Mission

East Harlem Against Deportation, at its roots, draws its strength from immigrants, their friends and loved ones, and local community organizations, all of whom daily live out the struggle against our country's broken immigration system. Our movement will include organizing events and a letter-writing campaign throughout Spring and Summer 2009, as well as the formulation of a specific policy agenda to protect undocumented immigrants in New York City and State.
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Las raíces de El Barrio Contra La Deportación obtienen sus fuerzas de los inmigrantes, sus amigos y seres queridos, y de organizaciones comunitarias locales. Todos estos viven diariamente la lucha contra el sistema descompuesto de inmigración de este país. Nuestro movimiento incluirá la organización de eventos informativos y una campaña de cartas escritas, por toda la primavera y el verano del 2009. También se formulará una agenda política especifica que protegerá a los inmigrantes indocumentados de la ciudad y del estado de Nueva York.

EHAD Final Policy Report

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Welcome News on Immigration Reform, a Month after Publication of EHAD Report

- The nation is seeing increasing Evangelical consensus on pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.

- With the support of about 100 New York clergy members, House Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY) spoke at a press conference on Wednesday urging for the Obama administration to take action on immigration. Located in Brooklyn, Rep. Clarke's district has a large constituency of Caribbean and African immigrants, which highlights the diversity of the groups affected by the immigration debate.

- New York State Senator Jose M. Serrano published a letter in the New York Times last Friday, calling for a comprehensive review of Secure Communities, and for public consultation before the New York State Division of Criminal Justice services consent to the controversial federal immigration program.

- This Friday, Congress will hold two briefings on immigration issues - one focused on family immigration policies and another on the DREAM Act.

- A large coalition of faith- and community-based organizations and immigrant rights groups are in the process of mobilizing for an immigration reform town hall for New York City and State, more details to come.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Immigration Reform Starts Here


"EAST HARLEM AGAINST DEPORTATION" COALITION LAUNCHES FINAL POLICY REPORT, IMMIGRATION REFORM STARTS HERE


East Harlem, NY - A coalition of elected officials and community leaders - dubbed East Harlem Against Deportation - today released its final policy report, and sent 1,000 appeal letters to President Obama. It was the culmination of an organizing and educational campaign that begin in May of this year.

The report, titled "Immigration Reform Starts Here," outlined five policy recommendations for New York City and State to protect immigrants and their families. The proposals range from improved visa certification by the police department to the establishment of a dynamic municipal ID card.

The 1,000 appeal letters were collected throughout the spring and summer, and urge the President to advocate comprehensive immigration reforms that will put a stop to unjust detention and deportations that tear families apart. The letters, many of them with personal stories, were signed by legal residents on behalf of their immigrant friends and family.

"To make the case for comprehensive reform in Washington, we need to energize the grassroots, and also curb the unjust practices that are taking place here at home," said Senator José M. Serrano. "We consider New York a sanctuary city, yet too many immigrants are left standing outside in the cold."

The Senator pointed to Rikers Island, where 13,000 inmates - many of them arrested on minor charges or later found not guilty - have been placed into deportation proceedings since 2004. The policy report calls on the Department of Correction to reassess its collaboration with federal immigration officials.

"The fact of the matter is that this is just sliver of the things that we should be doing on immigration," said Congressman Charles B. Rangel. "Immigrants are not just an important part of our history but they are vital members our current communities and certainly key to our future as a nation.

"At the end of the day, a green card or lack thereof, should not get in the way of the humanity we show each other. How we treat our fellow Americans, how we educate them and how we protect their rights is as much an example of the character of this country as it is a matter of sound public policy."

"Immigrants are indispensable to the vibrancy and progress of our city," said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. We recommend these policy actions to ensure the public safety, well-being and dignity of immigrants and all New Yorkers."

"Throughout its history, East Harlem has not just provided a home to immigrants, but rather helped them flourish and realize the American dream. The activism, art and culture born out of this community has made New York a stronger, more vibrant place," said Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito.

"Today, foreign-born residents comprise more than 25 percent of the East Harlem population. On behalf of their families and friends, we stand together to fight for their rights. We owe to hard-working immigrants families to improve our school system and ensure greater parental engagement. Moreover, we need to make sure that our constituents remain safe from unjust detentions and deportations."


LA COALICIÓN "EL BARRIO CONTRA LA DEPORTACIÓN" LANZARÁ REPORTE FINAL, LA REFORMA MIGRATORIA COMIENZA AQUÍ
East Harlem, NY- La coalición de oficiales electos y líderes comunitarios "El Barrio Contra la Deportación" hoy publicó su reporte final, y mandó 1,000 cartas de petición al Presidente Obama. Fue la culminación de una campaña educacional y organizativa iniciada en Mayo de este año.

