MIGRANT POWER ALLIANCE CALLS ON NYC TO END COOPERATION WITH ICE:NYC COMPLIES WITH MOST FEDERAL REQUESTS, TURNS OVER THOUSANDS OF NEW YORKERS TO ICE

For Immediate Release: December 10th, 2013

MIGRANT POWER ALLIANCE CALLS ON NYC TO END COOPERATION WITH ICE: NYC COMPLIES WITH MOST FEDERAL REQUESTS TO DETAIN NEW YORKERS, TURNS OVER THOUSANDS TO ICE

Contact: mpamedianyc

Cris Hilo (English): 347-342-2706

Maria Marroquin (Spanish): 267-563-0629 [Spanish Version Below]

New York, NY- Recent figures released by New York City’s Department of Correction (DOC) show that NYC complies with most voluntary requests issued by the federal government known as “detainers” or “immigration holds.” Detainers arerequests that ask local police to hold a person beyond the time they otherwise would have been released. This helps to transfer individuals into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for detention and subsequent deportation proceedings. The federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has clarified that a detainer is only a request and that local administrations are not required by law to comply. The Migrant Power Alliance, a coalition of immigrants and human rights organizations, calls on the city administration to stop willfully complying with ICE detainer requests. By not handing New Yorkers over to ICE, the city will at least allow immigrants to secure legal counsel and be with their families as they fight their deportation case.

Data shows that 60 percent of New Yorkers apprehended by ICE from October 2005 through December 2010 had detainers placed on them. Although the City Council passed legislation in 2011 and 2013 to limit the city’s cooperation with ICE, the DOC statistics demonstrate that legislation allows for the city administration tosystematically turn thousands of New Yorkers over to ICE custody. By complying, the DOC helps place immigrant New Yorkers into the grip of the country’s inhumane detention and deportation system that already deports approximately 400,000 people every year. Between October 2012 and September 2013, the DOC cooperated with an overwhelming 73% of all requests submitted by ICE and held 3,080 individuals beyond the time the individual would have otherwise been released. The DOC turned over 3,074 of those individuals into ICE custody. A recent New York Times article shows that from July to September 2013 the DOC honored a lower percentage of detainers, due to the activation of the most recent law – however, that time span is too short to be conclusive. It is unacceptable for hundreds of New Yorkers to be separated from their families especially as we approach the holidays.

New York City has been called a “City of Immigrants” by many, including Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor-elect de Blasio, but under the custody of ICE, New Yorkers are held in a network of detention centers out of state, with no bond, no meaningful access to legal counsel, separated from family, and with little chance of successfully fighting their deportation cases.

NYC allows ICE to operate in the city precincts and jails through the detainer. Consequently, New York residents hesitate to contact local law enforcement for fear of eventually being turned over to ICE. Essentially, the NYC detainer policy has produced a hostile and fearful environment for New York communities.

Studies show that every stage of the criminal justice system (from Stop and Frisk, to legal representation, to sentencing) is racially biased against poor people of color. This is the population that makes up the majority of the 13,000 inmates imprisoned at NYC’s Rikers Island on any given day. Allowing ICE to operate in the city jails extends the reach of mass incarceration by keeping non-citizens detained for longer periods. Ending detainers is one step towards making a safer city for all New Yorkers.

Cities such as Washington D.C., Chicago, New Orleans, and Santa Clara, CA already refuse almost all ICE detainer requests. It’s time for New York City to be a leader amongst US cities to stop ALL collaboration with ICE by refusing to comply with ALL detainer requests. NYC’s city council and Mayor-elect de Blasio have an opportunity to help build a city based on public trust, public safety and human rights for all New Yorkers.

