WHAT: Press Conference to denounce dismal record of PD approvals by ICE, in large regional districts such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. The Commission will also introduce tools crucial to a successful PD application.
WHEN: Monday, April 23, 2012, 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Unity Park, 1659 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA (between Union Pl., and Union St. on Beverly Blvd., west of Downtown LA) Parking on side streets.
WHO: Members of the L.A. Family Unity Commission: Office of Representative Judy Chu, Office of Representative Xavier Becerra, Office of Representative Karen Bass, Office of Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, Office of Representative Grace Napolitano, Office of Representative Janice Hahn, Office of Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, Office of L.A. City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, Judge Bruce Einhorn (Ret.), Connie Rice, Director of The Advancement Project, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, Angelica Salas, Executive Director of CHIRLA, Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Executive Director of CLUE LA, Center for Community Change, NILC, ACLU-Southern California, AILA, and Law Offices of Meredith Brown, Alan Diamante, Jessica Dominguez, and Victor Nieblas,. Community members impacted by the lack of a consistent process on prosecutorial discretion will be present.
For Immediate Release:April 6, 2002
Los Angeles – On Friday the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released two reports addressing how the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) communicated the intent and requirements for participation in the wrongly-named “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) program to states and local jurisdictions and how the program is meeting its priorities. The OIG is tasked with periodic audits, inspection, and special reports prepared as part of the oversight responsibilities within DHS. The following is a statement from Angelica Salas, executive director for CHIRLA, a regional human and immigrant rights organization based in Los Angeles.
"The reports do not even begin to address the myriad, factual and legitimate concerns that communities across the country have long had about DHS-ICE's metastasized deportation dragnet, "S-Comm".
The program is turning local police departments into de facto immigration agents, often against their will as we have just seen in the case of Oscar Carrillo in Pasadena, CA.
While the OIG reviews the history of S-Comm, the current program represents a time bomb for the community: public trust in law enforcement continues to be undermined. While it may be acceptable collateral damage in the eyes of certain politicians in Arizona, Alabama and Kansas who have no qualms about relying on racial profiling, in California it is intolerable.
In Los Angeles, the concerns over S-Comm reached a very public condemnation at the August 2011 public hearing of DHS' own Task Force on S-Comm. The Task Force later issued a scathing report, vindicating many of the concerns that had been hitherto ignored by ICE. To date, DHS and the Administration have not responded publicly to the Task Force's recommendations.
We find it hard to understand the report’s conclusion that ICE did not intentionally mislead California state and local officials about whether participation in S-Comm was voluntary and whom this program was meant to target.
California was the first state in the country to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with ICE to be part of a program meant to target "threats to public safety" and the "worst of the worst". This contract contained a termination clause, which led California to believe it could work to modify S-Comm or end its participation.
In an Orwellian twist, ICE shredded the contract when challenged and carried on as before. Moreover, far from netting only serious criminals, ICE was content to ensnare street vendors, immigrant workers and even victims of domestic violence.
It is most alarming that the very real and serious problem of racial profiling gets such short shrift in these reports. Just this week, Senator Durbin announced the first Congressional hearing on racial profiling in over a decade.
The fact that S-Comm exploits the racial profiling by local police in order for ICE to reach its deportation goal of 400,000 is swept under the rug by the OIG. Anti-immigrant bills like Arizona SB1070 encourage racial profiling, while S-Comm relies and even incentivizes it.
Without a doubt, the experience on the ground cannot mask the truth: the bright line between ICE and local police needs to be restored, and this means ending, not mending S-Comm."
CHIRLA held the 26th Annual Spring Gala on April 5, 2012. Hundreds joined Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, community pillar Stewart Kwoh, the immigration attorney members of the Raids Rapid Response Network, and carwasheros union members. Pictures, below.
CHIRLA Staff, Board Members, and volunteers.
Evening's host Ana Patricia Candiani and immigration attorney Jessica Dominguez.
Students flank state Assemblyman Gil Cedillo recognizing his fight for educational opportunities for immigrants.
For Immediate Release: April 5, 2012
U.S. on Track with Family Alienation Program
Report to Congress highlights fast and furious deportation of immigrant parents of US-born citizens
Los Angeles – In a seven-page report to Congress this week, the office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acknowledged it has deported nearly 47,000 parents of US-born citizens the first half of 2011 alone. The report describes an additional 40,000 parents of at least one US-born child that ICE sought to place in deportation, exclusion, or removal proceedings – only half of these were ultimately ordered deported. It is unclear how many of these immigrants were deported during the same record period, their cases are likely still pending. The report entitled “Deportation of Parents of U.S.-Born Citizens Fiscal Year 2011” was requested by Representatives Price (GA) and Roybal-Allard (CA) and members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
The following is a statement from Angelica Salas, Executive Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional human and immigrant rights organization.
