• Your cart is currently empty.
Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Human Rights > Newspaper series reveals rampant abuse of power under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s watch

Newspaper series reveals rampant abuse of power under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s watch

LatinaLista — When it comes to immigration enforcement, outside of ICE or the Department of Homeland Security, only one other law enforcement department has become as synonymous with conducting hunts for undocumented immigrants — Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, or the one name that embodies the infamous department, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
' border=
Sheriff Joe’s “crime suppression” sweeps have catapulted this limelight-loving officer to the forefront of the illegal immigration debate where local politicians are afraid to challenge him in public and the sheriff himself has become so emboldened by his notoriety that he routinely issues press releases and holds court at press conferences to denounce those officials, state or local, who don’t agree with him.
In fact, the sheriff considers himself such an authority on how to enforce immigration law, he’s currently making the rounds of book stores to sign his latest book Joe’s Law: America’s Toughest Sheriff Takes on Illegal Immigration, Drugs and Everything Else That Threatens America.
From the title alone, it can be deduced that Sheriff Joe sees himself as a savior of sorts but there’s no clearer sign that his perspective is delusional after reading an excellent five-part series on the sheriff and how his focus on immigration enforcement has not only promoted racial profiling by his officers but also has encouraged a climate of trumping up charges against people to justify traffic stops and ignoring the true criminals in his jurisdiction who, it’s reported, have been granted carte blanche to committing crimes since Sheriff Joe and his team are too busy scouring the highways and area towns for anyone who looks like they’re “illegal.”


The five-part interactive East Valley Tribune series titled “Reasonable Doubt is an excellent, objective and in-depth report that traces the evolution of Sheriff Joe’s policies, their impact on his department and his constituents and the byproducts that have arisen because of his tactics, both internally and externally.
The newspaper’s editors explain that the investigative journalism piece began six months ago and was based on three basic questions: How does Arpaio’s illegal immigration enforcement strategy work? What is it costing the taxpayers? And what is the effect on other aspects of his agency — and public safety in general — if his focus has become so heavily on illegal immigration?
Though the whole series is an eye-opening case study on how one man changed his political fortunes by manipulating a controversial issue, there were some key findings that the newspaper editors felt were worthy to be highlighted. Among them were:

Deputies are failing to meet the county’s standard for response times on life-threatening emergencies. In 2006 and 2007, patrol cars arrived late two-thirds of the time on more than 6,000 of the most serious calls for service.
The sheriff’s “saturation” patrols and “crime suppression/anti-illegal immigration” sweeps in Hispanic neighborhoods are done without any evidence of criminal activity, violating federal regulations intended to prevent racial profiling.
Deputies regularly make traffic stops based only on their suspicion that illegal immigrants are inside vehicles. They figure out probable cause after deciding whom to pull over.

It is evident that “driving while brown” is a very serious and real issue in Sheriff Joe’s jurisdiction.
Given the documented abuse of power to create imaginary or exaggerated grounds for arrests and his single-minded focus on catching people whose only crimes are being in the country illegally compared to the rapists, murderers and burglars whom his department is ignoring just to say they catch “illegal immigrants” is a flagrant abuse of his position, public monies and the civil rights of those he stops and those he’s sworn to protect.
What is so startling about the Reasonable Doubt series is that Sheriff Joe and his officers seem to flaunt their abuse of power in front of these reporters because they know no one locally will challenge them.
For that reason, it’s imperative that a bipartisan federal probe be launched to determine just how much at risk Sheriff Joe and his officers are putting the constituents of Maricopa County in for the sake of appearing tough on illegal immigration, as well as, determine the extent of unethical behavior by this department in making immigration arrests.
It’s said that Sheriff Joe doesn’t like people questioning his tactics nor his motives but nor do people like to be stopped because they simply “look illegal.”

Related posts

Comment(40)

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I don’t care if you are driving while “brown, white, black, green or purple” you have nothing to fear if you have proper I.D. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.
    So law enforcement in Joe’s area are not arresting rapists and murderers to pursue illegal aliens instead? My what a stretch of the truth that is!

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 14, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    You Have this clown Joe (media whore) Arpaio spending money chasing nannies and dishwashers emulating this administration chasing nannies and dishwashers. ????Using tax dollars intelligently???? LOL!
    The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that provides the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) $39.9 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal year 2009. This represents $2.3 billion more than President Bush’s request and about a six percent increase over the $37.67 billion enacted for fiscal year 2008. Specifically, the House bill provides $9.7 billion for Customs and Border Protection, about $272 million more than enacted in fiscal year 2008 and $207 million more than the President’s request. It also provides Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) $4.8 billion, roughly $72.8 million more than in fiscal year 2008 and $59.6 million more than the President’s request. (House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill
    E said
    Almost $40 billion, and children are starving everywhere.
    Throw the whole bunch of ignorant racists idiots in a net and feed them to the sharks