[SPANISH]

ALIANZA DE PODER MIGRANTE LE PIDE A LA CIUDAD DE NUEVA YORK QUE PARE DE COLABORAR CON ICE: NUEVA YORK HONRA LA MAYORÍA DE ÓRDENES DE DETENCIÓN, ENTREGANDO A MILES A ICE

Para Su Publicación Inmediata: 10 de diciembre 2013

Contacto: mpamedianyc

Cris Hilo (inglés): 347-342-2706

Maria Marroquin (español): 267-563-0629

Nueva York, NY- Estadísticas publicadas por el Departamento de Corrección (DOC) de la Ciudad de Nueva York demuestran que la ciudad a cumplido voluntariamente con la mayoría de detenciones de inmigración solicitadas por el gobierno federal. Estas órdenes de detención conocidas en inglés como “detainers” solicitan que la policía local mantenga inmigrantes en custodia más allá de el proceso penal.

Esta cooperación facilita la transferencia de personas a la custodia de ICE, a detención, y en la mayoría de casos, al proceso de deportación. El Departamento Federal de Seguridad Nacional (Department of Homeland Security, DHS) ha aclarado que órdenes de detención son sólo solicitudes, y administraciones locales no están obligadas por ley a cumplir con ellas. La Alianza de Poder Migrante (Migrant Power Alliance), una coalición de inmigrantes y organizaciones de derechos humanos, pide a la administración de la ciudad de Nueva York que termine toda cooperación con ICE y pare de honrar voluntariamente las órdenes de detención

Datos muestran que el 60% de los neoyorquinos detenidos por ICE entre octubre del 2005 y diciembre del 2010 fueron aprehendidos por medio de órdenes de detención. El Consejo de la Ciudad (City Council) aprobó leyes en 2011 y 2013 para limitar la cooperación de la ciudad con ICE. Sin embargo estadísticas del D.O.C. demuestran que la ciudad sigue entregando a miles de neoyorquinos sistemáticamente a la custodia de ICE quienes entran al sistema deplorable de inmigración que actualmente detiene inhumanamente y deporta a aproximadamente 400,000 personas a escala a nacional.

Entre octubre de 2012 y septiembre de 2013, el DOC coopero con 73% de todas las solicitudes presentadas por El Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (o ICE ) y mantuvo en custodia a 3,080 personas por más tiempo, de lo debido cuando podrían haber sido liberadas. De esas personas el DOC entregó 3,074 a la custodia de ICE. New York Times ha reportado que el porcentaje de órdenes de detención honradas por la ciudad bajó entre Julio y Septiembre del 2013 debido a la última ley limitando cooperación con ICE. Sin embargo, esta ley protege sólo a una minoría de personas de ser transferidas a la custodia de ICE. Es inaceptable que cientos de Neoyorquinos continúan sufriendo la separación de sus familias especialmente en tiempos festivos.

Mucha gente ha llamado a La ciudad de Nueva York, una "Ciudad de Inmigrantes", incluyendo el alcalde Bloomberg, y su sucesor Bill De Blasio, pero bajo la custodia de ICE, miles de Neoyorquinos entran a una red de centros de detención fuera del estado, sin fianza, acceso a asesoría legal, separados de familia, y conpoca esperanza de luchar efectivamente su caso de deportación.

La ciudad de Nueva York permite que ICE opere en precintos y cárceles por medio de las órdenes de detención (o detainers). Por consiguiente, los residentes de Nueva York temen contactar a la policía local, por miedo de ser entregados a ICE. En esencia, la política de detención en Nueva York a creado un ambiente hostil y temeroso para las comunidades de Nueva York.

Estudios demuestran que en cada nivel del sistema de justicia penal (desde paradas policiales o Stop & Frisk, a representación legal, y sentencias) gente de color, mayoría morenos y latinos y de bajos recursos, enfrentan discriminación racial. Esta población constituye la mayoría de los 13,000 presos en la cárcel de Rikers Island. Dar permiso a ICE a operar en las cárceles de la ciudad condona el alcance de encarcelación en masa manteniendo los que no son ciudadanos detenidos por períodos más largos. Terminar con “detainers” es un paso progresivo hacia la creacion de una ciudad más segura para todos los Neoyorquinos

Varias ciudades, incluyendo Washington D.C., Chicago, New Orleans, y Santa Clara, CA ya han decidido negar casi todas las solicitudes de detención de ICE. Esas ciudades han tomado la iniciativa para proteger a sus residentes de la máquina deplorable de detención y deportación. Es hora de que la ciudad de Nueva York sea un líder entre las ciudades de los Estados Unidos para acabar con todas las colaboraciones con ICE, empezando por negarse a cumplir con las solicitudes de “detainers”. El Consejo de la Ciudad y el alcalde electo de Blasio tienen una oportunidad de ayudar a construir una ciudad basada en la confianza pública, la seguridad pública y derechos humanos para todos los neoyorquinos.