“The ICE report on deporting parents of U.S.-born citizens underscores what is morally wrong with our immigration system. Through a blind, careless, and erratic approach to immigration law enforcement, the U.S. is actively alienating families and leaving tens of thousands of U.S.-born children to fend for themselves.
Massive deportation of parents of American-born citizens is a cruel, irrational, and un-American approach to patching antiquated immigration laws that require urgent updates."
"The Obama Administration has consistently expressed concern for immigrant families living and contributing in the U.S. This is becoming increasingly more difficult to believe considering the latest affront to family unity. How many more human rights abuse reports must be issued before our nation’s leaders heed the call to reach a bipartisan solution to the immigration crisis?
Under Secretary Napolitano’s helm, state-sponsored erosion of the immigrant family is swelling. Based on this week’s report to Congress, nearly one quarter of the total number of deportations a year – 450,000 – seems to be parents of American citizens. We must wonder how many of the parents of U.S.-born citizens were such a danger to society that necessitated their deportation in spite of the high financial and moral toll to generations to come.”
The LAPD has taken the right step to highlight alledged racial profiling against Latinos by one of its own. The immigrant community in Los Angeles has known all along that racial profiling is a common practice amongst corrupt police officers. We look forward to working alongside the LAPD to further identify and eliminate racial profiling from its force.
Video courtesy of KMEX-34 Los Angeles Univision. Video after the break.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2012
“In California, alongside older facilities badly in need of reform, we are also seeing the construction of new, isolated detention centers like Adelanto in the Inland Empire. Aided by its misnamed “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) and other deportation programs, ICE is busy filling these with immigrants. This untenable situation, and the deportation pipeline that feeds it, is what truly merits attention,” said Ms. Salas.
Far from being “hospitality guidelines,” as Rep. Smith has called them, the 2011 Performance Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) fall short of providing the necessary protection for immigrants held by ICE because it continues to rely on penal standards rather than re-envision a truly civil system. As a result, immigrants will continue to be held behind bars, often hundreds of miles from their families, with minimal if any access to legal services, vulnerable to the same substandard medical care and abuses that have prevailed in detention to date. Most important, the PBNDS are not enforceable or even legally binding, and there is no independent oversight of facilities to ensure compliance
In 2009, after a scathing government report outlined the inhumane conditions and rampant fiscal waste in detention, the Obama Administration promised to address these problems in the only way possible: by moving away from locking up immigrants and towards new models of custody and supervision that reflect the “civil” nature of immigration proceedings. So far that has not happened
“Instead of offering constructive feedback on the proposed guidelines, Congressman Smith and other extremists have chosen to grandstand and lambast the new guidelines as coddling immigrants and increasing detention costs. It appears that for Mr. Smith, it is far easier to attack immigrants than tackle an American problem with sensible solutions,” added Ms. Salas.
Organizaciones defensoras de los inmigrantes respaldaron hoy los resultados de una investigación interna del Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles (LAPD) que encontró que uno de sus agentes se guiaba del perfil racial para imponer multas de tránsito a hispanos.
“Aparentemente es tanta la violación y es tan obvio su interés de perfilar racialmente a la comunidad que ha sido necesario detener a esta persona y acusarla”, señaló a Efe Jorge-Mario Cabrera, Gerente de Comunicaciones de la Coalición pro Derechos Humanos del Inmigrante en Los Ángeles (CHIRLA, en inglés).
Una investigación interna del LAPD concluyó que el oficial de tránsito Patrick Smith, con 15 años de servicio, detenía principalmente a conductores latinos, identificándolos por su apariencia, para imponerles multas de tránsito.
Smith, que trabajaba solo en su motocicleta en la División de Tráfico del Oeste, también alteraba los reportes registrando como “blancos” algunos de los hispanos, presumiblemente para no llamar la atención sobre la cantidad de multas aplicadas a esta comunidad, según informaron miembros no identificados del LAPD al diario LA Times.
No obstante, según el activista este caso no es el primero ni el único. “Hay muchos más policías que están cometiendo violaciones y no son detenidos y no son investigados”, denunció Cabrera.
El caso es el primero en el que la Comisión de la Policía de Los Ángeles -una organización civil de cinco miembros que supervisa las actuaciones del LAPD- encuentra a uno de sus oficiales culpable de discriminación en su conducta.