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 15, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Racism has nothing to do with the enforecment of our immigrations. Only someone with an anti-American agenda would try to claim so.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 15, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Racism has nothing to do with the enforecment of our immigrations. Only someone with an anti-American agenda would try to claim so.
    E
    Racism Killed Immigration Reform
    PHOENIX (By Jon Garrido, Hispanic News and the Blue Dogs of the Democratic Party) September 5, 2007 — A federal judge dealt a decisive blow against a dangerous trend of freelance immigration policies by local governments. Judge James M. Munley of the Central Pennsylvania District, struck down ordinances in the Town of Hazleton that sought to harshly punish undocumented migrants for trying to live and work there, and employers and landlords for providing them with homes and jobs.
    The ruling was a well-earned embarrassment for Mayor Louis J. Barletta and his proclaimed goal of making Hazleton ”one of the toughest places in the United States” for migrants. In doing so, Judge Munley laid down basic truths.
    Basic truths that every American should remember
    First, immigration is a federal responsibility. State and local governments have no right to usurp or upend a vast, ”carefully drawn federal statutory scheme” that governs who enters the country and the conditions under which immigrants stay, study, work and naturalize. Congress may be botching the job, but has not delegated it.
    It is not yet clear when or whether Hazleton’s vigilantism will finally be stifled. Mr. Barletta says he will appeal. He and others across the country can be expected to keep concocting ever-more-inventive strategies to deliver pain to migrants.
    But that is a legal and moral dead end. As long as people like Mr. Barletta persist in misusing the law to serve their prejudices, they will make the immigration system an ever more incoherent muddle. They will thwart reasonable efforts to grapple with the opportunities and problems borne in with the influx of newcomers. They will continue to dehumanize not only their victims, but themselves.
    Mayor Barletta says he is angry at the federal failure to control immigration. But he should realize it was his side — his Restrictionists soul mates in the United States Senate that last month took the most ambitious attempt in a generation to restore lawfulness and order to immigration, loaded it with unworkable cruelties, then pushed it into a ditch. They celebrated their victory, but their shortsighted insistence on border enforcement above all else will leave places like Hazleton to grapple with a failed immigration policy for years to come.
    This is why, ”The city of Hazelton could not enact an ordinance that violates rights the Constitution guarantees to every person in the United States, whether legal resident or not,” wrote U.S. Federal District Judge James Munley.
    The judge emphasized illegal immigrants had the same civil rights as legal immigrants and citizens.
    The Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection applies to all persons, not just citizens. The presumption the 14th Amendment can be set aside while migrants are hunted down and punished is widespread but false. The judge wrote: ”We cannot say clearly enough persons who enter this country without legal authorization are not stripped immediately of all their rights because of this single illegal act.”
    Herein lies the crux of the problem, racism was the major contributing factor that killed immigration reform
    The United States Constitution provides obvious symbolism of the blind folded lady is justice and justice is blind.
    Her bare toes show beneath her gown, standing on the pedestal, a symbolic message that nothing comes between justice and the land. The ”land” here can be interpreted as the ”people.”
    This is not the case in the United States Senate. Senators in the Congress are not blind. In fact, some senators are racist. These senators are not friends of Hispanics: Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, Tom Coburn, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Jeff Sessions.
    An Hispanic friend, Sen. Barack Obama said the recent Senate immigration debate ”was both ugly and racist in a way we haven’t see since the struggle for civil rights.”
    The Illinois Democrat said he earned Hispanic support for his presidential campaign by marching in last year’s May 1 immigrant rallies and challenged whether others met that standard.
    ”Find out how many senators appeared before an immigration rally last year. Who was talking the talk, and who walked the walk — because I walked. I didn’t run away from the issue, and I didn’t just talk about it in front of Hispanic audiences,” said Mr. Obama.
    Even Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in the well of the U.S. Senate said, ”There’s no shortage of plain old racism in this issue.”
    Immigration reform is not going away until it becomes the law of the land. This issue will in all probability not be addressed until after the 2008 elections in 2009.
    While this may sound far in the future, it does provide a timeframe for doing what we must do to assure immigration reform does become law as we need for it to be, not the punitive legislative bill that was crafted by Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, Tom Coburn, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Jeff Sessions with punitive measures that once immigration reform was enacted, all migrants including their children would have been deported for as little an infraction as spiting on the sidewalk.
    We must begin by launching an all out campaign to expose anti-Hispanic bigots in the media, entertainment and politics.
    The recent immigration debate in the Senate, which ended with the defeat of a bill that would have given a path to citizenship to many of the 12 million undocumented workers, has given way to the biggest explosion of anti-Hispanic sentiment we have ever seen in America. Spearheaded by Numbers USA which daily lobbied the United States Senate that Americans did not want immigration reform much less “amnesty” and fueled across the United States was conservative Republican talk radio which provided the grass roots support for Numbers USA to lobby the United States Senate to kill immigration reform.
    Bendixen and Associates did a nationwide poll identifying 76 percent of U.S. Hispanics agree with the statement that ”anti-immigrant sentiment is growing in the United States,” and 62 percent say this phenomenon has directly affected them or their families.
    Every brown face in America is suspect
    If you think conservative Republican talk radio, cable television and other Americans focus only on migrants, you must be living in a cave for every brown face in America is suspect.
    Few Hispanics believe statements by rabid anti-immigration radio and television hosts who say they only oppose ”illegal immigration.” When asked what fuels the current anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, 64 percent of Hispanics in the poll mentioned one factor: ”racism against immigrants from Latin America.”
    Every day statements are made on radio and television that go far beyond the boundaries of fair debate over the need to fix the U.S. immigration system, and that twists the facts in ways that make it difficult to believe in the good faith of those who make them.
    Carlos Oppenheimer writes, ”It’s not just what fear mongers such as CNN’s Lou Dobbs or radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage allow to be said in their shows, which systematically blame Hispanics for many of America’s ills. Prominent academics such as Harvard University political scientist Samuel Huntington are getting away with sweeping statements such as America’s Hispanic immigration deluge . . . constitutes a major potential threat to the cultural and possibly political integrity of the United States.”
    Oppenheimer further writes, ”While the 44 million Hispanics are the biggest minority in America, you don’t see the kind of nationwide protests, legal actions or calls for boycotts on a scale that you would probably see if these statement were directed against African Americans or Jewish Americans. When you visit the website of the NAACP, one of the first things you see is an NAACP ‘Stop’ Campaign headline, which is a call to action against racism in the media. The NAACP and other African American groups regularly launch name-and-shame campaigns, and most recently forced the firing of radio host Don Imus over an April comment calling the Rutgers University women’s basketball team ‘nappy-headed hos.'”
    “On the National Council of La Raza’s website, you don’t find a similar emphasis on fighting bigotry. The group’s main theme is ‘Ya es hora!,’ a voter registration drive conducted alongside the Spanish-language Univisión network and other Hispanic organizations aimed at adding two million new Hispanic votes for the 2008 election.”
    La Raza President Janet Murguia conceded in an interview with Oppenheimer, ”Hispanics need to do more to fight back against bigotry in the media.”
    Yet, Janet Murguia is a frequent guest on Lou Dobbs’ Broken Borders. Each time she visits Dobbs, she contributes to the television program’s ratings and Dobbs viewers chuckle as to how inept an Hispanic leader can be for being ambushed time after time and continuously smiling as Dobbs bashes Hispanics. The Dobbs Murguia comedy duo has Dobbs playing the straight man and Murguia portraying the funny, unintelligent and unorthodox comic foil. The better choice for Murguia would be to boycott the show and not provide a platform for Dobbs each day attacking migrants for being responsible for the demise of the United States.
    Citizenship
    Hispanics cast 5.6 million votes in the 2006 midterms elections which represented only 13 percent of the total Hispanic population compared to the 27 percent of all blacks who cast votes and 39 percent of all whites who voted — a disappointing turnout attributed to a population too young to vote or ineligible because of citizenship status.
    Locally, the Phoenix Somos America Coalition in the months of June and July registered 2,500 Hispanics to vote. This is certainly admirable but far short comparing numbers to other voters.
    I was born and raised in Superior, Arizona, a small mining community in the desert an hour’s drive east of Phoenix. South of Superior is the town of Florence forming a triangle with Apache Junction to the west of Superior and northwest of Florence. This area is the next boom area in Arizona with a million building permits already issued to build Sun City master planned retirement communities for persons moving to Arizona primarily from the mid-West states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Iowa. These 2 million potential voters, assuming two voters per house, will be retired white voters voting at 39% compared to 13% for Hispanics. To compound the voting discrepancy, the Iowa electorate as the first state to vote in the national nominating process vote at a much higher rate than the national 39% white average rate.
    The voting discrepancy increases exponentially factoring in other development areas in the Phoenix metropolitan area. On the west side of Phoenix, a multitude of housing subdivisions are being planned in the greatly expanded annexations of the Town of Buckeye and more than a dozen huge developments are sprouting up on both sides of the 30-mile-long Sun Valley Parkway, west of the White Tank Mountains. Nearly all 1 million residents will be white retired voters.
    One can only conclude registering Hispanics in the short term falls short of making a measurable impact in voting patterns in Arizona.
    So if we can not win by voting — yet, the only conclusion has to be we need to do something else in addition to registering voters. Working on getting out the vote will help but this is not enough. We need to go on the offense. We need to launch a local campaign to identify, name and shame those who systematically bash Hispanics. Then we need to launch a nationwide campaign.
    If anti-Hispanic sentiment is allowed to keep growing, we will soon have an underclass of 12 million immigrants that will feel not only frustrated by not having a legal path to citizenship but increasingly insulted by mainstream media.
    I am a fourth generation American Hispanic with family roots in Arizona dating back to the late 1800s. I have traveled to 20 counties. While culture and beauty can be found around the globe, the genius of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and of utmost importance, the 14 amendment, provide for equal protection of all persons residing in the United States. This is what places America at the pinnacle of world nations — past and future. No other country has a blindfolded Lady Justice that mandates justice is blind. This is why I choose to be an American.
    Each day I receive 200-300 hate emails bashing me as an Hispanic migrant with the usual message — go back to Mexico. Each time I write an article or editorial on immigration reform, the number of hate emails increase dramatically. Last year during the marches, there were even threatening phone calls I reported to the FBI.
    The only consolation
    The only consolation is a population projection from the Unites States Census Bureau: In the year 2097, 50% of the entire United States population will be Hispanic, 30% will be black, 13% will be Asian, 5% will be white, and 2% will be ”other.” The browning of America is inevitable. No one can stop it.
    LMAO!

