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.
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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Immigration Reform This Week

“He said America is very good. When it comes to the treatment of Muslims in the U.S., he had faith in the rule of law. He said, ‘In America, they don’t bother anyone just for no reason.’ ”
- Rafia Perveen, widow of Tanveer Ahmed, who died in immigration detention

The Council on Foreign Relations released a report on immigration reform on June 8, giving overall sound analysis of the efforts needed to mend the broken system and making the forceful statement that, "The United States has long been a country that believes in second chances. The alternative—to break up families and wrench people away from communities where they have lived for many years, and in some cases even decades—is morally unacceptable."

The CFR report emphasizes that it is important to reduce the undocumented population before encouraging cooperation between federal and local level law enforcement - a piece of advice contradicted by the Obama Administration's expansion of 287 (g) and E-Verify last week. New York Times editorials have criticized the broken detention system, the expansion of 287 (g) and the E-Verify program, calling recent moves by the Department of Homeland Security "immigration non-solutions." To be sure, new 287(g) provisions do promise a narrower focus on "dangerous criminal aliens."

Complementing the editorials, the NYT pieces together the life of Mr. Tanveer Ahmed, a Pakistani man who died in immigration detention in 2005. Mr. Ahmed's only offense was to have displayed the business' unlicensed gun to prevent a robbery while working at a Texas gas station. The death mysteriously disappeared from the Department of Homeland Security's 2007 report of deaths in immigration detention, reflecting just a drop in the bucket of the lives irresponsibly destroyed in the name of immigration enforcement.

News this week has focused on asylum. A study by the Georgetown University Law Journal shows immigration judges under strain of heavy caseloads. Many of the cases immigration judges hear are from people seeking asylum in the United States, claiming they would face life-threatening persecution if they returned home. The Department of Homeland Security's Annual Flow Report provides details on refugee and asylee statistics in 2008, and the NYT reports on the Obama Administration's move towards granting battered women refugee status in direct opposition to the stance held by the Bush Administration.

Over in California, activists have been pushing for a ballot that would end public benefits for the state's 100,000 U.S. citizen children (of undocumented parents) - an initiative, as Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times comments, that is almost certainly unconstitutional.

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