Immigration Reform

Farmworkers Facing Disastrous Immigration Legislation

From our friends at Farmworker Justice

The threats to farmworkers and their families intensified this week.  We ask your support to help farmworkers fight for a fair immigration system.
Yesterday, the House immigration subcommittee held a hearing on agricultural guestworker programs.  Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chair of the Judiciary Committee, said he will introduce a bill to repeal and replace the H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program.  His bill’s guestworker program would eliminate major labor protections on wages, housing and government oversight.  He opposes a path to immigration status and citizenship for undocumented farmworkers.
The day before, in a sneak attack, the House Appropriations Committee inserted into a spending bill a provision that would undermine farmworkers’ wages and conditions.  It would allow employers with year-round jobs to hire H-2A guestworkers.  Dairies and other farms with year-round jobs should compete for workers with good job terms.
Undocumented dairy and other agricultural workers should be granted an opportunity for immigration status and citizenship.
Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said that he will propose a guestworker program.  And there already are several anti-immigrant, anti-worker bills pending in Congress to change the H-2A program.
Help us stop these anti-worker, anti-immigrant proposals.  We must struggle for fair immigration policies and a path to immigration status and citizenship for undocumented farmworkers and their families.  The Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 would do that.
We ask for your support for our vital work at this momentous time.
Bruce
P.S.  Descriptions of legislative proposals on farmworker immigration are available on our website.

Anti-immigrant group attempting to stop Oregon Sanctuary law

WATCH OUT!

On March 25th, 2017, three extreme right-wing legislators filed a potential 2018 ballot measure in an effort to repeal Oregon’s 30 year-old sanctuary law that restricts local resources from being used for federal immigration enforcement.

The effort is beind led by anti-immigrant group Oregonians for Immigration Reform who was begun collecting signatures to place an anti-sanctuary ballot initiative on the November 2018 ballot. Initiative 22, filed by Oregon State Reps. Mike Nearman, Sal Esquivel, and Greg Bareto on April 25, seeks to repeal Oregon Revised Statute 181A.850. Esquivel and Nearman filed a similar initiative last year, but withdrew it last month.

To support the signature gathering effort, OFIR activists established the Repeal Oregon Sanctuary Law Committee on April 28, according to records from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.

OFIR has been trying to repeal Oregon Revised Statute 181A.850 for 15 years. Here is what OFIR co-founder Elizabeth Van Staaveren had to say about their efforts:  http://www.oregonir.org/alerts/ofir-launches-stop-oregon-sanctuaries-ballot-measure-drive

Donate to PCUN’s ICE Raid Resistance Efforts

Support PCUN’s ICE Raid Resistance Efforts:  Donate to help here

Dear ally,

We need your help to build our community’s capacity to respond to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). 

As you know, President Trump’s interior immigration executive order is slowly tearing apart families and communities across our nation. We’ve experienced this first-hand in our hometown, Woodburn Oregon.

In the early morning of February 24th, 16 farm workers were stopped by ICE on their way to work. The agents claimed they were looking for a person. When the worker answered they didn’t know that person, the agents started asking them about their immigration status. They refuse to talk. Despite their efforts to express their constitutional rights, they were still taken. Woodburn and our neighboring communities have not been the same after.

Farmworkers are thinking twice about going work. Parents are preparing their older children to parent in case they are taken. Some no longer want to seek medical assistance. Dozens of permanent residents are coming to our service center to apply for citizenship. Grades are down for students. Business is down. The fear is not about meeting basic needs. As immigrants, we know what is like to start from scratch. It’s about family and the threat of separation.

So what are we doing about it?

DSC05391 (3)Following the raid we began organizing a series of Know You’re Rights trainings, which eventually led to the creation of the Mid-Willamette Valley ICE Rapid Response Network. To date, we have trained over 300 people, 26 of which are now trainers themselves. Our allies at the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition have set-up a 1-888 number our network can call into to report ICE activity. We are learning to use the Deportation Defense App created by Unite We Dream. And, we’ve organized legal defense trainings to dissect some of the incidents that have taken place through the personal testimony of those affected. This will allow to use real-life experiences to better prepare for future incidents.

