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Spring 2013 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Digest and News Alert!

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Spring 2013 U.S. Immigrant Alert! Newsletter
Published by National Immigrant Solidarity Network

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May Day 2013 - National Immigrant Workers Rights March!

May Day 2013: Hundred of Cities/Communities, Hundred of Thousands People Across the Country March to Demand Immigrant Workers Rights!

In This Issue:

1) May Day 2013 Report
2) May Day and the Failure of the Immigrant Rights Movement
3) AFSC Statement on Senate Immigration Reform Bill
4) Voces de la Frontera Statement on Senate Immigration Proposal 5) Republican money backs immigration push
6) Cowboy Hat-Wearing Hero of Boston Bombing Is Famed Immigrant Peace Activist
7) Updates, Please Support NISN! Subscribe the Newsletter!


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Los Angeles, CA: Thousands call for immigration reform in Los Angeles May Day march

Thousands of mostly Latino protesters marched through downtown Los Angeles in a boisterous but peaceful May Day rally on Wednesday urging an overhaul of immigration laws to provide potential citizenship for millions of undocumented residents.

The march was believed to be the largest of more than a dozen similar demonstrations planned in cities across California by a coalition of organized labor activists, students, civil rights advocates and members of the clergy.

Obama has made immigration reform one of his top priorities for 2013.

The protesters, who are generally supportive of the proposed immigration revamp, called for the U.S. government to halt deportations of individuals who are potentially eligible for eventual citizenship.

Waving American flags and carrying signs with the slogan, "Stop deportations," the demonstrators chanted in Spanish, "Obama! Escucha! Estamos en la lucha!" ("Obama! Listen! We are in the fight!"), as they marched under sunny skies down one of downtown's main thoroughfares. The march spanned across more than two large city blocks, and one police officer told Reuters that unofficial estimates put the size of the crowd at roughly 3,500 people. No arrests were reported.

Wendy Carrillo, a spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union, one of the organizing groups, said march leaders expected to draw at least 10,000 demonstrators throughout the day.

Milwaukee, WI: Thousands March in Milwaukee For A Broad Path to Citizenship on May Day

As part of a national day of action focusing on amendments to the US Senate's proposed immigration reform bill, thousands of people marched through the streets of Milwaukee today. Voces executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz says that this year's May Day march happened at a historic moment, when the opportunity to pass federal immigration reform has never been better.

"This is both a moment of celebration for our progress, and a time to reflect on the fact that we haven't won the fight yet. Unity and action are more necessary than ever to achieve reform that keeps families together, protects all workers, ends the criminalization of immigrants, and doesn't discriminate against other groups by denying diversity visas, or LGBT families the right to be together."

Boston, MA: May Day March to East Boston Draws Thousands

On May 1st, 2013 at 5pm, around three thousand marchers poured into Central Square in East Cambridge, joining hundreds already gathered to welcome them on the long march from Chelsea, Everett, and Revere. Called by the May 1st Coalition, the annual march celebrates International Workers Day, and promotes immigration reform and a quick path to legalization for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrant workers (1) living in the United States.

Two feeder marches, one from Everett and one from Revere, merged at 4pm with a large rally in front of Chelsea city hall. From there, thousands paraded peacefully, chanting "Si se puede, (We can do it)" "Today we march, tomorrow we vote," "We are a nation of immigrants," and "Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha (Obama, we are in the struggle)." Some of the many organizations present included Chelsea United Against the Wars, Chelsea Collaborative, City Life/Vida Urbana, FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front - the ruling leftist party in El Salvador), Brazilian Mothers Group, The Industrial Workers of the World, Unite Here Local 26, Common Struggle/Lucha Común, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The marchers were workers, both documented and not, from all across the Boston area, of every age and nationality.

