Immigration artivism: Jose Antonio Vargas at La Peña tonight


When it comes to activist journalists (as it often does in these parts), they don't get much more relevant than Jose Antonio Vargas. The anniversary of the 31-year old Filipino's revelation that he is an illegal immigrant -- in the New York Times Magazine, after earning a Pulitzer for his team's reporting on the Virginia Tech shooting no less – may have shook President Obama granting administrative relief to DREAM Act-eligible youngsters. Head to La Peña Cultural Center today (Tue/26) to hear him reimagine our country's dialogue on immigration rights. Read more »

SF supervisors urge city to defy federal immigration holds


The San Francisco Board of Supervisors yesterday (Tues/13) approved a resolution calling for the city to adopt stronger policies for resisting federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants who live here. It is the latest move to support the city's Sanctuary City status and counter the federal Secure Communities (S-Com) program, a new database that allows the feds to circumvent local policies protecting local immigrants who have been arrested but not convicted of any crimes.Read more »

Helping the 99 percent -- with less

La Raza Centro Legal fights to address the issues raised by Occupy, and it needs support


OPINION La Raza Centro Legal, an organization central to the empowerment of San Francisco's low-wage immigrant workers, finds common cause with the Occupy movement during a time when our programs combining legal services and worker organizing are in jeopardy. Our hour of need falls within a window of tough times, but heightened political awareness, and we are calling out to the community to join us in solidarity as members of the 99 percent.Read more »

Civil rights advocates say S-Comm reforms are spin, part of bigger FBI biometric tracking plan


In face of mounting criticism nationwide, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today changes to its Secure Communities (S-Comm) deportation program. These changes include protections for domestic violence victims, and immigrants who are pursuing legitimate civil liberties protections. Read more »

CA Senate committee approves TRUST Act in face of rising "S-Comm" concerns


The California Senate Public Safety Committee approved Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s TRUST Act, (AB 1081) today in a 5-2 vote, in face of rising concerns about a troubled federal fingerprinting and deportation program known as Secure Communities (S-Comm). The TRUST Act would reform California's participation in S-Comm, which has increasingly come under fire for undermining public safety and operating without transparency or local oversight. Read more »

Pelosi says S-Comm is a waste of taxpayer dollars


House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called the fed’s troubled “Secure Communities” program a waste of money, as members of Congress held a press conference in Los Angeles to call for a suspension of the program. Illinois, New York and Massachusetts have already announced their withdrawal from S-Comm, following numerous reports that the program has led to non-criminal immigrants and even victims of domestic violence being caught up in the fed’s deportation dragnet, resulting in a chilling effect on community-police relations. Read more »

Gov. Cuomo suspends S-Comm in New York State


More bad news for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s troubled Secure Communities program, which continues to draw fire for deporting thousands of folks with no criminal records since it was started under former President George W. Bush in 2008. Last month, Illinois said it was quitting the program, and today Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a letter suspending S-Comm in NY state. Read more »

Ammiano’s TRUST Act passes the Assembly


Tom Ammiano’s TRUST Act (AB 1081) passed the California Assembly in a 47-26 vote. It now heads to the Senate for approval. Ammiano says his bill "seeks to repair the damaging impacts of the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency's “Secure" Communities program."  The feds' Secure-Communities program, in which fingerprints taken in local jails are automatically shared with immigration enforcement officials, has increasingly been accused of undermining public safety without transparency or local oversight. Read more »

Campos urges Lee to implement entire due process law


Text by Sarah Phelan. Photographs by Luke Thomas

After the Guardian broke the news that Mayor Ed Lee was planning to only partially implement Sup. David Campos’ due process legislation, we headed to City Hall to witness Lee announce his partial shift during question time. And afterwards, Lee told reporters that he spent the months since he was appointed reviewing the policy and talking with leaders in the city’s juvenile justice departments.

“I looked at the difference between youth with family here and youth who did not,” Lee said, noting that his decision to let youth that have family here to have their day in court is in keeping with his policy of focusing on family reunification and getting families more involved.

Lee stressed that youth with family here will still need to be enrolled in school and not be repeat offenders in order to have their day in court.

“It will be decided upon on a case by case basis,” he said. Read more »

Mayor Lee to partially implement Campos’ due process ordinance


Today at question time, Sup. Jane Kim will ask Mayor Ed Lee what his plan is to implement a due process ordinance that Sup. David Campos authored and a super majority of the Board approved in 2009, prohibiting the Juvenile Probation Department from reporting undocumented youths at the time of arrest. And according to an anonymous source, Lee will say he has decided to implement the policy, if the youth in question are “accompanied,” which means they have family here. Read more »