By Steve Fisher for Mother Jones – Sofía was 19 when she fled El Salvador after receiving threats from a drug cartel. In late 2014, she was caught near San Diego by the US Border Patrol and sent to an immigration detention center in Eloy, Arizona. Following eight months in detention, she was desperate to reunite with her mother, who lives in Northern California. Like many detainees, Sofía was eligible for release on bond while awaiting her immigration court proceedings. But her bond, set at $15,000, was far more than she could afford.
By Rebekah Barber for Facing South – When the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month that it was divesting from private prisons after they were found to be more dangerous than publicly run facilities, immigrant advocates hailed the groundbreaking decision. However, the move would affect only 13 prisons, as most private prisons are run not by the DOJ but by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Immigrant advocacy groups immediately called on DHS to follow suit.
By Staff of SOAW – Nogales, AZ – Thousands of activists throughout the United States and Mexico will gather on both sides of the border since the School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) is moving its annual vigil to the line between Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora from October 7-10, 2016. After holding an annual vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, for 26 years, SOA Watch and partner groups, based on broad-based grassroots power, will push back against militarization of the border, against criminalization of migrants and refugees, and to name the root causes of migration.
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Truthdig. Dozens of undocumented women being held with their children at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania are on a hunger strike that they say will culminate in their leaving the facility “alive or dead.” The mothers are essentially being held prisoner under an Obama administration plan to detain undocumented families while their papers for asylum are being processed. Their children range in age from 2 to 16. A Philadelphia-based grass-roots organization called Juntos has been working to shut down Berks for nearly two years. It should not be such a difficult task, given that the facility is violating policy on many fronts. In an interview, Juntos Executive Director Erika Almiron told me that Berks was licensed as a “child residential facility” rather than a “detention center,” and that there is “no license that they can get in the state of Pennsylvania to fit what they want to do.” The detention center’s license expired in February, and Juntos and its allies pressured the Department of Human Services (akin to a child welfare department) to refuse renewal. But Berks County commissioners inexplicably appealed the decision. While the appeal is in process, the facility continues to operate and keep the women and children as prisoners.
By Staff for Popular Resistance. Protesters at a Donald Trump fundraiser at the Minneapolis Convention Center got between vehicles and jumped on the hood of a Secret Service SUV in Trump’s motorcade as the candidate was leaving the building. NEW: There are reports that the vehicle carrying Trump was attacked by the protesters. The New York businessman made his first visit to the state as the Republican presidential candidate for a private nighttime fundraiser at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Dozens of protesters gathered out front ahead of the event and marched around the large building. Later in the evening, a smaller contingent grew unruly. Some fundraiser attendees were pushed and jostled, spit on and verbally harassed as they left the convention center.
By Raul Alcaraz-Ochoa, Jorge Gutierrez, Alan Pelaez and Deborah Alemu for Telesur TV. An Open Letter to the Immigrant Rights Movement: In light of the brutal murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Delrawn Smalls Dempsey, Alva Braziel, Joyce Quaweay, Skye Mockabee and Korryn Gaines, anti-Blackness, patriarchy and transphobia need to profoundly and urgently be addressed within immigrant rights organizing, now more than ever. Although non-Black Latinx solidarity with Black lives has increased and grown, there is still a lot of work to be done. How do Latinxs and the immigrant rights movement navigate anti-Blackness? First of all what is anti-Blackness? “Anti-Blackness is not simply the racist actions of a white man with a grudge nor is it only a structure of racist discrimination—anti-blackness is the paradigm that binds blackness and death together so much so that one cannot think of one without the other,”
By Jorge Rivas for Fusion – The Black Lives Matter movement this week announced it has adopted a 10-point platform that includes a call to end all deportations. It could be a game changer. Black Lives Matter, which started as a hashtag in 2013, has quickly evolved into a leading civil rights movement that until this week has mainly focused on policing issues that affect the black community. But on Monday the movement adopted a more comprehensive platform developed by the Movement for Black Lives, which has a list of demands, including a call for an “end to the war on Black immigrants.”
