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Why is the Arizona Immigration Law a Women's Issue?

June 3, 2010
With the recent passage of possibly the most far-reaching state immigration law in the country, Arizona and the immigrants who live there are on everyone’s minds. Among many extreme policies, the law allows for local law enforcement to detain anyone about whom they have a “reasonable cause” to believe may be in the state illegally. Reasonable cause is left up to the discrimination (no pun intended) of each individual police officer – it could be the color of one’s skin or someone’s accent. As Silvia Henriquez, the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health...

Korean Americans Marching in Solidarity under the Phoenix Sun

June 3, 2010
On April 25, two days after SB 1070 became law, the Korean Resource Center (KRC) and the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) rapidly organized a bus of children, mothers, working people and seniors from Los Angeles to Phoenix. The story of that journey was captured eloquently by Hector Tobar of the Los Angeles Times and sharply in our memories. Until something is done soon, SB 1070 will be implemented starting July 29. In truth, however, we have heard reports that intimidation and profiling has already begun with police cordoning off neighborhoods and...

Ripping Families Apart

June 3, 2010
At 7am one January morning last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents knocked on Shirley Tan's front door. The agents had come to deport her back to Philippines because her application for asylum, filed years earlier, had been denied. In front of her twin boys, ICE handcuffed her and threw her into a waiting van. Turns out Tan had no idea her application had been denied. Tan’s partner, Jay Mercado, an American citizen, could not sponsor Shirley for residency. Both are women-- who have been together for more than two decades. Same-sex partners can’t do what straight Americans...

CA Budget Update from CIPC

June 2, 2010
Advocates for low-income California immigrants exhaled a temporary sigh of relief as both Assembly and Senate Budget Committees voted to reject the Governor’s short-sighted and damaging proposals to eliminate safety net programs for legal immigrants. Over the past several weeks, Budget Committee members in Sacramento have been meeting with advocates to hear about how these proposals would affect immigrants, as well as the larger programs in which they’re incorporated. For the most part, the Budget Committees have acted in the best interest of low-income working families, seniors and persons...

Victims and Witnesses Are Made Criminals When State and Local Police Enforce Immigration Laws

June 2, 2010
Rita Cote tried to do the right thing and ended up in jail because of it. In February 2009, local police arrived at her home in Tavares, Florida in response to a domestic violence call. Rita’s sister Sonia had called the police, alleging that she’d been assaulted by her boyfriend. Rita wanted to help and translated for her sister, who, by then, was showing visible bruise marks around her neck. The police officers ignored the allegations and instead asked Rita and everyone else in the house for identification. They arrested Rita on supposed immigration charges, even after she produced i.d...

Arizona's Anti-immigrant Law Does Not Reflect Our Common Values

June 2, 2010
By Victoria L ó pez, Immigrants Rights Advocate, ACLU of Arizona On Saturday tens of thousands of people from all over the country gathered in Phoenix to voice their opposition to S.B. 1070 . On the local news later that evening, a mom who participated in the march pushing a stroller with one of her two U.S. citizen children said, "I'm doing this for them. So they know what their country is really about." The Arizona law that passed the state legislature in April criminalizes immigrants who are "unlawfully present" in the United States. This is the most extreme law ever passed by a state to...
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Women's Stake in Fighting Arizona's New Law

June 2, 2010
As the sheriff’s truck followed our van several blocks through Phoenix, I kept thinking what the sight of that vehicle would mean for Silvia or Esperanza or Alejandra or the other women we’d met: Visions of being yanked out of the van and ordered to produce papers. Picturing kids arriving to an empty house. Wondering whether the sheriff would drag you by the hair or slam you against a wall. Having no idea how long you’d be detained, or whether you’d be expelled from the place your ancestors called home. Agonizing whether an older child might have to drop out of school to get a job or care for...
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Child of Peruvian Immigrants Becomes Symbol of Undocumented

June 1, 2010
Here is yet another story I just spotted for the MomsRising blog carnival. Daisy Cuevas, the 7-year-old girl who got to ask First Lady Michelle Obama a question, has become a symbol for undocumented immigrants in the country. Here is the Associated Press story about it. Cuevas, who attends an elementary school in Maryland, recently asked First Lady Michelle Obama if it was true that the president "is taking away everybody that doesn't have papers." The First Lady responded: "Well, that's something that we have to work on, right, to make sure that people can be here with the right kind of...
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Working to Keep Immigrant Families Together

May 31, 2010
I know firsthand the struggle and heartbreak immigrant families experience when loved ones are incarcerated. My experience in a U.S. immigration jail led me to dedicate my life to advocating on behalf of this often marginalized community. And while it’s no secret that the U.S. has both the highest number of people in prison and the highest rate of arrests in the world, very little attention is paid to the high number of children who end up alone as a result—and even less to the children of incarcerated immigrants. Without parental guidance and emotional support, children with imprisoned...
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Immigration Enforcement and Family Separation: Unintended Consequences for Children and Families

May 29, 2010
Children of immigrants currently comprise nearly 1 in 4 of all U.S. children. It is estimated that more than 5 million of these children, the majority of whom are native-born U.S. citizens, live in mixed-status families with one or more undocumented parent. While the debate over comprehensive immigration reform has often overlooked these citizen children, inaction on immigration reform and ongoing enforcement measures are having a significant impact on thousands of America’s most vulnerable children. Immigration enforcement activities by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and...
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