New York, NY: At NYC May Day rally, calls for a more liberal immigration reform bill

One might imagine that activists at the pro-immigrant, pro-labor May Day rally in New York City would be happy about the bipartisan immigration reform bill currently in the Senate. But signs and activists at Wednesday's rally called the current draft bill an "unjust" plan that would leave out too many immigrants in its legalization scheme and focus too much on increased enforcement at the border.

One popular sign at the rally featured the face of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., behind barbed wire. The words: "No to Schumer and the Gang of 8," in Spanish-referring to the eight senators who hashed out the plan.

Some activists said the immigration compromise-which would trade stricter enforcement of current laws for a 13-year path to citizenship for most of the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants-is unjust and unacceptable.

Chicago, IL: Thousands Issue Call For Immigration Reform, End To Deportations

Thousands of demonstrators poured into Chicago's streets on Wednesday -- May Day -- as part of a nationwide call for comprehensive immigration reform, worker's rights and an end to deportations.

Among the marchers in Chicago was Yolanda Villadomec, who emphasized to ABC Chicago that the issues share a central thread of "family unity," which she described as "very important" to her.

"That's the point that I always look at: family unity. We want the mother, the father, the children together as a family," Villadomec told the station.

San Francisco, CA: May Day Marchers Spread Their Wings

More than 1,000 people marched under the brilliant San Francisco sun on May Day. Their signs, such as "Work in America/Live in America/Dream in America. Immigration reform now," their songs, chants and speeches wove together the twin themes of the day: worker justice and immigrant justice.

Alphonso Pines of the hotel and restaurant workers union Unite HERE put it this way, speaking to the crowd before the march: "We're marching for our families; we're marching to honour the sweat and the contributions of each and every working person. We're marching to honour the beauty of each and every family - queer or straight, immigrant or born here. We're marching because together we can make history. "Together we can win immigration reform that includes all workers and all families. Together we can stop the pain of deportation."


May Day 2013 Reports from Across the Country

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4/18: AFSC Statement for New Release on Senate Immigration Reform Bill

New Immigration Bill Includes Support for Families and Workers, Yet Would Continue Key Failures of Current System

Quaker Group: Fair Path to Citizenship Must Reflect More Humane Principle

Newark, NJ (April 17, 2013) - The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) finds the immigration bill introduced today a modest start on reform, due to provisions that address family unification and workers' rights and create a narrow path to citizenship for some immigrants. But much of the bill reproduces many of the current failed policies - making the overall bill a far cry from the just and humane reforms that immigrant communities, faith, labor and advocacy groups have been calling for.

"The Senate bill makes meaningful improvements for immigrants with temporary protected status, undocumented youth, and agricultural workers by providing a fast track to legal permanent residency. However, it would not end the current cruel, costly and inefficient system of detention and deportation, or the militarization of the border that has devastated communities on both sides of the border," said Amy Gottlieb of the AFSC Immigrant Rights Program in Newark.

The bill not only doubles down on some failed policies. It also elevates them to the status of mandatory measurable triggers, including universal E-Verify, a 90 percent border 'security' metric, and a new entry-exit port system. It would waste billions on drones, costly high-tech gadgetry, additional fencing, and personnel.

One part of the bill does offer greater accountability and oversight of border enforcement, a long-standing demand by immigrant communities and their allies, including AFSC. It would establish a task force of border community stakeholders to evaluate and make recommendations regarding immigration policies along the border. Since 2010, the Border Patrol has claimed the lives of 20 unarmed civilians, and no official has been held accountable for these deaths. Federal agents seemingly operate with impunity, systematically violating the human rights and civil liberties of border residents.

The bill also includes the right of due process and worker protections under the mandatory E-Verify provision. However, E-Verify and other employment verification programs remain highly flawed, problematic and costly.

"We are gratified to see that the bill does begin an important conversation about future flows of workers to the U.S., by identifying significant labor and wage standard protections and opportunities to apply for permanent status and supporting family unity," said Amy.

