Thursday, May 25, 2006

SF schools refusing cooperation with ICE immigration police - Support 10 Principles for Change!

The US Senate will likely crank out their version of 'comprehensive immigration reform' by tomorrow. How is the national debate impacting our schools here? In San Francisco we have had ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] visits to our schools. But our staff are not turning anyone over to the immigration police and we are doing everything possible to protect the human and civil rights of our students.
For more see Lyanne Melendez's report from KGO TV earlier this month - Immigration Officials Fail To Follow Policy
School officials in San Francisco are outraged after immigration agents tried to verify the identity of two students whose mom was held on illegal immigration charges. The school refused to cooperate with the agents.
On May 5, an immigration agent made an early phone call to the principal of Presidio Middle School. The school refused to cooperate saying that information was confidential. Agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement then made a formal request through a letter faxed to the school.

Our legal counsel David Campos and his staff are drafting school district policies that will protect the privacy rights of immigrant students and families in our district. A proposal will likely be brought to the board in our next Board meeting on June 13th.

Illegal employer retaliation against undocumented workers - Young Workers United, UNITE-HERE and others are reporting raids and employers who are making calls to the immigration authorities to have folks deported.
The Immigrant Solidarity Network has some great links to the progressive side of the immigration debate -

Latest Immigrant News
By National Immigration Law Center
Amendment that adds anti-discrimination, privacy and due process protections to the employment verification system passes; Kennedy amendment to strengthen labor law defeated.
5/24 San Francisco, CA: Action against restaurant owners who called la Migra/ICE
By Young Workers United
5/23: San Francisco Labor Council Vote to Support Immigrant Rights
By Open World Conference of Workers
On May 22, the San Francisco Labor Council voted unanimously to endorse the national statement by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights(NNIRR).
5/2: U.S. Immigration Law Inhumane to Same-Sex Couples
By Immigration Equality
New Immigration Reforms Must End Discrimination Against Lesbians, Gays!
We need to change the course of the debate, but how do we do that?
5/24 Conference Call: Immigrant Communities Nationwide Say NO To Senate Immigration Compromise Bill
By Arnoldo Garcia (NNIRR), Christian Ramirez (AFSC)
The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), in collaboration with local partners, will hold a telephonic press conference to highlight nationwide community opposition to the Senate "Compromise" immigration bill now under consideration.
5/24: National Youth Call-In Day for Immigrant & Human Rights!
By Maricela Donahue - Center for Community Change
On May 24 join thousands of youth from across the United States in a national call-in day for immigrant rights. This will be our last and best chance to impact the immigration debate in the Senate. That afternoon, a smaller group of youth from across the country will be at the Capitol in Washington, DC sharing personal testimony at a national press event.
5/22: Update on Senate Debate and Action Alert
By National Immigration Forum

Lastly, I support the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Families for Freedom, Immigrant Communities in Action and other groups' call for 'No Deal!' to Hagel-Martinez, the leading legislation currently being considered in the Senate, and any other bill like it, because it does not meet our demands for fair and just comprehensive immigration reform. AALDEF and others have taken the lead in developing a serious platform for comprehensive immigration reform - with ten principles:
1. Adjustment to legal status for undocumented immigrants.
2. Clearing of the immigration backlog.
3. Expansion of legal immigration opportunities to account for both family-based immigration and the needs of our economy.
4. Provisions that keep families together.
5. Stronger protections for workers, including repeal of employer sanctions and path to citizenship for future workers.
6. Ending of all detention for mere civil immigration violations and repeal of mandatory deportation.
7. Stronger civil rights standards for enforcement efforts, including ending of racial and ethnic profiling and selective targeting of communities.
8. Full due process rights and judicial review for individuals in removal proceedings.
9. No state and local enforcement of immigration laws.
10. Reasonable, just, and humane enforcement and border policies.

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