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 16, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Frank :
    I don’t care if you are driving while “brown, white, black, green or purple” you have nothing to fear if you have proper I.D. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.
    So law enforcement in Joe’s area are not arresting rapists and murderers to pursue illegal aliens instead? My what a stretch of the truth that is!
    E
    40,000 felons have been free to walk the streets
    “Stop Wasting Funds,” Arizona Republic, July 3, 2008
    Sanctuary County
    Here in Washington, restrictionist members of Congress use the term “sanctuary” to describe a city or town that restricts its law enforcement agency from going after undocumented immigrants unless those immigrants have committed some real crime that might threaten public safety.
    In the past couple of months, however, politicians in the state of Arizona have become concerned that Maricopa County, Arizona, is becoming a sanctuary of another sort. That county is under the jurisdiction of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has gained national notoriety for his high-profile sweeps of immigrant communities and roundups of undocumented immigrants.
    While he and his men have concentrated on undocumented immigrants who are working here without permission, a backlog of tens of thousands of unserved felony warrants has built up under his watch.
    The Arizona Republic noted in an editorial last Thursday (July 3) that not only is Arpiao not acting against the worst of the threats to the county’s citizens, but he is causing other police agencies in the country to divert their resources as well. The Sheriff recently staged sweeps in Mesa, Arizona, dubbed “Operation Ghost.”
    Arpaio’s “Operation Ghost” was well-named because it will likely produce phantom results. His previous “sweeps” around the Valley did not subsequently lower the crime rate in those areas, according to an analysis of police records done by The Republic.
    But Operation Ghost did result in some very real costs for Mesa, where Police Chief George Gascón had to deploy about 130 officers the first day of Arpaio’s sweep and about 70 the second day. He felt they were needed to keep the peace among the different groups of protesters attracted to Arpaio’s shows.
    Some regular police work probably had to wait while Mesa cops watched over the sheriff’s sweep.
    While Sheriff Joe and his boys have been rounding up undocumented workers, 40,000 felons have been free to walk the streets. In a perverse way, it makes sense. There is little chance that the busboys, landscapers and maids who are the targets of the Maricopa County Sheriff will be shooting back. The drug dealers, robbers, murderers, and other felons, on the other hand? Well, hey, they could be dangerous. Best leave them to some other agency.
    The governor has not been impressed, and she has recently shifted some state funding away from the Sheriff’s office to other agencies more willing to carry out the job of keeping county residents safe.
    It is traditionally the county sheriff’s job to go after folks with outstanding warrants. But Arpaio neglected that duty so completely that Gov. Janet Napolitano pulled $1.6 million in funding from the Sheriff’s Office and gave it to a state-led fugitive task force, instead.
    Other agencies simply do a better job.
    At a time when Arizona’s economy is slowing, the state simply cannot afford to waste its law enforcement dollars on media celebrity at the expense of public safety.
    This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 at 11:39 am and is filed under Local Police Enforcement, Raids. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 16, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Oh so a Hispanic journalist claims that racism killed CIR? Go figure! That article was chocked full of lies and propaganda and pulling the race card as usual. And we anti’s get accused of posting articles with so-called lies in it? Just one of the lies in this one was calling us “anti-Hispanic.”

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    July 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Not so fast, Frank. If you’re going to attack the article provide specific instances where the journalist lied and your proof that it was done. Once you do that, I’ll contact the newspaper and see if the reporter will respond. Being a journalist, I take great exception to anyone who accuses a non-opinion piece as “chocked full of lies and propaganda.”