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MPA Press Release (English)- Final.pdf
MPA Press Release – Spanish – Final.pdf

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Migrant Power Alliance Pledges One-Day Hunger Strike in Support of Dream 30

Migrant Power Alliance Pledges One-Day Hunger Strike in Support of Dream 30
Tell President Obama to Stop All Deportations!

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Press Contact: Daniel Schneider
October 31, 2013
Cell Phone: (319)693-3193
For Immediate Release

The Migrant Power Alliance, an alliance of immigrant and human rights organizations in New York City, stands in solidarity with the Dream 30, a group of immigrants who turned themselves over to U.S. immigration authorities at the US-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas on September 30th, 2013. We demand that those still being held in detention by the Department of Homeland Security be immediately released and allowed to reunite with their families and loved ones in the United States.

In President Obama’s first term in office, his administration deported a record-setting 1.5 million immigrants, and the Department of Homeland Security has shown no signs that it is slowing down during President Obama’s second term. Having been deported or forced to leave the United States by other means, the immigrants who compose the Dream 30 are some of those most directly affected by President Obama’s heinous policies. Their willingness to face days, weeks, and even years in US immigrant detention centers demonstrates both the strength of their ties to communities in the United States and the desperation facing many immigrant communities as their family members and friends are forcibly deported without any reasonable options for relief.

Many are hopeful that the passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) legislation in Washington will bring the relief that immigrant communities need. However, immigrant rights organizations around the country have already pointed out that CIR will expand the infrastructure that allows President Obama’s administration to deport not just undocumented immigrants but even those who have immigration status, such as legal permanent residents, but are made deportable by a criminal- justice system that has never delivered justice for immigrants. Although the Senate’s version of CIR does contain a so called “Path to Citizenship”, the path is unattainable for a huge portion of immigrants and the bill will undoubtedly lead to more deportations, more separated families, and more suffering. In short, President Obama and the US Congress are offering nothing but more deportations, and that is not good enough for immigrant communities.

Despite continued pleas from immigrants and their allies, President Obama refuses to stop the deportation machine.

To show our support for the Dream 30 and all immigrants facing deportation, members of the Migrant Power Alliance pledge to undertake a day-long hunger strike on October 31, 2013 and make calls to Senator Bob Menendez, Representative Henry Cuellar, and Washington D.C. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pressuring them to support the release of the Dream 30.

Call Senator Bob Menendez @ 202-224-4744
Call Washington D.C. ICE @ 202-732-3000
Call Rep. Henry Cuellar @ (202) 225-1640

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Immigrant and Human Rights Organizations Reject Senate Immigration Reform Bill

For immediate release: July 2, 2013

Contact:

Abraham Paulos (English) migrantpoweralliance 646 290 8720

Denise Romero (Spanish) migrantpoweralliance 646 290 8720

Immigrant and Human Rights Organizations Reject Senate Immigration Reform Bill

The Migrant Power Alliance, a coalition of immigrant and human rights groups in New York City, strongly opposes the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) passed in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, June 27th. We oppose the Senate bill because, although it is labeled a “reform”, the bill will exacerbate the main problems already present in the immigration system. If made law, the Senate bill would exclude a major portion of immigrants from the path to citizenship; it will criminalize immigrants, expand the already bloated detention and deportation industries; and it will further militarize the US-Mexico border leading to more deaths and destabilized border communities.