Our goals—train over 5,000 more people, and through the collection of testimonies from those affected build a legal case against’ the President’s Interior Executive Order demonstrating ICE violations of immigrants’ constitutional rights.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 from this appeal to begin to scale up our current efforts. The path won’t be easy, but we can get there with your help. Thank you.

Ramon Ramirez-President of PCUN

What to do if ICE questions you

Steps to take if ICE question you: 

1. If officers are at your door, keep the door closed and ask if they are Immigration agents, or from ICE. Ask the agents what they are there for. Opening the door does not give the agents permission to come inside, but it is safer to speak to ICE through the door.  If the agents don’t speak your language, ask for an interpreter.

2. If the agents want to enter, ask them if they have a warrant signed by a judge. If ICE agents do not have a warrant signed by  a Judge, you may refuse to open the door or let them in. An administrative warrant of removal from immigration authorities is not enough. If they say they have a warrant, ask them to slip the warrant under the door.

3.  Look at the top and at the signature line to see if it was issued by a court and signed by a judge. Only a court/judge warrant is enough for entry into your premises. One issued by DHS or ICE and signed by a DHS or ICE employee is not.

An example of an order by a judge

An example of an order by ICE 

Do not open your door unless ICE shows you a judicial search or arrest warrant naming a person in your residence and/or areas to be searched at your address.

In all other cases, keep the door closed. State: “I do not consent to your entry.”

4.  If agents force their way in anyway, do not attempt to resist. If you wish to exercise your rights, state: “I do not consent to your entry or to your search of these premises. I am exercising my right to remain silent. I wish to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.” 

Everyone in the residence may also exercise the right to remain silent.

5. Do not lie or show false documents. Do not sign any papers without speaking to a lawyer. If you need more information, contact your local ACLU affiliate at aclu.org/affiliates

Download (PDF, 580KB)

Stand with us–La lucha sigue


APP team pictured with Teresa Alonso Leon (middle), elected for Oregon’s House District 22

Like many of you, we are shocked and hurt by the result of the presidential elections. But, it the midst of all the uncertainty and all the pain this election has caused our immigrant community and many others, there is still hope. We will not give up! We will not give in to fear! We will stand with our immigrant community until we are all treated with respect and dignity. And we need you more than ever to stand with us! In the coming weeks, we’ll plan and provide more information about our next steps, please stay tuned.

Perhaps the best indicator of the hope we have comes from the election result in our backyard, House District 22, Oregon’s first minority majority district.

Despite all divisive talk about immigrants that swung the presidential election, we got the first Latina immigrant (Teresa Alonso Leon) elected to the Oregon Legislature. This didn’t happen by accident. Like in many other communities across the country we organized. We organized. We organized. And we organized some more. Together with Teresa’s campaign staff, we knocked on over 35,000 doors and provided ballot assistance to over 400. The result—Teresa won with 55% of the vote, more than incumbent Democrat had received since the 2008 Democratic wave.

And she’s not alone. Laura Isiordia, an immigrant and long-time leader in our movement, was recently appointed to the Woodburn School Board.  Melinda Veliz, a daughter of immigrants, was elected to the Woodburn City Council. And Diego Hernandez, a son of immigrants, was elected State Representative for Oregon’s House District 47.

This is the future. This is our destiny—to lead. We owe it to our brothers and sisters that came before us. To those that risked and lost their lives to be here. To those who that have fallen into the traps of our society and have landed in the wrong places. But, we also owe it to the ones that will come after us. They deserve a better a start than the one we’ve had.

So while we mourn, let’s not lose sight of our future. La lucha sigue (the struggle continues).

Adelante!
PCUN& Accion Politica PCUNista (APP)

P.S: Support farmworkers! Join us at our Annual Celebration next Thursday 11/17!

Supreme Court Blocks DAPA-DACA+

From our friends at Causa Oregon:

Causa Denounces Tied Supreme Court Ruling on Immigration Policies

Just now, the Supreme Court ruled that “an equally divided court” was unable to reach a decision on DAPA and Expansion of DACA. The injunction on both programs remains in place nationwide and the case returns to the conservative federal judge in Brownsville, TX, stalling deportation relief and work permits to 5 million undocumented people nationally, and 63,000 in Oregon alone.

While today’s split decision sets no Supreme Court precedent, these important, commonsense policies will unfortunately remain blocked nationwide because of the overreach by a single district court judge in Texas.  The fact remains, DAPA and DACA+ are commonsense programs that are lawful, constitutional, and consistent with decades of actions taken by presidents of both parties.

