Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Immigrant communities respond to massive sweeps - 1,300 are arrested as Immigration Agents target immigrants in Southern California

Arnoldo Garcia of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights [see also their blog at] says that massive immigration sweeps over the past week are causing terror in many immigrant communities in the Southern California area.

The LA Times reports that massive ICE sweeps are resulting in the deportation of thousands

Federal officers in Southern California over the last two weeks have arrested more than 1,300 immigrants, most of whom either have criminal records or have failed to abide by deportation orders -- part of an intensifying but controversial effort across the nation to remove such violators.Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which plans to announce the operation at a news conference in Los Angeles today, called the sweep the largest of its kind in the U.S.
Nearly 600 of those arrested at homes, workplaces and in jails have already been deported."Where these laws may not have been enforced in the past, that has changed," said Jim Hayes, Los Angeles field office director for ICE...

Officers arrested 530 immigrants in their homes and workplaces and took custody of nearly 800 others from jails in Los Angeles , Orange , Ventura , Riverside and San Bernardino counties.The 1,327 arrests surpassed the 1,297 undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE agents at meat processing plants in six states last December, part of an investigation into identity theft.
The enforcement is the latest example of the how some local law enforcement agencies are cooperating with federal authorities to ensure that criminals are identified and deported, rather than simply released from jail. ..
"The arrests break up families and create an unfair and inaccurate impression of the immigrant community, which is by and large law-abiding, said Reshma Shamasunder, director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. Enforcement actions also cause fear in immigrant neighborhoods and families that may include U.S. citizens.
"It directs public attention away from the real need to reform the immigration system overall," she said. "This is not going to solve our problems. . . . This is just one narrow-minded, mean-spirited way of trying to fix the immigration problem."
NNIRR has a great KNOW YOUR RIGHTS handout for immigrant communities and supporters.
Garcia and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights are planning emergency responses and a national conference for immigrant & refugee rights [Una conferencia nacional paralos derechos de inmigrantes y refugiados] for January in Houston.

More information and conference registration will be available October 15, 2007 at
Bringing together immigrant and refugee community leaders and organizations, activists, organizers, advocates and allies to strategize on directions and priorities for an immigrant and refugee rights movement based on justice & dignity.
Help build a shared "Immigrant Rights Platform" for the 2008 elections and beyond!
Limited travel scholarships will be available.

Tentative Workshops, Tracks & Topics:* Border and interior immigration law enforcement* Globalization and Migration* Alliance Building* Promoting the Human Rights of Im/Migrants* Addressing "Root Causes"* Immigration, Labor and Workers Rights* Immigration Policy and Legislation* Organizing Skills Development* Popular Education for Transformative Community Organizing* Immigration, Immigrant Rights and the 2008 Elections* Racism and Immigration* Open Space and Global Cafe/Caucuses

For more information email:

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