  • The so-called “Path to Citizenship” would exclude an estimated ½ of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. The“Path to Citizenship” provided in this bill is unreasonably long. It will take a decade and a half for millions of people to become citizens. The bill constructs barriers along the way that are divorced from the realities of our communities and will ensure that millions of immigrants will never permanently adjust their status. We are particularly concerned about the requirements (1) that immigrants maintain continuous employment, (2) that they earn yearly incomes above the Federal Poverty Line, (3) that they pay punitive fines, (4) that immigrants will be excluded from federally funded, public health programs, and (5) that the ability for immigrants to become legal permanent residents will be tied to enforcement goals. These provisions fail to recognize the contributions and role that immigrants play in the U.S. economy, which keeps immigrants in precarious forms of employment and living below the poverty line in order to profit from their cheap labor. The fact is that undocumented immigrants pay an average of $11.2 billion in taxes annually, without receiving any federal benefits. The bill’s provisions will exclude millions of immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades and having grown older will find it difficult to comply with the requirement of continuous employment. The mandatory usage of the E-Verify program will create more precarious forms of employment as millions of immigrants who do not qualify for RPI status will be forced to take ever more dangerous and exploitative jobs in order to survive.
  • The Senate bill criminalizes immigrants and expands the deportation and detention industries. Under the Senate bill, more resources will be devoted to prosecuting immigrants caught trying to re-enter or who are already in the United States after previously being deported. These immigrants are overwhelmingly those with family and community ties who are attempting to reunite with children, spouses, and other loved ones. Prosecutions for re-entry make up the largest number of cases in the already strained federal courts. Once prosecuted, these immigrants enter the U.S. prison system that incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, to serve out their sentences. The bill will also maintain the inhuman detention system that offers lucrative federal government contracts to private prison companies. Immigrants who cannot meet the strict requirements laid out by the “path to citizenship” will fill these beds, enriching investors in private prisons.
  • The Senate bill leads to a more militarized border, more deaths, and more money wasted. The Corker-Hoeven Amendment, added to gain Republican support for the bill, confirmed that the bill is mainly an enforcement bill. It requires that the US Border Patrol double in size from 20,000 to 40,000 agents. The Border Patrol will deploy Blackhawk attack helicopters, drones (the same drones used by the US government for targeted assassinations), and other forms of electronic surveillance along the border. It also requires that the National Guard construct 700 miles of border fencing along the US-Mexico border. The financial cost of this amendment will rise to over $40 billion, but the human costs will be far greater. Deaths at the border increased 27% just in 2012 even in a time when the rate of migration across the border are decreasing. Under this new bill, border communities, which are sustained by cross-border familial, tribal, economic, and social ties will be divided by a military presence more extreme than the walls of the Soviet Iron Curtain. Migrants trying to cross the border to reunite with their families will be driven to take ever more dangerous measures, and many more will perish in painful manners.

In sum, we cannot support this bill knowing that it will result in a pathway to citizenship that is both unreasonable and untenable, more deaths, more deportations, and more penalties for immigrants searching for a better life. Although the bill does contain certain positive provisions such as increasing protections for detained immigrants and increasing judicial oversight, we feel that the negative aspects outweigh any positive factors that this bill offers.

We believe in human rights for all, the right to work, the right to mobility across continents, family unity, and an end to the current inhumane detention and deportation systems that have incarcerated and deported over 1.6 million people in the last four years. Any change to immigration policy that can be accurately labeled as reform must include: 1) an end to all deportations; 2) a swift and just pathway to citizenship for all immigrants, including those currently and previously incarcerated and those with previous deportation orders; 3) closure of all privately operated immigrant prisons; 4) options for the unification of families; 5) access to services that will help immigrants to lead healthy lives.

We will not settle for a bill that disguises enforcement behind a label of immigration “reform.” This anti-immigrant bill is far from the best we can get. As we expect that the House of Representatives intends to focus first on enforcement and border security, the bad aspects of Comprehensive Immigration Reform will only get worse. Here is our message to the Senate and the House: Go back and do your job. Recognize that millions of us, undocumented and documented alike, expect legislation that respects the dignity of our communities.

Migrant Power Alliance Rejects Senate Bill.doc