The Supreme Court had an opportunity to provide clarity and guidance for the nation. Instead, they have failed to provide this service to the American people, and our communities will continue to suffer as a result.

Today’s deadlock is a setback for immigrant families, but this battle is not over. We will explore all legal options at our disposal. Unfortunately this will not be a quick process and many families will needlessly suffer in the interim.  We will not stop until every member of our community can live in dignity and without fear of being separated from their families.

While today’s erroneous outcome is deeply disappointing, it does not impact DACA 2012, which was not at issue in this case.  Individuals eligible for the original DACA program may still apply.

This is all about politics for our opponents, but for us, it’s personal. We know that justice will eventually prevail, and we are committed to continuing the fight for our families. We will never forget the lengths the politicians who brought this meritless lawsuit went through to tear our families apart and demean our communities.  With elections fast approaching, we will remind the voters in our families to turnout to vote for leaders that support keeping families together.

Download (PDF, 248KB)

What’s up with DAPA/DACA+ and the Supreme Court?

What’s going on with DACA/DAPA and the Supreme Court? Check this out.

 

 

https://www.scribd.com/doc/310427865/Updated-What-the-Supreme-Court-Will-Review-English

Migrant Communities are Under Attack

Friends,

The immigrant community in Oregon is under attack again.

With their victory on Measure 88 (driver’s cards), anti-immigrant forces in the state now feel they have the momentum to pass even more hateful policies to make the lives of many Oregonians even more difficult. These groups have filed several statewide ballot measures that Oregonians could potentially vote on this November. The measures do three things:

  1. Require E-Verify: Some proposals would require every business in Oregon to run every current and future employee through the flawed E-Verify program, or risk losing their business license.
  2. English-Only: Another measure would make English the official language of Oregon. All government information and documents (including those at schools) could only be published in English. No government job could require applicants to be competent in a language other than English.
  3. Restricting Voting Rights: A final measure would cancel every Oregonian’s voter registration until they could re-prove to the county clerk they were citizens in Oregon.

A coalition of local organizations – including Pineros y Campesino Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) – has come together to defeat these measures, and do everything it can to protect our most vulnerable in this state. To succeed in 2016, we will need your help. It starts by making a pledge and sharing with your friends and family that you will not sign any ballot proposal that attacks immigrants.

Click here to decline to sign these hateful policies:

As they build for the election, our opponents will be asking members of the community to sign petitions so the measure qualify for the ballot.

Click here to support our refuse to sign pledge:

We believe that Oregonians do not want these divisive policy to be the law in our great state, will continue to build to defeat them, and will keep you informed as we do.

 

In solidarity

Ramon Ramirez

PCUN President

Fifth Circuit Court makes decision on DAPA/DACA

November 11, 2015

On Monday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in Texas v. U.S., upholding the lower court’s order blocking President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The court’s 2-1 decision prevents the Administration from implementingDAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and expanded DACA (expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

“The judicial system has committed a serious error that perpetuates our terribly broken, inhumane immigration system and stops the federal government from exercising its authority,” said Bruce Goldstein, President of Farmworker Justice, a national advocacy organization for farmworkers. “The injunction should be lifted. The President’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion is a sensible, limited and lawful action. Texas does not even have a legally proper basis to bring this case. The courts should not intervene in what is clearly a political dispute between the Executive Branch and states that disagree with the President’s immigration policy.”

We are pleased that the Department of Justice is seeking review of this case in the Supreme Court, which we hope will swiftly accept and rule on the case. While we are frustrated that millions of immigrants will have to wait longer for the limited, temporary relief which these programs would provide, we expect that the Supreme Court will support the Administration’s exercise of its authority.

“This case is vitally important to farmworker families, their communities and the agricultural system,” said Bruce Goldstein.” DAPA and DACA could provide temporary relief to an estimated 700,000 farmworkers and family members. At least half the farm labor force is undocumented, which contributes to the low wages and labor abuses in the fields. Implementing DAPA and expanded DACA will provide much needed relief from deportation and temporary work authorization to many farmworker families.

But this executive action is not a complete answer. Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform to fix the system and provide undocumented immigrants an opportunity for immigration status and eventual citizenship.