  • Avatar
    Alex
    July 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Well Frankie, your attitude and postings expose that you are a racist and antihispanic. I remember you post something like you do not like the idea of hispanics becoming a majority. That is xenophobia, racism, no matter how you want to paint it.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 16, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Marisa, he has never once provided proof that anything he says is anything more than his openion.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 16, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Lies and/or progaganda:
    Racial profiling, trumped up charges for traffic violations, seeking out people who look “illegal”, “key findings”, driving while brown, rapists and murderers being ignored by law enforcement, civil rights violations, abuse of public monies, unethical behavior, limelight loving, CIR killed by racism, anti-Hispanic, etc. etc.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 16, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Frank said:
    Oh so a Hispanic journalist claims that racism killed CIR? Go figure! That article was chocked full of lies and propaganda and pulling the race card as usual. And we anti’s get accused of posting articles with so-called lies in it? Just one of the lies in this one was calling us “anti-Hispanic.”
    E
    I chose an article by a Hispanic journalist to see if you would bite. You always say you are not against Legal Hispanics, yet the first thing you pointed out was that he was Hispanic. Your actions once again were those of a racist.
    Here is another article by a several white persons that proves that racism has everything to do with enforcement of immigration. What excuse will you conjure up this time?
    Are all these people also liars?
    Racism and the Immigration Sweeps
    By Eva Paterson, Kimberly Thomas Rapp, Nicholas Espíritu, David Salniker, Miguel Gavaldón, Jenny Lam and Keith Kamisugi
    At our staff meeting last week, we had a gut wrenching conversation about the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweeps. ICE has replaced the INS as the enforcement agency of US policy on immigration. Troubling reports are coming in from all over the country: that a seven-year-old US citizen was arrested and handcuffed, that brown people are being dragged out of their cars because of the color of their skin, that stores are surrounded by agents, that ICE employees are impersonating local police officers in staging pre-dawn raids, that Latinos are put in vans and spirited away to large detention camps in Arizona or torn from their families in Massachusetts and flown to Texas.
    Check out VersionLatina.com for text and photos about the raids (Spanish only site) and YouTube videos of an ICE raid in Greeley, Colorado, and of ‘Paula’, the sister of a detainee, who along with his wife were both apprehended by ICE agents, leaving two young children behind.
    What we see is the continuation of racial profiling. We learned that brown people are living in terror, and that when people’s relatives do not appear, the worst is feared: that they have they been scooped up and sent away. Over all this, the specter of the internment of Japanese-Americans is haunting us. Legal organizations such as the ACLU are attempting to do something about the overcrowded and inhumane conditions in the detention centers, many of them privately run, profiting off the warehousing of brown bodies.
    Some may question why EJS, as a racial justice organization, would weigh in on what is considered an immigrant rights issue, but the nature of these events makes it clear that the issues do not stand apart from each other. It is important to remember that immigration law began as a method of racial exclusion, one that sought to deny citizenship for Chinese people who, because of their race were deemed to be “ obnoxious to their very nature” and incapable of membership in this society.
    We must remember that a century ago, there were roundups in Chinatowns throughout the country, and that fifty years ago, the “immigration sweeps” that utilized racial profiling of Latinos carried the designation “Operation Wetback.”
    That it is today called “Operation Return to Sender” or “Operation Gatekeeper” merely reflects a change in the name, not in the motivation or results of the practice. At the time, the internment of Japanese Americans was justified on the basis of national security, but in reality it was racial discrimination. Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas Program in Mexico City, writes that Operation Return to Sender is an “instrumentalist policy that ignores the humanity of migrant workers.”
    Perhaps, when we can take a second to step back from these events, we can see them for what they are, and place it within the racist history of U.S. immigration law. The recent ICE raids have targeted “illegal” brown-skinned immigrants. We do not see “undocumented” Irish immigrants rounded up, tormented and terrorized in similar fashion … nor should we. Such inhumane treatment of any of our brothers and sisters should be intolerable to all of us.
    As our international community marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racism on March 21, we consider all forms of racial injustice that continue to permeate American society. “Operation Return to Sender” is one such form of injustice. At this time, we also recall that immigration was not on the radar of the current Administration until the scandal about warrantless surveillance broke. Karl Rove and others are expert at distracting the public and did so yet again by redirecting attention to immigration. Lou Dobbs and others have beaten a steady drumbeat on this topic. Vigilantes roam the border. A wall is to be built with echoes of East Berlin. We cannot ignore the reality that global poverty and economic inequity drive people from their beloved homes to our country.
    It is impossible for those of us fighting for racial equality to be silent and completely disassociate ourselves from those fighting for immigrant rights. We stand in solidarity with our allies calling for immigration reform and our allies mobilizing for immigrant rights . See Evelyn Sanchez’s post on this. She’s the advocacy coordinator for the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition.
    We cannot stand by and allow this to happen.
    The ACLU of Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area are seeking information relating to recent enforcement actions conducted by U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) as part of “Operation Return to Sender” in Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, San Benito, San Francisco, and Fresno counties, as well as other counties.
    Operation Return to Sender was launched in May 2006 and has led to the arrest of at least 13,000 people nationwide. The media has reported extensively on abusive practices committed as a result of the ICE enforcement actions, including: illegal entries and searches by ICE agents; misidentification of ICE agents as member of local police forces; inappropriate tactics related to children including conducting round-ups near schools and leaving minor children unattended upon their parents’ arrest; ethnic profiling; and violations of due process and abusive treatment.
    The Lawyers’ Committee is seeking information from members of the public who believe they were victims of abusive and unlawful ICE enforcement tactics, or who believe they have observed such tactics. If you have information regarding abusive ICE enforcement tactics, please contact the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, at 415-543-9444

  • Avatar
    laura
    July 16, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Evelyn – you quote Jon Garrido:
    “La Raza President Janet Murguia conceded in an interview with Oppenheimer, ”Hispanics need to do more to fight back against bigotry in the media.”
    Yet, Janet Murguia is a frequent guest on Lou Dobbs’ Broken Borders. Each time she visits Dobbs, she contributes to the television program’s ratings and Dobbs viewers chuckle as to how inept an Hispanic leader can be for being ambushed time after time and continuously smiling as Dobbs bashes Hispanics.”
    I’m stunned. I can’t believe this: the President of one of the largest Latina/o organizations is a frequent guest on Lou Dobbs?
    While people are trying to organize a boycott of CNN because of Lou Dobbs?
    Who pays Janet Murguia?
    Can she be fired?
    I recognize the leadership of NCLR has never won an award for intelligence. I distinctly remember their supporting Alberto “Torture is Legal” Gonzales for Attorney General of the United States. The reason they supported him: he is Latino. (Do you suppose the NAACP supported Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court? I don’t know – but I doubt it). Not surprisingly to anyone – except probably to Ms. Murguia – he then went on to cast shame not just on the Latino community, but on the whole United States, and had to resign in disgrace.
    Can we get some leadership with a minimum of smarts?

  • Avatar
    laura
    July 16, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I’m sorry – I should really be writing about Arpaio and his ilk – yet I can’t get out of my mind the item, posted by Evelyn, that Janet Murguia, President of National Council of La Raza, appears on Lou Dobbs’ show, and has done so repeatedly.
    That reminded me of this, which is still on the NCLR website:
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Jan 25, 2005
    NCLR ENDORSES NOMINATION OF ALBERTO GONZALES FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL
    Washington, D.C. – In a letter sent today to Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., endorsed the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for U.S. Attorney General.
    “Not only is Judge Gonzales a compelling American success story, it is also clear that few candidates for this post have been as well qualified. He has served as Texas’ secretary of state, as a member of the Texas Supreme Court, and as White House counsel, and has been deeply involved in his community throughout his life,” stated Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO.
    2 years later, after the most unbelievable performance before Congress, where he said “I don’t recall” 65 times (Or was it 68 times?), he was forced to resign.
    From the New York Times website: WACO, Tex., Aug. 27, 2007 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, announced his resignation in Washington today.
    Ms. Murguia seems as “well qualified” for her position as president of NCLR, as Mr. Gonzales was for the position she endorsed and recommended him for.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 17, 2008 at 1:49 am

