January 2006 U.S. Immigrant News Alert!
ActionLA/National Immigrant Solidarity Network 2005 Year Ends Series Report (Part Two)
This is the series of reports to exam what U.S. peace and justice movements had done in 2005 and hope for the better future for the year 2006.
January 2006 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly Digest
No Immigrant Bashing! Support Immigrant Rights!
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January 2006 U.S. Immigrant Alert! Newsletter
Published by National Immigrant Solidarity Network
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Anti-Immigration Bill Passed PATROTIC Act Extented, We Still Have Long Struggle Away!
In This Issue:
1. More on the Sensenbrenner/King Bill (Pg 1)
2. Minutemen Watch (Pg 4)
3. ECCASU 2006 Conference (Pg 6)
4. Immigration News (Pg 7)
5. Updates from the Network (Pg 8)
Unfortunately, despite the strong protest from the immigrant, human rights, labor and civil liberty groups the, U.S. House last night passed the disgraceful anti-immigrant H.R. 4437 the "Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005" by House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.) and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) on December 17, and U.S. House also vote to extend the PATROTIC Act for another 5 weeks on December 21 (give Congress and President Bush more time to work out their differences) while they also approved $453 billion defense spending bill that funnels $29 billion in hurricane aid to the Gulf Coast and $50 billion more for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's clears that President Bush along with the Congress, again spinning their rhetoric to blaming immigrants for causing all the World's problems (away from the failure war in Iraq, decline economy, and government/corporate corruptions).
It's also clears that the President, right wing Republicans and even many Democrats will use immigrant as scapegoat for their Nov 2006 mid-term elections. They will use any possible mean to secure conservative/right wing voters by focusing on blaming people of colors, immigrants and support anti-abortion and anti-gays/lesbian rights.
Yes, we need to understand our struggle will be long and hard, but that doesn't mean we don't have hope. While the House vision of the Bill had passed, we still can mount our strong opposition against the upcoming Senate vision--will be introduce and debate at sometime February, 2006.
When we finished our Holiday seasons, we should gear up our fighting spirit to build multi-ethnic community actions against the final passage of the bill in early next year!
Unity is very important! This is NOT only about the immigrant rights, it also about the Human Rights for everyone! because injury to one is injury to all!
The activists and organizers have particular responsibilities in pointing out the links between Katrina's impact, immigrant rights, civil liberties, labor rights and the U.S. war in Iraq. Understanding the connections between our individual conditions of life and the lives of people everywhere in the word allows us to come together and organize across all borders. WE NEED to link the connections between: wars in Africa, south America, Asia, Iraq, Palestine & Korea with sweatshops in Asia as well as in Los Angeles, New York; international arm sales and WTO, FTAA, NAFTA & CAFTA with AIDS, hunger, child labors and child solider; multinational corporations and economic exploitation with racism and poverty at home--then we can win the struggle.
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Immigration News Briefs from CHRI
Vol. 8, No. 52 - December 30, 2005
1. NJ County Ends ICE Contract
2. New Mexico, California Base Raids
1. NJ COUNTY ENDS ICE CONTRACT
A spokesperson for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed on Dec. 28 that Passaic County, New Jersey has decided to opt out of its contract with ICE to hold immigrant detainees at the county jail. The jail's current 110 immigration detainees are leaving at a rate of 10 to 20 a week, according to sheriff's department spokesperson Bill Maer. The remaining detainees are expected to be moved out by the end of January.
Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale determined immigration detainees posed a safety threat and were diverting resources
needed in other parts of the jail, Maer said on Dec. 28. The sheriff's office also implied that advocacy around immigration
detention conditions had distracted prison staff. "This decision was based on the sheriff's beliefs that the detainees were taking too much of the department away from the operation of the jail," Maer said in an emailed statement.
At its peak, following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Passaic County Jail held almost 500 immigration detainees. More recently the average dropped to 200 detainees. ICE pays Passaic County $77 a day per detainee. In 2005, the ICE contract brought the county $6.9 million. Maer said the county will be able to make up the shortfall easily by taking more prisoners from the state and the US Marshals Service.
The jail, built for 800, currently holds about 2,100 people; about 375 are Marshals Service detainees, and most of the rest
are suspects awaiting trial on criminal charges. Detainees who have been in other New Jersey jails, such as those in Hudson,
Middlesex and Monmouth counties, consistently say conditions at Passaic are the harshest.
Passaic County's decision to end its contract with ICE comes just a month before investigators from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are set to release a report on their recent audit of conditions at the jail, and just after a group of 15 detainees reported witnessing a group of five guards violently subduing, then beating, an Egyptian detainee on Dec. 13. More than 90 detainees reportedly signed a petition Dec. 17, asking that DHS end its contract with Passaic because of "very poor and health risk conditions at this jail."
Passaic County Jail also came under fire for using dogs to attack detainees, following an expose on National Public Radio (NPR) on Nov. 17, 2004. Protests by detainees at the jail have included a number of hunger strikes. One detainee committed
suicide at Passaic on Feb. 16, 2005, while under "special watch" in a "segregated discipline unit".
Nationwide, the federal government holds about 22,000 immigrant detainees on an average day. ICE spokesperson Michael Gilhooly said the agency would find jail space in other facilities in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to house immigrants moved from Passaic. "We had a very professional relationship," with Passaic officials, Gilhooly said. [Herald News (West Paterson) 12/29/05; Star-Ledger (Newark) 12/29/05]
2. NEW MEXICO, CALIFORNIA BASE RAIDS
On Dec. 1, ICE special agents arrested 22 Mexican nationals who were working illegally for one of six subcontractors on a housing project at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ICE carried out the raid at the base following a document check; the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (OSI) and base Military Police also participated in the operation. One of the arrested workers had a previous aggravated felony conviction and has been placed in deportation proceedings. The rest were to be "voluntarily" returned to Mexico on Dec. 2. [ICE News Release 12/2/05]
On Oct. 27, ICE agents arrested an undocumented immigrant who was trying to enter the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to perform contract work. ICE has placed the worker into deportation proceedings. Police officials at the facility first sought help from ICE in September after intercepting 12 illegal aliens with fake documents who were attempting to enter the facility to work at a construction site. The ICE investigation is continuing.
On Oct. 26, ICE agents arrested six undocumented workers attempting to enter Fort Irwin, a US Army desert warfare training
facility in California, to perform contract work there. Base security requested the assistance of ICE after questioning the validity of the workers' documents. ICE has placed the six workers into removal proceedings while an investigation into
their hiring is continuing.
On Oct. 26, ICE agents arrested an undocumented worker as he arrived for his first day of work at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, California. He had been hired to work for a contract company at the base. Base security had intercepted the worker after he allegedly presented a fraudulent drivers license and social security card. ICE is continuing to investigate. [ICE News Release 10/28/05]
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