." He added: "They were disrupting. They were breaking the law."After he placed the call, he says he simply told his Democratic colleagues he did so.Those Democratic colleagues, however, remember that conversation very differently."He came up to us and said, 'I'm glad I just called ICE to have all these people deported,'" state Rep. César Blanco said at a news conference after the incident, according to the Tribune. State Rep. Ramon Romero recalls blunter language: "He said, 'I called ICE — f*** them.' "

At this point, Rinaldi says that Romero "physically assaulted" him, and that another Democratic lawmaker, Poncho Nevarez, threatened to "get" Rinaldi on his way to his car.Reported from NPR. 
Categories: Human Rights