    More tax money down the drain to pay off these Arpaio victims. His supporters should put their money where their mouth is and offer to help pay some of his victims law suits payments instead of trying to make us believe he is anything more than a (media whore) that loves attention and is willing to go to extremes to get it.
    Soon Sheriff stupid is going to banckkkrupt Maricopa county back into the 1800 wild west shoot um up days. LOL!
    Sheriff Arpaio Sued Over Racial Profiling Of Latinos In Maricopa County (7/16/2008)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org
    PHOENIX – Today, five individuals and Somos America, a Latino community-based coalition, sued Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office (MCSO) and Maricopa County, charging that they or their members were unlawfully stopped and mistreated by law enforcement because they are Latino. The class action lawsuit – which builds upon a complaint filed last December – is before the U.S. District Court in Arizona.
    The amended complaint was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arizona, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and lead counsel Steptoe & Johnson LLP. The lawsuit charges that the policies and practices of Arpaio and the county are discriminatory and unlawfully violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Arizona Constitution.
    “In this country we value fairness and equality. There’s nothing fair or equal about armed deputies pulling people over and treating them differently because of the color of their skin,” said ACLU of Arizona Legal Director Dan Pochoda. “Sheriff Arpaio does not have the right to profile people because they look Latino regardless of their immigration status. His job is to uphold the law, not violate people’s rights.”
    Sheriff Arpaio has made no secret that he believes physical appearance alone is sufficient reason to stop and question individuals regarding their immigration status. Arpaio has also touted the fact that he has directed his deputies to target people they perceive as immigrants in so-called “crime suppression sweeps” in Latino neighborhoods and areas where Latinos work as day laborers.
    MCSO’s rampant racial profiling has created a culture of fear in Maricopa County. Latinos in the community have good reason to worry that a trip to the grocery store or to work will end with interrogation by armed officers on the roadside and possible incarceration at the county jail.
    One plaintiff in the coalition’s lawsuit, Manuel Nieto, Jr., a U.S. citizen, was unlawfully stopped and detained in front of his family’s auto repair shop after police heard him listening to music in Spanish.
    “It was very humiliating to be handcuffed in front of my family’s business, in front of customers and neighbors,” said Nieto. “It’s not a crime to be Latino or listen to a Spanish-language radio station but you wouldn’t know that by the way Sheriff Joe and his posse treat people.”
    David J. Bodney, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson LLP, said, “At the sheriff’s hand, an atmosphere of fear and hostility has swept across the valley. It takes courage and commitment for these individual plaintiffs to come forward in the name of equal justice under law to stop this discriminatory treatment for everyone who lives here.”
    Maricopa County residents and local officials alike have complained that the conduct of the sheriff and his office go well beyond the scope of the MCSO’s legal authority and far too often results in the harassment of Latinos. Many complain that the sheriff’s obsession with enforcing federal immigration law has come at the expense of his office pursuing serious criminal matters.
    Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has denounced Sheriff Arpaio and last April, after the MCSO engaged in sweeps in the town of Guadalupe, Gordon formally requested that U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey launch a Justice Department investigation into Sheriff Arpaio’s and the MCSO’s “discriminatory harassment, improper stops, searches and arrests” of Latino persons in Maricopa County. Gordon has also publicly stated that the sweeps are interfering with the work of undercover city police officers and federal agents.
    “Police should not be in the business of acting as immigration agents; everyone’s safety is jeopardized when they do,” said MALDEF staff attorney Kristina Campbell. “In Maricopa County, as in other parts of the country, when local police try to take on the job of being immigration officers, immigrants and their family members often get the message that they should fear coming forward if they are the victim or witness of a crime.”
    Increased attempts by local police to involve themselves in federal immigration law enforcement have been accompanied by a troubling rise in complaints of racial profiling across the nation.
    “As charges of discrimination have mounted, Sheriff Arpaio has only dug in his heels, and the federal government has thus far done nothing to rein him in,” said Robin Goldfaden, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Unfortunately, court intervention is necessary for the Constitution to be upheld.”
    Lawyers on the case, Ortega Melendres, et al. v. Arpaio, et al., include Goldfaden and Mónica M. Ramírez of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Pochoda of the ACLU of Arizona; Campbell and Nancy Ramirez of MALDEF; and Bodney, Peter Kozinets, Karen Hartman-Tellez and Isaac Hernandez of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.
    The complaint is online at: http://www.aclu.org/immigrants/gen/35998lgl20080716.html
    The Letter from Mayor Gordon to Attorney General Mukasey is online at: http://www.aclu.org/immigrants/gen/35981res20080404.html

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Pointing out the bias of a Hispanic journalist does not make me a racist. How would anyone come up with that one? It actually proves his racism instead. I am not against law abiding, non-ethnocentric legal Hispanics. I didn’t think that needed explaining.
    An article by self-hating white people that are probably open borders far left kooks doesn’t ring credibility to me. There are white people who employ illegal aliens also. Do you actually think they will say anything good about those of us who oppose their little money making scheme? They would lie thru their teeth to protect their illegal slave labor employees.
    Since Latinos make up 80% of the illegals in this country, they are a whole lot easier to find and are a lot more visable than the other 20%. They aren’t hiding in the shadows like some would imply. The rest pretty much are. It is totally ridiculous based on the above that one would attribute racism to the more probable odds of catching them rather than the other 20%. Many of the 20% entered legally but overstayed their visas. However, they are also in violation of our immigration laws and should be deported as detected.
    How can anyone claim racism against Latinos in regards to immgiration when they have the second highest percentage of allowed quotas into our country? They are second only to Asians by a few percentage points. Do the ones who constantly scream racism in here want to answer that question? I doubt it!

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 18, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Alex, show one thing that I have ever said in here that is racist. You can’t!
    So for Mexico to want to retain their majority Hispanic/Latino population, language and culture would also be racist then, right? How about the Chinese? Should any country’s citizens welcome their own genocide thru illegal immigration? How is that racism or xenophobia??? Think for once will you!!!!
    I have nothing against legal, law abiding Hispanics. You are just pulling the race card like you pro-illegal, ethnocentrics always do.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 18, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Oh and Alex, Hispanics are the majority in 22 countries on the Western Hemisphere? How many more countries do you have to dominate and be the majority in before you are satisfied?

  • Avatar
    Evelyn Chavez
    July 21, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Alex, show one thing that I have ever said in here that is racist. You can’t!
    E
    Here are two racist things that you’ve said just in your last few posts.
    1.”Oh so a Hispanic journalist claims that racism killed CIR? Go figure! That article was chocked full of lies and propaganda and pulling the race card as usual.”
    Still no proof what you say is true, where is the proof he is lying?
    2. ” You are just pulling the race card like you pro-illegal, ethnocentrics always do.”
    Posted by Frank

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 21, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Saw nothing racist in my comments. Only the truth. Try again.

  • Avatar
    Catalina
    July 21, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Alex stated:
    Well Frankie, your attitude and postings expose that you are a racist and antihispanic. I remember you post something like you do not like the idea of hispanics becoming a majority. That is xenophobia, racism, no matter how you want to paint it.
    Evelyn stated:
    The only consolation is a population projection from the Unites States Census Bureau: In the year 2097, 50% of the entire United States population will be Hispanic, 30% will be black, 13% will be Asian, 5% will be white, and 2% will be ”other.” The browning of America is inevitable. No one can stop it.
    LMAO!
    Alex, can you not see that Evelyn has made a racist and xenophobic remark against Americans? And she obviosly means “white” Americans. She says, “the browning of America is inevitable. No one can stop it.” Why is it ok for her to make such a terrible statement but you do not attack her? I am half-white, half-Hispanic but I consider myself all American. Evelyn seems to hate Americans, especially white Americans. Where does that leave people like me?

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 22, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Catalina, what makes Evelyn’s statement even more racist is that this will come about by illegal immigration. She couldn’t care less if the white majority who builit this country from the ground up is replaced in this cowardly manner.
    Hispanics are the majority in 22 countries on the Western Hemisphere. Guess it isn’t enough for her!

