Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Migrant Farmworkers in VT Stand Against inSecure Communities

Two weeks ago ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) announced that their "Secure Communities" program, which three states have already opted out of, is now mandatory in every state. The program requires all law enforcement officials to send fingerprints to ICE, turning local and state police into immigration agents whether they wish to participate in the program or not. This misnamed program targets marginalized communities, separates families, and creates even more fear among those who already live with the daily threat of detention and deportation. It is clear that this nation's immigration system is broken. It's clear that this nation completely depends on the labor of those who are unable to obtain documentation (i.e. work visas are not available for year-round work, such as on dairy farms). Community organizations across the country have renamed this program "(in)Secure Communities" and have coordinated rallies, walk-outs, community forums, petition drives, and call-ins. For more information on (in)Secure Communities, see the earlier ICE Is Drawing the Line, Which Side are You On? post.

In solidarity with the actions happening across the U.S., last Thursday Vermont migrant farmworkers and their allies held a press conference, delivered a petition that was written and signed by VT migrant farmworkers to the Governor, and spoke with media, as well as state and national Representatives. Press coverage (television, newspaper, and blog), as well as a video about (in)Secure Communities created by VT migrant farmworkers, are posted below. If you haven't already, please take a moment to
encourage Governor Shumlin to take a stand against this program by signing the petition here. Please also sign the national petition here, calling President Obama to end the (in)Secure Communities program. Below you will also find postings about some of the actions happening across the country.

VT Press Conference against (in)Secure Communities

Over Lopez, Danilo Lopez, and Natalia Fajardo of Migrant Justice 
speak out against inSecure Communities.

Local Press on Actions Against (in)Secure Communities in Vermont:

Vt. Migrant Workers Decry Immigration Crackdown: Gov. Shumlin Asked To Intervene by Stewart Ledbetter, NewsChannel 5 – WPTZ, Aug 19, 2011 (click on title to view)

Migrant Farmworkers to Shumlin: Denounce Immigration Enforcement Program by Andy Bromage, Blurt: Seven Days Staff Blog, Aug 18, 2011

And this video created by Leonel and Danilo, members of the VT migrant farm worker community, and allies with Migrant Justice:

(in)Secure Communities (S-Comm)

Radio interview with Natalia Fajardo of Migrant Justice, WDEV 96.1FM, Aug 23, 2011 (link coming soon!)

Radio interview with Dana L Woodruff, community herbalist and volunteer with Migrant Justice and the Central VT Farm Worker Coalition talking about borders, No More Deaths, and (in)Secure Communities, WGDR 91.1FM's "Quilting Hour" program with Deborah Reger, Aug 24, 2011, click here

National Actions Against (in)Secure Communities:
The National Day Laborer’s Organizing Network and a National Community Advisory Commission published a shadow report entitiled “RESTORING COMMUNITY: A National Community Advisory Report on ICE’s Failed “Secure Communities” Program” This report can be download here or read online here.

Federal Policy Resulting in Wave of Deportations Draws Protests
by Julia Preston, NY Times Aug 16, 2011

The Two Faces of Obama on Immigration: He stays some deportations even as he extends the draconian 'secure communities'. Will the real president please stand up? by Sarahi Uribe

How to Walk out of a DHS [In]secure Communities Hearing This is the testimony/call for a walk out by Alaa Mukahhal, given at the public hearing on Secure Communities in Chicago, August 17th, 2011. After this call, over 300 people walked out of the meeting to join a civil disobedience by undocumented students outside.

For a national listing of actions against (in)Secure Communities, click here.

Join the “Drop the I-Word” Campaign. Calling a person “illegal” denies their human dignity. The slur opens the door to racial profiling and violence and prevents truthful, respectful debate on immigration. People are not illegal. “I will not call people “illegals” or other racially charged words that dehumanize, confuse debate, and fuel violence. I pledge to join communities nationwide in asking media to do the same.”

For more information please see earlier posts: Statehouse Adventures: Immigrant Rights are Human Rights and Healthcare is a Human Right and (Im)migration and Lip Balms for Social Justice?!

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