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NYTimes.com: Border Fence "will be a disaster on the ground."

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  • abeltranjurisdr@aol.com
    MALDEF, ACLU and Otero County Sheriff s Department Resolve Civil Rights Suit Sheriff’s Department Agrees to Revise Operational Procedures Concerning
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2008
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      MALDEF, ACLU and Otero County Sheriff's Department
      Resolve Civil Rights Suit

      Sheriff’s Department Agrees
      to Revise Operational Procedures
      Concerning Immigrants  

      Wednesday, April 9, 2008    CONTACT:
      Whitney Potter, ACLU of New Mexico (505) 507-9898
      Laura Rodriguez, MALDEF (310) 956-2425      

      LAS CRUCES, NM— MALDEF and the ACLU of New Mexico today announced a landmark settlement with the Otero County Sheriff’s Department that addresses what plaintiffs alleged were civil rights violations committed by county deputies during immigration sweeps last September in the southern New Mexico town of Chaparral.  Civil rights advocates say the agreement will help restore community trust in local law enforcement and greatly improve the safety of all people living in the County.

      The case settled after the Sheriff's Department agreed to revise Operational Procedures that are intended to ensure that the rights of all Latinos living in the County would be protected and that they would not become the targets of immigration-related investigations and detentions without justification.  Otero County also agreed to pay the families who brought the case monetary damages and an amount to cover their attorney's fees and the costs of the suit.

      ACLU Executive Director Peter Simonson said, “The sheriff’s department worked with us to draft a policy that draws clear boundaries around what are and what are not the responsibilities of local law enforcement officers when they encounter immigrants.  It was drafted with one thing in mind: maximizing public safety.  This is a smart policy that stands as an example to all other law enforcement agencies around the state.” 

      On behalf of five Latino families, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico alleged in the lawsuit that sheriff’s deputies raided homes in Chaparral without search warrants, interrogated families without evidence of criminal activity, and targeted households on the basis of race and ethnicity. 

      The Sheriff's Department denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to revise policies in order to provide more effective law enforcement to its constituents and to focus its attention on persons suspected of committing crimes.  

      David Urias, MALDEF Staff Attorney and counsel in the case, said, “The agreement by the Sheriffs Department to revise their procedures means that Latinos in Otero County will be protected by local police from crimes, not randomly targeted for immigration enforcement.

      The Otero County Sheriff’s Department operational procedure regarding, the legal complaint, and other relevant documents can be found online at:
      The mission of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico is to maintain and advance the cause of civil liberties within the state of New Mexico, with particular emphasis on the freedom of religion, speech, press, association, and assemblage, and the right to vote, due process of law and equal protection of law, and to take any legitimate action in the furtherance and defense of such purposes. These objectives shall be sought wholly without political partisanship.

      Founded in 1968, MALDEF, the nation's leading Latino legal organization, promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.     


      in this e-mail:

      MALDEF, ACLU and Otero County Sheriff's Department
      Resolve Civil Rights Suit

      (2) CBS News Online - Border Fence Built In Mexico By Mistake

      (3) NYTimes.com: Michael Chertoff's Insult

      The Washington Post  - 59 Immigrant Hotel Workers Arrested in Raid,

      (5) Book:
      Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders (Hardcover)

      ) Ark. Police to Get Immigration Training

      STLtoday.com article -- "Mo. Senate pushes tough immigration bill"--

      DHS presses ahead with plan to use Social Security records to enforce immigration laws

      The Associated Press - Immigrants in Fla. Appeal Deportation

      Recent MALDEF Legal Victories Make It Clear, Border Vigilantism Will Not Be Tolerated



      Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders (Hardcover)

      by Jason L. Riley (Author)




      Asociated Press

      Ark. Police to Get Immigration Training

      LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas State Police troopers will be trained on how to examine and detect forged identity documents carried by suspected illegal immigrants, but will not have the power to make immigration arrests, officials said Tuesday.

      Troopers in the field, radio operators and those at driver's licensing stations will learn about identification typically carried by immigrants, spokesman Bill Sadler said. If troopers found a suspected forgery, they would call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to continue the investigation and potentially make an arrest.

      The agreement, signed Monday by state police director Col. Winford Phillips, also will give troopers access to a federal immigration database that can verify documents and check a suspect's immigration status.

      Currently, four police agencies in northwest Arkansas have signed agreements with the federal agency and have the power to make arrests and run investigations. But Sadler said there was no discussion about state troopers making arrests.

      Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe, said Tuesday the governor's office had seen a draft proposal of the agreement and signed off on it.



