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

Monday, June 29, 2009

Keep the Immigration Reform Momentum Going

"We've got one more chance to do this. If we fail this time, no politician's going to take this up for a generation, and that'd be a shame for the country."
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

President Obama finally sat down with national policymakers to discuss immigration reform on Thursday, June 25, triggering a surge of optimistic commentary on the possibility of passing a comprehensive plan by 2009 or early 2010. A two-pronged bipartisan approach on the issue would focus on legalization and the control of immigration flow, with the possibility of establishing a nonpartisan commission to regulate workers' visas.

The national Reform Immigration for America campaign has decided to strategically focus the following week on local activism and advocacy, given that Members of Congress will be on recess in their home districts June 29 - July 6th. On the other side of the spectrum, a hate crime committed on the U.S.-Mexico border made its way to the national spotlight, a chilling murder of a Mexican adolescent and her father that exposed an underlying current of anti-immigration sentiments.

Hundreds of students - undocumented, residents, and citizens alike - gathered in Washington D.C. last Tuesday in full caps and gowns to support the Dream Act, adding youthful faces and bitter stories to the immigrant narrative. If passed, the Dream Act will adjust the immigration status of qualified undocumented high school graduates, granting them the opportunity to pursue to the fullest extent their higher education and career ambitions. On Friday, the Nebraskan Supreme Court defended the rights of a Guatemalan woman to reunite with her two U.S. citizen children, four years after her deportation from the United States. The Court stated that parental custody of children is perhaps the “oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by the United States Supreme Court,” a right that has been endlessly abused by deportations that disregarded family values and the power of judicial review.

On a local level, Judge Danny Chin of the Federal District Court of Manhattan issued a decision to force a response from the Obama Administration on the establishment of standard detention procedures. Lack of government oversight has indulged a swamp of abusive practices in detention centers across the country, putting hundreds of thousands of people at risk of physical abuse and medical inattention. An East Harlem mother, for example, has expressed concerns that her detained son, a teenage boy falsely charged of homicide and transferred to ICE for deportation after full acquittal of charges, was at risk of a strain of unidentified strain of flu transmitted between cellmates.

Book of the Week:
We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant America After 9/11, by Tram Nguyen
A collection of narratives that speaks to the devastating effects of post-9/11 immigration policies and the tremendous failure of the American Dream.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Immigration Debate Continues While Citizen Children Continue to Lose Their Fathers to Deportation

President Obama reaffirms his commitment to immigration reform at last Friday's Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, a move anticipated by a June 18th New York Times editorial, which addressed the president with a tone that stopped just short of censure: "If you accept legalization for the undocumented as desirable and inevitable, then why continue to put them through hell?" The NYT also published two letters written in response to the immigration editorial. Mr. Mark Wilson of Omaha, Nebraska, bases his argument against a "path to citizenship" on the following accusations: "Illegal immigrants drive down wages, burden local health systems and cause other ill-desired impacts to our economy and country." However, Mr. Wilson overlooks the Catch-22 that a path to citizenship could be one of the very solutions to American employers' practice of employing undocumented immigrants at below minimum wage level. Furthermore, he fails to note that undocumented immigrants are ineligible for non-emergency care unless they pay. His argument is weak on statistical grounds. A study by Harvard economist George Borjas (who is no less than a vehement opponent of undocumented immigration), for example, has shown that the average American's wealth is increased by less than one percent due to illegal immigration. NPR's Adam Davidson explored the relationship between illegal immigration and the U.S. economy in a 2006 column, and recently Families for Freedom produced a TV show addressing immigration myths.

The Associated Press reports on the lawsuit by more than one hundred children in Miami against the Obama Administration for the deportation of their parents. In honor of Father's Day, New American Media spotlights Roxroy Salmon, the father of four U.S.-born children and thirty-year resident of New York City, who is currently placed under deportation proceedings. Families for Freedom organized its Annual Children's Vigil on the eve of Father's Day at Union Square in New York City, attracting a crowd despite the heavy rain, and featured speakers including Councilman John Liu, and representatives from Congressman Serrano and State Senator Serrano's offices. The Vigil advocated for the passage of the Child Citizen Protection Act, H.R. 182, and included the distribution of petitions in support of the legislation.


