Archive for November, 2014

Black & Brown Lives Matter

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

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Obama Announces Temporary Relief from Deportation for some undocumented
Those without temporary relief at increased risk of deportation

President Obama’s much delayed and anticipated executive action announcement provides temporary relief from deportation for some and increases enforcement measures, particularly at the US-Mexico border and border communities.

It is important to remember that this is not immigration reform nor is it amnesty or legalization.  Also, do not be fooled by “notarios” or attorneys soliciting large amounts of money to file your application.

Temporary relief from deportation is available to:

1)  Parents of US citizen and legal permanent resident (LPR) children who were born before Nov 21, 2014.  Parents must have resided in the U.S. since at least January 1, 2010, physically present in the U.S. on the day of announcement and have no lawful status.  The 3-year status comes with a work permit.  Applications might begin to be accepted as early as May 1, 2015.

2)  Expands DACA eligibility to young people who entered before Jan 1, 2010.  Their temporary status is extended from 2 to 3 years.

The Administration estimates that 4-5 million undocumented might benefit, depending on how many of the undocumented risk applying and make it through the application process.  Another 400,000 highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs will be eligible for visas.

Those who are left out are:

1)  Parents of DACA recipients.

2)  Adults without US citizen or LPR children living in the US.

3)  Recent arrivals (less than 5 years), including the much-publicized migrant children and families who arrived at the border these past few years.

The plan does not create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and those with temporary relief would not be entitled to federal benefits such as Medicaid, health care, etc.  Also, many undocumented applicants may not have sufficient proof to substantiate their eligibility placing them at risk of deportation.  With increased resources for enforcement programs we should be worried that after 3 years those with temporary relief could be easily found and deported using the information they provided.

Executive Action Continues Enforcement

The President’s executive action ‘Cracks Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border’ by continuing a surge of resources for enforcement, up to 20,000 additional border agents, and centralizes border security command-and-control.  Immigration courts will continue expedited deportations and Operation Streamline (mass processing), including the recently arrived migrant children at the US-Mexico border, at the expense of due process for the undocumented.

The onerous Secure Communities program will be replaced by a new program.  But 287g which is the root of Secure Communities — and the practice of ICE and local enforcement collaboration — remains in place.

FAJ advocated for fixes to family visa backlogs which would provide relief to thousands of Filipino undocumented.  But the administrated punted the issue to be studied by an interagency group charged to issue a report in 120 days.

We support those undocumented who will get temporary relief — but this is not enough.  The main immigration problems will continue to fester, and with additional enforcement dollars the undocumented who are excluded from temporary relief (including many of the caregivers we work with), or who fail the application process, or who choose not to apply are at greater risk of detection and deportation.  FAJ will continue to fight for permanent and humane solutions.

Stay tuned, we are organizing an educational about the President’s executive action in January 2015.

 


 

Justice for Michael Brown and family

Ferguson!  Against all odds, we hoped for a better outcome for Michael Brown and his family.

But once again the legal system failed to deliver justice in the killing of a black teenager by law enforcement.  Like social justice minded people across the country, we condemn the grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who killed him and the questionable process led by the St. Louis County prosecutor.

The criminalization of young people and racist, irrational fear of black youth in particular continues to provide cover for police misconduct.  We have to stop the systemic abuse of power by police and demand a new level of accountability of law enforcement.

The responsibility now moves to the federal level.  President Obama and the Department of Justice is investigating Michael Brown’s death and has the power to arrest and prosecute Officer Wilson under federal law.  We join our brothers and sister in calling upon our national leaders to step in where Missouri’s legal system failed. They must deliver justice for Michael Brown, immediately.

As an organization that has worked with thousands of young people over our 40+ years, words fail.  What we can do is join Michael Brown’s family who has stated, “it ain’t over”.  FAJ will do all we can to peacefully and forcefully support them.  We must, for Michael and the millions of young people of color at risk of violence from law enforcement and the failures of our biased legal system.

Two Wins for the Community this November

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

 

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We Won!!

FAJ’s get-out-the-vote campaigns for the November 2014 election netted a double win with the passage of Prop 47 on the California ballot and the defeat of Measure KK on the Union City ballot.

Passage of Prop 47 changes sentencing for low-level nonviolent crimes such as simple drug possession and petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors.  It would re-direct the hundreds of millions of dollars that the secretary of state’s office estimates would have been spent annually to house prison inmates to education, mental health and drug treatment programs, and victims assistance.

In spite of spending a phenomenal $600,000+ on a small town campaign, voters in Union City rejected Measure KK.  Measure KK attempted to lift protections — which voters put into place in 1996 — against development of the hills above Mission Blvd.   Voters preferred to protect open space and beat back big money.

Thanks to our phone bankers who value participation in the democratic process.

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