  • Avatar
    Evelyn Patrick
    July 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Catalina
    Dont you think it’s dumb to blame me for something stated in an article written by someone else?
    I am referring to the following statement.
    Evelyn stated:
    The only consolation is a population projection from the Unites States Census Bureau: In the year 2097, 50% of the entire United States population will be Hispanic, 30% will be black, 13% will be Asian, 5% will be white, and 2% will be ”other.” The browning of America is inevitable. No one can stop it.
    LMAO!
    “Alex, can you not see that Evelyn has made a racist and xenophobic remark against Americans? And she obviosly means “white” Americans. She says, “the browning of America is inevitable. No one can stop it.” Why is it ok for her to make such a terrible statement but you do not attack her? I am half-white, half-Hispanic but I consider myself all American. Evelyn seems to hate Americans, especially white Americans. Where does that leave people like me?”
    Obviously you read the article and didnt like what it said. In your haste to demonize me for posting it you failed to see the following.
    Racism Killed Immigration Reform
    PHOENIX (By Jon Garrido, Hispanic News and the Blue Dogs of the Democratic Party) September 5, 2007
    Leave your foot in your mouth all day, maybe that way you will be more cautious when placing blame.
    BTW I dont hate white people or people of any color. I am willing to put my life on the line to defend justice and equality for all people including you.
    It is the practice of racism I despise.
    You can view the article at the link provided below.
    http://hispanic.cc/racism_killed_immigration_reform.htm

  • Avatar
    Evelyn Patrick
    July 22, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Saw nothing racist in my comments. Only the truth. Try again.
    E
    Neither did this lady! LMAO!
    http://bravenewfilms.org/blog/25994-cnn-s-suzanne-malveaux-reports-on-race-in-south-carolina

  • Avatar
    Evelyn Patrick
    July 22, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    JG
    See, I do include last names with my posts. Chavéz because I admire Cesar and my grandmothers maiden (Patrick) name. You never said it had to be mine.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    July 23, 2008 at 5:47 am

    “BTW I dont hate white people or people of any color. I am willing to put my life on the line …”
    Life on the line, Evelyn, as an anonymous commentator in an obscure blog? Give me a break, you don’t even use your own name! You’re more pathetic than brave. You can’t even recognize the tenor of your comments if you believe that you speak with equanimity.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Horace :
    “BTW I dont hate white people or people of any color. I am willing to put my life on the line …”
    Life on the line, Evelyn, as an anonymous commentator in an obscure blog? Give me a break, you don’t even use your own name! You’re more pathetic than brave. You can’t even recognize the tenor of your comments if you believe that you speak with equanimity.
    E
    That is your openion Horace. Just remember that if not for people like me who fight for your rights, you wouldent be able to express it. Think before you speak!

  • Avatar
    Horace
    July 25, 2008 at 5:39 am

    “That is your openion Horace. Just remember that if not for people like me who fight for your rights, you wouldent be able to express it. Think before you speak!’
    Getting tongue-tied, Horatio? Try to learn from your cut and paste communist authors, as your own spelling talent is on the level of a 5-year old.
    Evelyn, considering that you have all the eloquence of a babbling fool, I’d rather not have you defend any of my rights.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 25, 2008 at 8:05 am

    The only rights you are fighting for are those who are in this country illegally. You couln’t care less about the majority of Americans in this country unless they are Hispanic.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 25, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Horace said
    “Getting tongue-tied, Horatio? Try to learn from your cut and paste communist authors, as your own spelling talent is on the level of a 5-year old.
    Evelyn, considering that you have all the eloquence of a babbling fool, I’d rather not have you defend any of my rights”
    E
    Your opinions of me dont concern me. I just consider the source.
    Whether you like it or not, it is still because of people like me that you are able to run your mouth and express them.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 26, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Care to explain how people like you are granting the rest of America freedom of speech? It is guaranteed by our Constitution. Did you write it?

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 28, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Frank :
    Care to explain how people like you are granting the rest of America freedom of speech? It is guaranteed by our Constitution. Did you write it
    E
    Very simple. I advocate for the constution and the rights it gives to all people within our borders, against people who practice racism and think only they should enjoy those rights leaving “others” to the mercy of people like me who are a voice for all.