Friday, June 19, 2009

East Harlem Community Gathers for Immigration Reform Dialogue

On Monday, June 15, the East Harlem Against Deportation campaign opened an information session to the community of East Harlem. The panel, which consisted of representatives from local immigrants rights organizations, discussed a series of policy proposals (click below for agenda), and did a fantastic job making this a comfortable space for attendees to ask questions and share their stories. This event took place at Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services, with more than 75 people in attendance. Esperanza del Barrio invited local vendor Paty Monroy, who provided delicious Mexican tostadas. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a total success.

CLICK HERE for event agenda.


El lunes, 15 de junio El Barrio Contra la Deportación tuvo una sesión abierta de información para toda la comunidad del barrio. El panel consistió en representantes de organizaciones locales de derechos al inmigrante. Hablaron sobre una serie de propuestas políticas (haga clic abajo para ver la agenda de la reunion) , e hicieron un gran trabajo de ofrecer un espacio cómodo para que la comunidad comparta sus historias y haga preguntas. El evento se llevo a cabo en Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services, y hubieron más de 75 participantes. Paty Monroy fue invitada por Esperanza del Barrio, y ofreció deliciosas tostadas mexicanas. Gracias a todos los participantes por hacer que este evento sea un éxito rotundo.

HAGA CLIC AQUI para ver la agenda de la reunion

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama Flirts with Immigration Reform, New York Immigrant Groups Step Up Efforts

President Obama's meeting with immigration reform leaders has yet again been postponed, and is now scheduled to take place on the week of the 22nd. The Hill presents the perspectives of disheartened activists, quoting one source to say, "It’s starting to feel like the guy who has your phone number and will never call you." Mercury News details the stakes of current immigration reform, setting a lighter tone with a statement from Angela Kelley, vice president at the Center for American Progress, on President Obama's attitude towards immigration reform: "So far there's been a serious flirtation but not a marriage proposal."

Washington Post reports that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano proposed the Pass ID program in an effort to repeal the Real ID Act. Pass ID will eliminate the most costly element of its predecessor, namely the demand for a national database. However, it keeps other unsettling aspects of Real ID, including the requirement that states verify applicants' identities and legal status by checking federal immigration, Social Security and State Department databases. On the other side of the table, New York Senator Charles Shumer proposed a national worker identification card that will, in the Senator's words, "make it easy for employers to avoid undocumented workers, which will allow for tough sanctions against employers who break the law, which will lead to no jobs being available for illegal immigrants, which will stop illegal immigration." The proposal so far has earned the support of business groups while drawing criticism from labor activists and the ACLU.

The latest New York Times Editorial on immigration lauds Attorney General Eric Holder's efforts in reversing former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey's ruling (or, as the editorial characterizes it, "mischief") that immigrants have no constitutional right to legal representation in deportation hearings. Mr. Holder's ruling is a positive step toward immigration reform, although the editorial notes that Mr. Holder's order "appears to leave Justice Department lawyers free to argue in deportation cases at the federal appeals court level that there is no constitutional right to effective lawyers for immigrants."

At a local level, San Francisco, one of the few cities that offers muncipal id cards for undocumented immigrants, is caught in conflict over a new law enforcement policy that would report minors with felony charges to the ICE for deportation regardless of whether they are ultimately charged. New York immigration groups, including Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition, participated in the recently-launched national Reform Immigration for American campaign, according to a report by Daily News.

Stay tuned, for upcoming news on the East Harlem Community Dialogue that took place this Monday, June 15, at Little Sisters of the Assumption.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Immigration News Watch

With President Obama to schedule an immigration meeting with top policymakers on June 17 and Senator Reid's recent emphasis on immigration reform as a priority for U.S. Senate, the national immigration debate has heated up once again. A June 5 New York Times Editorial criticized the Obama administration's continuation of local law enforcement programs, citing, in particular, the Secure Communities Program that would allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check the immigration status of everyone in jail. Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal each expressed a degree of skepticism towards the passage of an immigration bill within 2009, citing energy and healthcare reform as top priorities already occupying the national agenda.

The ImmigrationProf Blog directs attention to the tragic story of Gustavo Rodriguez Adulfo, an undocumented worker who "has spent most of his adult life preparing food, sweeping floors and washing dishes at suburban Des Moines restaurants" and "paid more than $2,000 last year for state, federal, Social Security and Medicare taxes," now diagonsed with a grave illness for which he is unable to afford the $100,000 surgery fee. Rodriguez's case zooms in on the intersection of medical ethics and the law of the state, placing yet another aspect of U.S. immigration system into question.

At a local level, the Oakland City Council voted last week to offer identification cards for undocumented immigrants.