El reporte, titulado "La Reforma Migratoria Comienza Aquí," describió cinco recomendaciones para proteger a inmigrantes y a sus familias en la Ciudad y el Estado de Nueva York. Las propuestas van desde mejorar la certificación de visas por el departamento policiaco hasta el establecimiento de una tarjeta municipal.

Las 1,000 cartas de petición fueron reunidas durante la primavera y el verano, y le piden al Presidente que apoye reformas migratorias integrales que le pondrán un alto a las deportaciones y detenciones injustas que desgarran a nuestras familias. Las cartas, muchas con historias personales, fueron firmadas por residentes legales de parte de sus amigos y familiares indocumentados.

"Para argumentar el caso de la reforma migratoria en Washington, necesitamos energizar a la base y frenar las prácticas injustas que están ocurriendo aquí en nuestro hogar," dijo el Senador José M. Serrano. "Consideramos a Nueva York una ciudad de santuario, sin embargo demasiados inmigrantes se han quedado afuera en el frio."

El Senador indicó la Isla Rikers, donde 13,000 reclusos- muchos arrestados por cargos menores o que después fueron hallados inocentes- han sido puestos en procesos de deportación desde el 2004. El reporte le pide al Departamento de Corrección que reconsidere su colaboración con oficiales federales de inmigración.

"La verdad es que esto es solo una pequeña parte de las cosas que debemos estar haciendo con la inmigración," dijo el Congresista Charles B. Rangel. "Los inmigrantes no solo son una parte importante de nuestra historia pero son miembros esenciales de nuestras comunidades actuales, y ciertamente la llave de nuestro futuro como nación."

"Al final del día, una tarjeta verde o la falta de esta, no debería interferir con la humanidad que nos demostramos el uno con el otro. La manera en que tratamos a nuestros prójimos Americanos, como los educamos y como protegemos sus derechos es un ejemplo del carácter de este país y de una sana política pública."

"Los inmigrantes son indispensables para el progreso de nuestra ciudad," dijo el Presidente del Condado de Manhattan Scott M. Stringer. "Recomendamos estas acciones políticas para asegurar la seguridad pública, el bien estar y la dignidad de los inmigrantes y de todos los Neoyorquinos."

"En su historia, El Barrio no solo ha sido un hogar a los inmigrantes, pero también los ha ayudado a florecer y a realizar el sueño Americano. El activismo, arte y cultura que ha nacido de esta comunidad ha hecho de Nueva York un lugar más fuerte y vibrante," dijo la Concejal Melissa Mark-Viverito.

"Hoy residentes de origen extranjero componen más del 25 por ciento de la población de El Barrio. De parte de sus familiares y amigos, nos mantenemos unidos para luchar por sus derechos. Se lo debemos a nuestras trabajadoras familias inmigrantes mejorar el sistema escolar y asegurarnos que haya más participación de parte de los padres. Además, debemos asegurarnos de que nuestros constituyentes se mantengan a salvo de detenciones y deportaciones injustas."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Healthcare and Immigration, Labor Abuse, and Detention Reform in NYS

The New York Times spotlights the role health care reform has played in bringing undocumented immigration back to the center of national debate. Tellingly, four days after the editorial, at a public speech to Congress, Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted "You lie!" as Obama explained that health care reform would not expand coverage to undocumented immigrants. A recent blog post by the Immigration Policy Center succinctly summarizes misconceptions of while the NYT tackles the issue from a different perspective, citing experts who say that excluding undocumented immigrants from medicare may not be the most prudent solution for a number of reasons.

The Center for Urban Economic Development has produced a new report entitled "Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers," on exploitation of low-wage workers, most of whom are undocumented. Commenting on the report, The Washington Post calls these violations of employment and labor law "a national shame visited upon society's most vulnerable and least educated." The report recalls ethnographic and legal research conducted by Nick de Genova on undocumented workers in Chicago, in his book Working the Boundaries: Race, Space, and "Illegality" in Mexican Chicago, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the intersection of racism, nationalism, and political economy.