  • Avatar
    Michaela
    July 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Franks said, “Care to explain how people like you are granting the rest of America freedom of speech? It is guaranteed by our Constitution. Did you write it?”
    I don’t quite understand Evelyn’s hostility. As you say Frank, our freedom of speech is guaranteed by our Constitution. I almost get the feeling Evelyn thinks SHE is doing us some great favor by ALLOWING us to exercise our first amendment right to freedom of speech. I notice you have been accused of being hostile here, but frankly, the depth of the hatred Evelyn seems to have for Americans (just white Americans?) is very distressing to me.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    As I already stated, our Constitution does not nullify our immigration laws nor the right to enforce them.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    July 29, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Michaela, glad you can see what is really going on in here. I don’t post negative articles or lies about legal or illegal Hispanics even though I am falsely accused of it by her. The Congressional Budget Office (a government source) has already stated that illegal immigration is a negative to our country. I am called a racist anyway even though I mostly only argue from the rule of law point of view. She hates all whites that don’t agree with her views and can’t debate civilly. All she has is the race card and her vile insults. If I were Marisa I would throw her off this blog for those kinds of tactics. It doesn’t make her blog look good.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    July 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Evelyn says:
    “I advocate for the constution and the rights it gives to all people within our borders.”
    Thats hilarious, especially if you were to read the pre-amble of the Constitution, which states:
    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    There’s something about ourselves and our posterity that just doesn’t equate to what she is perceiving. So please, Evelyn, try again. Maybe you should try the Charter of United Nations instead.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    July 30, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Here Liquid educate yourself.
    Inalienable Rights
    Can human-rights law help to end U.S. mistreatment of noncitizens?
    By Alison Parker
    Published in American Prospect
    The United States, famous as a nation of immigrants, should also be infamous for its bouts of anti-immigrant sentiment. Often our intolerance has been fueled by national-security fears. At other times, Americans have made misguided assumptions about who immigrants are and the rights that protect them.
    Foreigners in the United States illegally get a lot of publicity, but a substantial majority of noncitizens in America are here legally. They include permanent residents; people legally admitted for work, education, or tourism; refugees; asylum seekers; and people with temporary protected status. All of these noncitizens—including those here illegally—are guaranteed almost all the same rights as citizens. In fact, only three constitutional rights—voting in elections, holding certain political offices, and the absolute ability to enter and remain in the country—are denied noncitizens outright. Otherwise, the Constitution grants to “the people” or “persons”—not just to citizens—the rights to due process and equal protection of the law, to freedom of speech and assembly, and to freedom from arbitrary detention or cruel and unusual punishments.
    International human-rights law uses much the same terminology to recognize these—and a few additional—rights of noncitizens. The parallels are no coincidence. When the nations of the world gathered together after the nightmare of Nazism to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they looked to U.S. constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights for inspiration and guidance. The notion that all persons, whatever their legal status, have basic rights was then further elaborated in numerous international treaties.
    In other contexts, the United States has a practice of limiting its human-rights obligations in the treaties it ratifies. But there are no such limits on immigrants’ rights. None of the reservations and understandings the United States has entered for key treaties—including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, or the Convention Against Torture and Other, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment—specifically limit noncitizens’ rights.
    On paper, constitutionally and internationally, Americans respect the rights of noncitizens. But inspiring words on a statue in New York Harbor notwithstanding, unadulterated welcome has never been our actual stance. From mid-19th-century attacks on Irish and German immigrant workers to legislated xenophobia in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to Japanese internment during World War II, the targets and expressions of hostility have shifted with the times. Since September 11, it is the 5.5 million persons of Arab or south Asian descent who are living under a pall of suspicion and resentment. Today the United States, which once motivated the world to take human rights seriously, must turn to the world’s human-rights treaties to correct the mistreatment of the immigrants in our midst.
    Slandered by “Special Interest”
    Immediately after 9-11, the U.S. government questioned thousands of noncitizens of Arab and south Asian descent who were selected for no reason other than their ethnic or religious backgrounds. A full 752 were arrested for routine immigration violations. While none was ever charged with terrorism, the government gave them the slanderous moniker of being of “special interest” to the terrorism investigation.
    The special-interest detainees were subjected to secret immigration hearings where even their families were excluded. All endured periods of detention without charge. Thirty-six were held for 28 days or more, 13 were held for more than 40 days, and nine were held for more than 50 days—all without charge. One Saudi Arabian detainee was held for 119 days.
    While detainees at one detention center in Brooklyn waited, correction officers slammed them against walls, causing pain and injuries. Other detainees had their fingers and wrists painfully twisted, or their restraints pulled to harm their legs and arms or to trip them so that they fell to the floor.
    But even after they were charged with routine immigration violations (such as overstaying a visa) and ordered deported, the government continued to investigate them and to keep them jailed until it concluded they were not of interest. The government’s assumption was that these noncitizens might be somehow linked to the 9-11 attacks. They were not. The special-interest detainees were treated like serious criminals when the worst they were ever charged with were run-of-the mill immigration violations.
    Unfair detentions of “witnesses”
    Under the U.S. material-witness law, individuals can be detained if a judge decides that they are unlikely to appear at trial and that their testimony is material. But after 9-11, the government used the law to detain at least 60 people, the majority of whom were noncitizens of Arab or south Asian descent, for the 9-11 grand juries while it interrogated and investigated them.
    The government used appallingly circular logic when applying the material-witness law to noncitizens. First, the government alleged that noncitizens had some links to terrorism, often based on tenuous facts and assumptions about their religion and national origins. Without the supposition of guilt, these alleged witnesses could simply have been subpoenaed rather than incarcerated. Next, the government convinced judges that the witnesses had to be imprisoned because they were immigrants with relatives abroad and were at risk of fleeing the country. This was argued even when a witness was a legal immigrant, had lived here for several years with a spouse and children, and had voluntarily come forward to give information.
    Many of the immigrants were never called to testify as witnesses. Instead, they were detained for months under punitive prison conditions. Some were questioned repeatedly without a lawyer present, and when their testimony changed, the government charged them with perjury.
    Human-rights law prohibits detaining someone without charge or without carefully following the law (in this case, the material-witness law). U.S. law says the same, but in the post–9-11 atmosphere in the United States, courts were exceptionally deferential to the government’s flawed assumptions.
    Draconian deportations
    Well before 9-11, assumptions about immigrants tended to harm their rights. It was the 1995 bombing of the U.S. federal building in Oklahoma City—a crime committed by white U.S. citizens—that prompted Congress to pass anti-terrorism and death-penalty legislation in 1996, which also contained the most draconian immigration restrictions in our recent history.
    While U.S. citizens convicted of crimes pay their debts to society and then return to their lives, under the 1996 laws, noncitizens with identical criminal records are deported after serving their sentences. Previously, legal long-term residents had the chance to tell a judge why they believed deportation would unfairly harm them and their families. But under the 1996 law, it doesn’t matter how long noncitizens have lived in the United States, what their contributions to their community have been, or whether they have been rehabilitated. Legal permanent residents, U.S. military veterans, and adults who have been here since childhood and do not even remember their countries of origin have been treated as harshly under U.S. immigration law as undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes.
    For example, 8-year-old Brazilian Joso Herbert became the adopted son of an American family in 1987. Two months after his graduation from high school in 1997, he sold 7.5 ounces of marijuana to a police informant. Because he was a first-time offender, he was sentenced to probation and community service. But then he was deported to Brazil—a place where he knows no one and where he no longer understands the language.
    Despite their drastic nature, deportations can occur after proceedings in which immigrants have no lawyer to help them; because deportation is considered a civil matter, it does not trigger the Fourth Amendment right to counsel. This is particularly unfortunate because Congress decided to make the laws retroactive, and an immigrant may now face deportation for a crime he or she pleaded guilty to years ago when it carried no such consequence. Moreover, the new laws expanded the crimes that prompt deportation to include even minor misdemeanor offenses, e.g., violations of drug-paraphernalia laws. In the nine years the laws have been in place, 258,112 noncitizens have been deported for crimes.
    These deportations are ripping apart American families and violating the human right to family unity. About one in every 10 children in the United States lives in a family that includes citizen and noncitizen members. Today, if a noncitizen parent faces deportation for a crime, he or she may not even have a chance to argue before a judge that removal from the United States equals separation from a U.S. citizen child.
    Lost wages
    All of the immigrant workers in the United States, whether here legally or not, have the same international labor rights as U.S. citizens. As the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has noted, “If undocumented workers are contracted to work, they immediately are entitled to the same rights as all workers.” As workers, for example, they have the right to organize and to a remedy if illegally fired. U.S. state and federal courts confirmed this view of the rights of workers up until 2002.
    But in 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hoffman Plastic Compounds Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board decision told undocumented workers that while their work is accepted, their basic human rights are not. The Hoffman decision stripped some 12 million undocumented workers of their ability to receive back pay for lost wages if they are illegally fired for organizing. The possibility of having to provide back pay has been a significant deterrent to employers seeking to squelch union organizing efforts by firing pro-union workers. But the Court said that immigration policy and labor law were in conflict, and that immigration law trumps laws intended to protect workers’ rights.
    Before Hoffman, unions could tell all workers that they need not fear employer retaliation for organizing because they would not lose wages due to them if they were illegally thrown off the job. Now, employers can take full advantage of the work of illegally present immigrants and then, if they stand up for their rights, fire them with impunity.
    However, other labor rights of noncitizens, such as the right to a safe workplace and to compensation for injuries, are recognized in both international and U.S. law. After Hoffman, these rights remain in force, and U.S. courts and administrative tribunals are open to protect them. The problem is that noncitizens are afraid to vindicate their rights because they fear the immigration consequences of complaining. Legal or illegal, they do not want to end up in an immigration court.
    Denied due process
    Immigrant workers, indeed all noncitizens, have cause to fear immigration courts. Well before September 11, throughout the 1980s and ’90s, U.S. immigration hearings were often marred by procedural failings that violated both constitutional and human-rights law. Immigrants weren’t informed of their right to hire an attorney, interpreters were badly prepared or nonexistent, and some noncitizens were never notified of the case or charges against them.
    Haitian asylum seekers have been interdicted at sea, where the United States claims it has fewer obligations, and denied their human right to fair and efficient asylum procedures. The Haitians were rushed through cursory hearings, if they received them at all, on board hot and overcrowded ships, without privacy, and with their testimony poorly translated.
    The 1996 laws brought a new onslaught of substantive due-process problems. Besides mandating deportation for even minor criminal convictions, they subjected newly arrived refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries to mandatory detention. Asylum seekers were previously granted parole, which made it easier for them to access a lawyer, adjust psychologically, and prepare their cases. Now refugees have a slim chance of leaving prison before their cases are finally decided. They can wait months, sometimes years, before they are released.
    A widening net
    Three years after al-Qaeda’s attacks, the United States is continuing to cast a wide and disparaging net over noncitizens, both at home and abroad. U.S. consular officials abroad have instituted elaborate screening procedures for visa applicants and refugees selected for resettlement in the United States. Instituting security checks on visa applicants may make sense for national security, but refugees who have already had their cases assessed and who are, by definition, fleeing for their lives should be placed in a speedier queue because the United States has a special international obligation to protect them.
    At home, the Department of Homeland Security has decided to subject every noncitizen within 160 miles of the Mexican or Canadian borders to “expedited procedures” (meaning less due process) to determine whether they are legally present. If not, they will be immediately deported without a hearing.
    The new policy raises questions about the training and capacity of border agents to assess the legal status of noncitizens and to effectively and fairly identify those who risk persecution in their home countries. A United Nations report leaked to The New York Times in August 2004 revealed that similar expedited procedures, in place at U.S. airports since 1997, have resulted in some asylum seekers being harassed and intimidated, discouraged from seeking asylum, and interviewed without translators by airport inspectors who lacked knowledge of asylum law.
    No right to enter
    All around the world, diverse factors, from conflict to international business, are prompting people to cross borders and start life anew in a country other than their own. As a result, governments are confronted each day with the question of what rights they must guarantee to noncitizens.
    As much as they’d rather not admit it, world leaders settled that question long ago. Governments realized early on that the best way to make sure that their citizens were treated well abroad was to sign reciprocal treaties with other governments promising to treat foreigners fairly. Emmerich de Vattel, the most influential international-law scholar in the early days of the United States, wrote that “denial of justice” to aliens would justify their home country’s decision to begin a war of reprisal against the United States. This is why international human-rights treaties are almost entirely blind to the citizenship status of the people they protect.
    Many politicians fear that respecting immigrants’ human rights will require granting them a broad or poorly policed “right to enter.” September 11 has only redoubled those fears. But an absolute right to enter is not what the international human rights of immigrants are about. Rather, they are about treating all human beings fairly and without discrimination. Americans in particular should look toward international human-rights laws because they compel us to strive toward becoming what, as a nation of immigrants united on behalf of freedom and democracy, we claim that we already are.
    Alison Parker, a Human Rights Watch senior researcher, has conducted human-rights investigations in several U.S. prisons and refugee settings in west Africa, east Africa, and central Asia. She is the author of the book-length report “Hidden in Plain View: Refugees in Nairobi and Kampala.”