The bill strives to keep families together by restructuring a fundamentally flawed system with long waiting periods into one that provides new opportunities for people to migrate lawfully.

Still, because of limitations in the bill, there may be many who continue to live in the shadows, subject to the cruelties of a broken system including exploitation and abuse by unscrupulous employers.

The AFSC implores Congress to adopt compassionate and effective immigration reforms that are grounded in the following principles:

o Develop humane economic policies to reduce forced migration.

o Protect the labor rights of all workers.

o Develop a quick path to legal permanent residency and a clear path to citizenship.

o Respect the civil and human rights of immigrants.

o Demilitarize the U.S.-Mexico border.

o Make family reunification a top priority.

o Ensure that immigrants and refugees have access to services.

AFSC has created A New Path, which lays out policy priorities for humane immigration reform that protects the human rights of all people. These principles are derived from nine decades of work with immigrant communities, whose voices must be heard as we seek meaningful and humane policies.

For more on AFSC's immigrant rights work, visit

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Useful Immigrant Resources on Detention and Deportation

Face Sheet: Immigration Detention--Questions and Answers (Dec, 2008) by:

Thanks for GREAT works from Detention Watch Network (DWN) to compiled the following information, please visit DWN website:

Tracking ICE's Enforcement Agenda
Real Deal fact sheet on detention
Real Deal fact sheet on border

- From Raids to Deportation-A Community Resource Kit
- Know Your Rights in the Community (English, Spanish)
- Know Your Rights in Detention
- Pre-Raid Community Safety Plan
- Raids to Deportation Map
- Raids to Deportation Policy Map

More on Immigration Resource Page


Useful Handouts and Know Your Immigrant Rights When Marches
Immigrant Marches / Marchas de los Inmigrantes

Immigrants and their supporters are participating in marches all over the country to protest proposed national legislation and to seek justice for immigrants. The materials available here provide important information about the rights and risks involved for anyone who is planning to participate in the ongoing marches.

If government agents question you, it is important to understand your rights. You should be careful in the way you speak when approached by the police, FBI, or INS. If you give answers, they can be used against you in a criminal, immigration, or civil case.

The ACLU's publications below provide effective and useful guidance in several languages for many situations. The brochures apprise you of your legal rights, recommend how to preserve those rights, and provide guidance on how to interact with officials.

Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement
| Conozca Sus Derechos Frente A Los Agentes Del Orden Público

ACLU of Massachusetts - Your Rights And Responsibilities If You Are Contacted By The Authorities English | Spanish | Chinese

ACLU of Massachusetts - What to do if stopped and questioned about your immigration status on the street, the subway, or the bus
| Que hacer si Usted es interrogado en el tren o autobus acerca de su estatus inmigratorio

ACLU of South Carolina - How To Deal With A 287(g)
| Como Lidiar Con Una 287(g)

ACLU of Southern California - What to Do If Immigration Agents or Police Stop You While on Foot, in Your Car, or Come to Your Home
| Qué Hacer Si Agentes de Inmigración o la Policía lo Paran Mientras Va Caminando, lo Detienen en su Auto o Vienen a su Hogar

ACLU of Washington - Brochure for Iraqis: What to Do If the FBI or Police Contact You for Questioning English | Arabic

ACLU of Washington - Your Rights at Checkpoints at Ferry Terminals
| Sus Derechos en Puestos de Control en las Terminales de Transbordadores

Immigrant Protests - What Every Worker Should Know:
| Manifestaciones de los Inmigrantes - Lo Que Todo Trabajador Debe Saber

ACLU of Florida Brochure - The Rights of Protesters
| Los Derechos de los Manifestantes

Washington State - Student Walkouts and Political Speech at School
| Huelgas Estudiantiles y Expresión Política en las Escuelas

California Students: Public School Walk-outs and Free Speech
| Estudiantes de California: Marchas o Huelgas y La Libertad de Expresión en las Escuelas Públicas


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