       59 Immigrant Hotel Workers Arrested in Raid

       By Pamela Constable

       Federal immigration officials said they arrested 59 foreign-born workers in a raid yesterday at the Lansdowne Resort in Loudoun County. The officials said the detainees, all from Latin America, were suspected of having used fraudulent or stolen documents to obtain jobs at the hotel and golf resort...

      ...In a written statement, ICE officials said the agency's officers questioned more than 100 workers at the resort yesterday after a lengthy investigation of employment documents and practices there.

      The statement said 59 men and women from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina were taken into custody for immigration violations and would probably be processed for deportation. It said two other women had been released for humanitarian reasons and that family members could call 866-341-3858 for information about those detained.

      Immigrant advocacy groups and lawyers in the Washington area said they had not been contacted by any detainees or their relatives, but several groups said they were concerned that the raids would increase a climate of fear...

       To view the entire article, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com /wp-dyn/content/article/2008 /04/08/AR2008040802972.html ?referrer=emailarticle

       Would you like to send this article to a friend? Go to
      http://www.washingtonpost.com /ac2/wp-dyn/emailafriend ?contentId=AR2008040802972 &sent=no&referrer=emailarticle

      © 2002 - 2006 The Washington Post Company


      NYTimes.com: Michael Chertoff's Insult

      The New York Times

      April 3, 2008
      Michael Chertoff’s Insult

      To the long list of things the Bush administration is willing to trash in its rush to appease immigration hard-liners, you can now add dozens of important environmental laws and hundreds of thousands of acres of fragile habitat on the southern border.

      On Tuesday, Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security, waived the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and other environmental protections to allow the government to finish building 700 or so miles of border fence by year’s end without undertaking legally mandated reviews of the consequences for threatened wildlife and their habitats.

      Will this stop or slow illegal immigration? No. Long experience has shown that billions of barricade-building dollars will simply shift some of the flow to more remote parts of the 2,000-mile southern border. And no amount of border fence will keep out the 40 percent of illegal immigrants who enter legally then stay too long.

      It will be a disaster on the ground. One example of what’s at risk is the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. It runs in checkerboard fashion along the 200 miles of the Rio Grande before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. When the fence is finished, most of the refuge’s 95,000 acres — and the ocelots, jaguarundis and other rare species that live there — would wind up on the side of the fence closest to Mexico, virtually impossible to monitor and protect. Other sensitive areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas would also be affected.

      Though environmental groups are planning to go to court to stop the Chertoff plan, a surer remedy lies on Capitol Hill. Congress created this mess by giving the secretary waiver authority in 2005. Then, in December, it gave itself an out, requiring that before the Department of Homeland Security receives any funds, the secretary must show that he has properly consulted with local officials and landowners. He must also provide a detailed justification for each separate segment of the fence.

      To prevent an environmental disaster, Congress should use that oversight power to block the project, then move rapidly to rewrite a fundamentally bad law.

      Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company



      STLtoday.com article -- "Mo. Senate pushes tough immigration bill"--

      Mo. Senate pushes tough immigration bill
      By Virginia Young

      Below is the link to the story.



      The Associated Press

      Immigrants in Fla. Appeal Deportation

      By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ – 1 day ago

      MIAMI (AP) — An Ecuadorean couple facing deportation are appealing a judge's refusal to hear their claim that they were unfairly targeted because their daughter is an immigration activist.

      The parents of Gabby Pacheco, 23, a Miami-Dade College student, say they were "selectively targeted" for deportation after their daughter spoke out about rights for illegal immigrants. Pacheco is in the U.S. legally, but her parents and two adult sisters are in deportation proceedings because they overstayed their visas.

      Attorney Geoffrey Hoffman filed the appeal Friday on behalf of the couple, Gustavo Enrique Pacheco and Maria de Fatima Pacheco Santos, and their two older daughters. He said the case touches on several constitutional issues including Pacheco's First Amendment right to freedom of expression and, more directly, the alleged violation of the family's rights to due process and against unreasonable search and seizure.

      U.S. Immigration Judge Carey Holliday had refused to hear their arguments. Pacheco "freely chose to draw unwanted attention to herself and her family," he wrote in a March 18 response. "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."

      Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials declined to comment on the case, citing the pending litigation. But they have said "those who are in violation of U.S. law should not be surprised if they are arrested."

      Pacheco has long spoken out in favor of immigration changes, including one that would allow most students brought to the country illegally as young children to eventually become citizens.

      The August 2006 raid of the Pacheco home came just months after a series of massive demonstrations across the country — many led by students — to protest an immigration bill that later failed in Congress.

      Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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