In local news, the departure of Dora Schriro from to the New York Department of Corrections may be bad news for national immigration reform efforts, but could bode well for detention reform within New York State, according to an article in the New York Times.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Immigration Reform Updates, and Labor Rights Week in NYC

Immigration is the story of American history. From the earliest days of our nation, generation upon generation of immigrants has come to be part of a land that offers freedom and opportunity to those willing to do their part. Immigrants built our great cities. They cultivated our rich farm lands. They built the railroads and highways that bind America from sea to shining sea. They erected houses of worship to practice their faiths. They fought under America’s colors in our wars. In fact, 60,000 immigrants are fighting in the U.S. armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Immigrants worked hard so that their children could embrace the ever widening possibilities in our land. And over the centuries, immigrants came to America from every part of the globe and made the American dream. They created a nation that is the envy of the world.
- Senator Ted Kennedy, as quoted on the Fair Immigration Reform Movement Blog

Senator Ted Kennedy passed away last week, marking a tremendous loss for immigration reform that sparked tribute from scholars, journalists, and activists. The ImmigrationProf Blog notes that Kennedy was the only U.S. Senator alongside Obama to participate in the immigrant rights marches of 2006, and Albor Ruiz of New York Daily News laments the deep moral vacuum that Kennedy leaves in the struggle for justice for immigrants.

A Maryland judge upheld E-Verify requirements for federal contractors in a ruling late Wednesday, a decision that paves the way for the rule to take effect on September 8. The National Council of La Raza released a report today on the alarming fatality rate of Latino workers, which corresponds to earlier U.S. Bureau of Statistics' report that Hispanic worker deaths have risen by more than 76% since 1992, while the overall number of worker deaths have actually declined (see EHAD blog post, July 24).

In Tijuana, six were arrested for ripping down parts of the border fence and selling them as scrap metal, an act to which Kevin Johnson of the ImmigrationProf blog provided the following commentary: "The brilliance of Congress always amazes me -- reduce migration by providing economic assistance to the Mexican economy through the border fence!" The irony in Johnson's statement recalls writer Mario Vargas Llosa's 2006 article, "Un muro de mentiras," in which Vargas Llosa argues for a more sensible solution to border enforcement in the form of business investments that would create more jobs on the other side of the border.

*Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 2, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., the Children's Aid Society of East Harlem will host a showing of "Salt of the Earth," a 1954 film based on a strike led by Mexican-American and Anglo miners in New Mexico. This screening is a part of the Mexican Consulate's series on labor rights, and will feature speakers and information tables from the Consulate, Esperanza del Barrio, the Department of Labor, and other agencies. For more information, contact the Children's Aid Society at 212 348 2343.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School:

Click here, for the 2009 guide for undocumented college students by professor Michael Olivas at the University of Houston Law Center.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Immigration Reform News Watch, and a New Migration Documentary on HBO

Thomas Jefferson once said: "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
- Rudy Ruiz, CNN Commentary on Immigration Reform

On Thursday, August 21, 130 immigration reform advocates and leaders gathered at the White House with President Barack Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and other DHS officials in yet another discussion on comprehensive immigration reform. Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute observed the event with optimism, noting that despite being "short on specifics, [President Obama's words] were mostly pointing in the right direction." Albert Ruiz of New York Daily News countered the general optimism of advocates in a Sunday editorial, describing Napolitano's press statement after the meeting as cold and formulaic. Diego Graglia of the Feet in 2 Worlds blog summed up the ambivalence of the general mood after the meeting, and expressed his frustration at Obama's inability to present any concrete solutions to problems of detention and border enforcement.

New American Media focused on efforts taken by Asian Americans during the National Asian American Week of Action. There are more than 15 million Asian Americans living in the United States, and 1.2 million are undocumented. Asian American leaders, scholars and advocates have spoken up last week, urging for the Asian American community to activate their network and become involved in immigration reform.

*Today at 9 p.m., HBO will feature "Which Way Home," a documentary on child migrants at the southwestern border.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Immigration Reform This Week

The National Asian American Week of Action begins this Monday, complete with a community action toolkit and a facebook page. An August 14th post on the Huffington Post by Frank Sharry of America's Voice highlights pro-immigration reform progress in a number of U.S. cities, including Maryland, Detroit, and Atlanta.

The August 13th issue of Trade Policy Analysis by the CATO Institute writes in favor of legalization, concluding that increased enforcement and reduced low-skill immigration have a significant negative impact on the income of U.S. households. The study shows that the positive impact of legalization under an optimal visa tax would be 1.27 percent of GDP or $180 billion.

The New York Times hits the need for immigration policy reform from a human angle, writing about predatory lawyers who deceive undocumented families seeking legal paths to citizenship, and deaths in the border desert due to U.S. enforcement policies.

This Monday's Brian Lehrer show on WNYC featured a discussion of detention centers and comprehensive immigration reform with Amy Gottlieb of the American Friends Service Committee and Diego Graglia of the Feet in 2 Worlds Blog. Click below for the audio recording.