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    July 31, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Oh, Evelyn, your article states exactly what I have said. The one needing an education is you.
    “including those here illegally—are guaranteed almost all the same rights as citizens.”
    The words “almost all the same” does not grant them “all the same”, there is a big difference.
    Now lets look at the Charter of the UN, which is the Human Rights laws she is talking about.
    “International human-rights law uses much the same terminology to recognize these—and a few additional—rights of noncitizens. The parallels are no coincidence. When the nations of the world gathered together after the nightmare of Nazism to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they looked to U.S. constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights for inspiration and guidance. The notion that all persons, whatever their legal status, have basic rights was then further elaborated in numerous international treaties.”
    Here is the key statement from the above paragraph, are you ready for it……”International human-rights law uses much the same terminology to recognize these—and a few additional—rights of noncitizens. The parallels are no coincidence.”
    Learn the difference and understand what they mean. Until then maybe you should think about getting re-educated to better understand the actual situation and how the laws pertaining to it are figured. Better yet, maybe you should pay me as a consultant for teaching you something. My rates are $120 per posting (thats US$ not Pesos$).

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    August 1, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I think the following quote is the money shot:
    “Despite their drastic nature, deportations can occur after proceedings in which immigrants have no lawyer to help them; because deportation is considered a civil matter, it does not trigger the Fourth Amendment right to counsel.”
    Does this quote, from your article, help you understand what I have said about “Illegal Immigrants” not having rights?
    You like to always bring up the point that “Illegal Immigration” is an Civil Offense. So, by your own ignorance, you yourself deny “Illegal Immigrants” there Civil Rights due to it being only a Civil Offense.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    August 2, 2008 at 12:06 am

    You know about plants and I think it’s a wonderful profession. What you do is good for all people.
    I wont say anymore because I dont know all the circumstances as to why sometimes it is hard to understand what you write.
    Peace Liquid

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    August 2, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Posted by Evelyn | 28 de Julio 2008 a las 02:56 AM
    Very simple. I advocate for the constution and the rights it gives to all people within our borders, against people who practice racism and think only they should enjoy those rights leaving “others” to the mercy of people like me who are a voice for all.
    Posted by Liquidmicro | 29 de Julio 2008 a las 11:00 PM
    Evelyn says:
    “I advocate for the constution and the rights it gives to all people within our borders.”
    LM
    Thats hilarious, especially if you were to read the pre-amble of the US Constitution, which states:
    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    There’s something about ourselves and our posterity that just doesn’t equate to what she is perceiving. So please, Evelyn, try again. Maybe you should try the Charter of United Nations instead.
    Posted by Evelyn | 30 de Julio 2008 a las 07:38 PM
    Here Liquid educate yourself.
    Inalienable Rights
    Can human-rights law help to end U.S. mistreatment of noncitizens?
    By Alison Parker

    Posted by Liquidmicro | 31 de Julio 2008 a las 09:10 AM
    Oh, Evelyn, your article states exactly what I have said. The one needing an education is you.
    “including those here illegally—are guaranteed almost all the same rights as citizens.”
    The words “almost all the same” does not grant them “all the same”, there is a big difference.
    Now lets look at the Charter of the UN, which is the Human Rights laws she is talking about.
    “International human-rights law uses much the same terminology to recognize these—and a few additional—rights of noncitizens. The parallels are no coincidence. When the nations of the world gathered together after the nightmare of Nazism to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they looked to U.S. constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights for inspiration and guidance. The notion that all persons, whatever their legal status, have basic rights was then further elaborated in numerous international treaties.”
    Here is the key statement from the above paragraph, are you ready for it……”International human-rights law uses much the same terminology to recognize these—and a few additional—rights of noncitizens. The parallels are no coincidence.”
    Learn the difference and understand what they mean. Until then maybe you should think about getting re-educated to better understand the actual situation and how the laws pertaining to it are figured. Better yet, maybe you should pay me as a consultant for teaching you something. My rates are $120 per posting (thats US$ not Pesos$).
    Posted by Liquidmicro | 1 de Agosto 2008 a las 02:52 PM
    I think the following quote is the money shot:
    “Despite their drastic nature, deportations can occur after proceedings in which immigrants have no lawyer to help them; because deportation is considered a civil matter, it does not trigger the Fourth Amendment right to counsel.”
    Does this quote, from your article, help you understand what I have said about “Illegal Immigrants” not having rights?
    You like to always bring up the point that “Illegal Immigration” is an Civil Offense. So, by your own ignorance, you yourself deny “Illegal Immigrants” there Civil Rights due to it being only a Civil Offense.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1.) I try to get you to understand that our Constitution and Bill of Rights do not provide Rights to “Illegal Immigrants” but that the UN Charter and UN Bill of Rights are what do that. They were signed and made active in 1951, these are what give Rights to them here.
    2.)Since you were arguing about being here “Illegally” was only a Misdemeanor Offense (in other topics), I showed you from your own article that because it is a Misdemeanor Offense, they are not entitled to the 4th Amendment of our US Constitution.
    I think you get stuck to much on what is said vs what is the point. Argue the points.

Comments are closed.

40 Comments