“CHIRLA continuará trabajando con el Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles para asegurarnos que cuando ocurra una violación ellos lo sepan”, agregó Cabrera. “Contamos con que el jefe la policía (Charlie) Beck va a hacer lo necesario para asegurarse de que esas manzanas podridas sean extirpadas del departamento”, concluyó Cabrera.
Read more: El Diario de Hoy
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) joined other organizations today downtown Los Angeles to announce the May 1 march themes:
1) Immigration remedy and a renewed path to immigration reform
2) Good paying jobs for all
3) A strong education for all
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:February 29, 2012
Los Angeles – This week, the Los Angeles Police Commission, on a 4-to-1 vote, approved LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s proposal to update the city’s car impound procedures for unlicensed drivers that meet certain requirements. The measure is highly welcomed by the large immigrant community of Los Angeles. Undocumented immigrants make up nearly ten percent of the state’s labor force.
The following is a statement from Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
“In approving LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's proposal for modified car impound procedures, the Los Angeles Police Commission took a stand on the side of fairness and justice for the immigrant community.
We are hopeful that this change will mean that fewer cars of community members and their families will be subjected to a mandatory 30-day impound, which also resulted in a financially crippling fee of up to $2,000 in some cases. Some impounded vehicles can now be retrieved within 24 hours by a licensed and insured driver. In cases where a licensed driver is immediately available, a car’s impound could be avoided altogether.
The approved administrative adjustment is in line with a similar one made last year regarding impounds following stops of non-intoxicated unlicensed drivers at DUI checkpoints.
As Chief Beck has recently stressed, the crux of this matter is that Angelenos, who are unable to get a driver's license due to state law, are being unreasonably penalized just for going about their daily business of driving children to school or heading to work. Angelenos will also save valuable tax dollars by having our men and women in blue focus on critical issues of public safety rather than impounding the vehicles of community members.
CHIRLA welcomes this new approach to car impounds and we look forward to working with Chief Beck and others to realize his vision of granting California driver's licenses to all Californians who pass the requisite tests, regardless of immigration status."
COMUNICADO DE PRENSA
PARA DIFUSION INMEDIATA: 29 de febrero de 2012
Los Angeles – Esta semana, La Comisión de Policía de Los Angeles, con 4 votos a favor y 1 en contra, aprobó la propuesta del jefe de policía de Los Angeles para actualizar el proceso de incautar los carros de motoristas sin licencia de manejar. El ajuste beneficiará solamente a ciertos motoristas sin antecedentes criminales y que posean póliza de seguros de automóvil. El voto fue elogiado por la comunidad inmigrante de Los Angeles. Los inmigrantes indocumentados conforman casi el diez por ciento de la fuerza laboral en California. El siguiente es un comentario por Angélica Salas, directora ejecutiva por la Coalición pro Derechos Humanos del Inmigrante en Los Angeles (CHIRLA).
“La aprobación de la propuesta del jefe de policía Charlie Beck para modificar el proceso de incautar los automóviles de motoristas sin licencia de manejo por parte de la Comisión de Policía de Los Angeles es justo, práctico, y equitativo para nuestra comunidad.
Esperamos que este cambio signifique que menos carros en nuestra comunidad serán sujetos a la incautación obligatoria de 30 días, que también resultaba en multas exorbitantes de hasta $2,000 en ciertos casos. Ahora, algunos carros podrán salir del corral municipal dentro de las primeras 24 horas siempre y cuando una persona tenga licencia y póliza de seguro. En casos cuando se encuentra un motorista con licencia de manejo, se podría evitar del todo el incautamiento del carro.
El ajuste administrativo aprobado esta semana concuerda con uno similar que fue aprobado hace un año refiriéndose a la incautación de carros durante los retenes para identificar motoristas embriagados.
El Jefe Beck lo ha subrayado recientemente, y CHIRLA está de acuerdo, que el meollo de este asunto es que los residentes de Los Angeles a quienes no se les permite una licencia de manejo, están siendo castigados irracionalmente al llevar a cabo actividades cotidianas como llevar a los niños a la escuela o ir al trabajo. Los residentes de esta gran ciudad prefieren que la policía ahorre dinero enfocándose en asuntos mas críticos para la seguridad de la comunidad y no en confiscar los carros de los inmigrantes.
CHIRLA apoya este cambio administrativo y nos complace seguir colaborando con el Jefe Beck y otros para que se haga realidad su propuesta de otorgarle licencias de manejar a todo Californiano que cumple con los requisitos, sin importar su estado migratorio”.