By Kira Lerner & Alice Ollstein for Think Progress – CLEVELAND, OHIO — Hundreds of immigrant activists and their supporters from as near as Cleveland and as far as Arizona marched on the Republican National Convention arena on Wednesday and erected a wall with their bodies and banners that stretched down several blocks. The fabric wall held aloft by the chanting protesters was designed to challenge one of Donald Trump’s signature campaign promises: building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to prevent immigrants from crossing the border.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. There were protests inside and outside of the Republican National Convention where Donald Trump is becoming the nominee of the party. Protesters from the right and left were outside including evangelicals, gun rights advocates and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones caused the only notable conflict when he attacked anti-capitalist protesters and was removed from the area by police. While people braced for a lot of conflict outside of the RNC and police were brought in from other parts of Ohio and the region, there has been little conflict and few arrests. On Tuesday there were only three arrests for those raising a banner at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that exlaimed “Don’t Trump Our Communities.” That protest was focused on stopping fracking and on immigration. The protests were creative, humorous, mocking of Trump and covered a wide range of progressive issues including opposition to war, seeking to end deportation, welcoming refugees, racism, police abuse, the failures of capitalism and more.
By Robby Diesu for Popular Resistance. Five activists took part in an action this morning to scale a pair of 60-foot flagpoles at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH, attaching a 625-square-foot banner. Three activists were arrested by the Cleveland Police Department. The team of activists involved in the fight against fracking and the immigration justice movement took action to show the interconnected nature of these fights for justice. Activists hope to demonstrate that while Trump is calling for the building of a wall with Mexico, social movements are breaking down the barriers that have prevented them from working together. “Through the power of direct action, our movements can and will stop the hateful rhetoric of Donald Trump, and continue to push Hillary Clinton to ban fracking and stop the deportations.”
By Michelle Chen for The Nation – Law enforcement is in the business of dealing with insecurity. But the one thing that’s always secure about America’s law-enforcement system is the number of immigrants it imprisons each day. The government has written into law the number of non-citizens it seeks to deprive of freedom at any given moment: 34,000. A study by Detention Watch Network (DWN) and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) explores the social impacts of the perverse incentive of the so-called “lockup quota” of 34,000 designated “beds” for immigrant detainees.
By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof – It was the first presidential campaign event in which Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama appeared together. The Charlotte Observer ran a headline that suggested Clinton found her “roar” during the event in Charlotte, North Carolina. Despite the momentous occasion, teachers and students were there to protest Obama’s record on deportations and demand Clinton and Obama release refugee youth, who are currently jailed by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE).
By Paul McLennan, Azadeh Shahshahani, and Adelina Nicholls for AlterNet – On June 15, coordinated actions were held across the world including in Atlanta, seeking justice for Berta Caceres, an indigenous human rights and environmental justice activist who was assassinated in Honduras on March 3. Several of those charged with her murder have ties to the Honduran military, including at least one high-ranking officer who reportedly was trained by U.S. Rangers. At the Atlanta action, we also drew attention to the recent ICE raids that have targeted women and children fleeing horrific persecution, rape, murder, and torture in Central American countries such as Honduras, who were seeking a safe haven in this country.
By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is striking deals with private prison companies to lock up a “guaranteed minimum” of mothers with their children in euphemistically-termed family detention centers. The 2009 congressional mandate for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep a minimum of 34,000 people minimum locked up at any given time is already well-established. But a new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Detention Watch Network reveals that this federal quota rests, in part, on aggressive deals with companies in the business of locking up families.
By Olivier Favier and Translated by Leslie Thatcher for Basta! – Grande-Synthe, in the north of France, is one of the very few French towns that welcome hundreds of migrants with dignity and respect. Despite 28 percent unemployment of its active population and a third of households living below the poverty line, Grande-Synthe is also a place where ambitious environmental and social policies are conducted. Mayor Damien Carême and his team support a popular university in the service of the town’s residents, have created the first renewable energy stadium in France and are building an eco-neighborhood accessible to the poor.