Wednesday, May 11th: Stop S-Comm in NY Prayer Vigil
On Wednesday, May 11th, in front of Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office, the New Sanctuary Coalition, along with religious leaders from all faiths, joined by advocates and community members, will march around Governor Cuomo’s office and hold a prayer session in order to call attention to the need to immediately end the mass deportation known as “Secure Communities.” They will applaud Illinois for withdrawing from S-Comm and urge Cuomo to do the same in order to protect New York immigrant communities. Speakers will also question the morality of a program that destroys trust between police and immigrant communities, amplifies racial profiling, and funnels people directly into an unjust deportation system.
WHAT: Vigil to call for termination of NY’s “S-Comm”
WHEN: Wednesday, May 11th, 2011, 1:00pm
WHERE: In front of Governor Cuomo’s Manhattan office, 633 3rd Ave (between 40th and 41st Streets)
With no public input, New York’s Division of Criminal Justice Services signed an agreement with ICE last year to bring S-Comm to our State. S-Comm requires law enforcement to automatically forward the fingerprints of every arrested person to federal immigration databases and aims to transfer people suspected of being deportable directly into the detention and deportation system. Locked up in detention centers in remote locations, immigrants have severely limited access to lawyers, medical care, family, witnesses, and evidence to defend against deportation. Meanwhile, immigrant families and communities are left broken and devastated. To date, more than one-third of New York’s counties have activated S-Comm.
Campaign Against Secure Communities in New Jersey
Support the campaign against secure communities in New Jersey! Please find the template petition letter to Governor Christie and fact sheets for your information below.
Download the petition letter and fact sheets here:
PETITION LETTER TEMPLATE TO GOVERNOR CHRISTIE
Dear Governor Christie,
I am writing to express my opposition to having the Secure Communities program in New Jersey.
Secure Communities is an initiative of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division of the Department of Homeland Security to obtain fingerprinting information from local police and the FBI. Although it is promoted as a program that will make our communities safer, the program will instead break up families and communities through deportation. It is well documented that deportations can create severe hardship on families, leading in many cases to less secure and fragmented communities. In addition to damaging our communities, the program only serves to annihilate trust in law enforcement. If Secure Communities were implemented in New Jersey, it would encourage racial profiling, create a two-tiered system of justice and lead to automatic deportation for immigrants who have criminal violations. Programs such as Secure Communities, the Criminal Alien Program, and 287(g) are used as a dragnet to expand deportation and undermine our notions of fairness and justice.
As a resident in the state of New Jersey, I embrace and value our diversity. Secure Communities only seeks to destroy the rich community of immigrants from all corners of the world. It will not reach its stated goal of “securing the community by removing criminal aliens” by allowing the immigration agency to take action against anyone who is fingerprinted by the police. Instead it will impede immigrants from reporting crimes or interacting with law enforcement in fear of arrest, detention and deportation of themselves or their loved ones. Detaining immigrants will not fix our broken immigration law.
I am writing to urge you not to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to implement Secure Communities in New Jersey. I believe that this program and other similar immigration and law enforcement collaborations will harm public safety and community trust, and must be rejected.
Thank you for your attention.
Name_____________Date _____________Township, NJ + Zip code_____________
12/9/2010: Rally and Hearing Against ICE-Police Collaboration
Take a stand against the implementation of the Secure Communities program in New York. You can also help pack the courthouse on that day for a hearing for an emergency injunction as part of the National Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit regarding S-Comm, NDLON v. ICE.
WHAT: Rally in front of Governor Patterson’s Office to Stop ICE’s “Secure Communities” in New York
WHERE: Office of the Governor, 633 3rd Avenue, between 40th and 41st Street
WHEN: Thurs. December 9, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.
WHAT: Oral Arguments in NDLON v. ICE
WHERE: Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 15C
WHEN: Thurs. December 9, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
Domestic Violence Victim Confronts Director of “Secure Communities”
A Call for Help Led to Deportation Proceedings.
11.18.2010– Maria Bolanos, a domestic violence victim who’s call for help led to deportation proceedings, confronted David Venturella, director of the immigration enforcement program, “Secure Communities,” at today’s Woodrow Wilson Center panel discussion.
Bolanos demanded the program be ended and that her case be dropped immediately. “I do not want to be separated from my child. I am not a criminal. I ask that you terminate my case and all those under secure communities.” David Venturella refused to answer Maria’s petition and instead accused the Washington Post of inaccurate reporting. He refused to state whether the administration would stay her deportation.
Watch the dramatic video above or here: http://www.littleurl.net/0df8b3
Ms. Bolaños’ call for help resulted in her arrest when responding officers of Prince George’s County charged her with selling phone cards without a license. Though the charges were later dropped, Maria was placed into deportation proceedings through the ICE’s “Secure Communities” program. Her case and others like it highlight the dangers of the rapidly expanding federal program that matches fingerprints of those taken into police custody with the federal immigration database, creating a deportation dragnet of innocent people and victims like Maria.
ICE is forcing the program upon at least three counties that have voted to not participate in the program due to its secretive nature and evidence of its damage to community and police relations. Those counties (Santa Clara, CA, San Francisco, and Arlington, VA) cite examples like Bolanos as reason for opting out of participation.
Maria’s courageous step to keep her family together and fight her deportation remains to be answered by the Obama Administration. She was joined by dozens of protestors outside as well as representatives from the AFL-CIO, Legal Momentum and other groups fighting domestic violence, as well as CASA de Maryland and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
Posted by Deport Nation on Thursday, November 18, 2010.
There were several tense moments today when David Venturella, the assistant director of Secure Communities, addressed a room full of immigration advocates at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
“This is a tough topic,” Venturella said during his opening remarks. “I understand it elicits a lot of emotion.”
At one point, Maria Bolanos, a domestic violence victim who’s call for help led to deportation proceedings, confronted David Venturella.
“I called the police after a fight with my partner. I thought they would help me,” said Bolanos, through Ashwini Jaisingh, a translator and organizer with Casa De Maryland. “But through this the police turned me over to ICE, and now I have a deportation order.”
Bolanos has a 21-month old daughter and asked Venturella to dismiss her case immediately.
Venterella said he did not want to discuss the case publicly, but told Bolanos her case “was not a Secure Communities referral.”
Several attorneys in the room offered other examples of cases where their clients had been turned over to ICE after they were taken into police custody after domestic violence disputes.