Category Archives: Video

Video via @AmericaStories: Immigrant workers challenge exploitation, discrimination

This past summer, immigration agents raided a factory in Fullerton, California run by the company Terra Universal. Agents corralled the workers and handcuffed and arrested 43 people, most of whom are now in deportation proceedings. In late August the workers, with support from organizations like the ACLU and CHIRLA, filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court against Terra Universal, charging the multi-million dollar federal government contractor with violations of federal wage and hour laws for requiring employees to work long hours without overtime pay and systematically discriminating against Latino workers based on their race and immigration status. Click here for more info.

Video: A Bond Fund Client Speaks Out

The National Immigrant Bond Fund is fighting for dignity and due process in North Carolina, where local police are arresting people of color for minor infractions, and reporting them to immigration authorities.   In Samuel’s case, the Bond Fund helped to pay his bond, and SCSJ represented him in court.  Despite 13 years in the US, and strong ties to family and community here, Samuel is not eligible to legalize his status.  He will have to leave the country.

Sometimes all the Bond Fund can do is help someone out of detention, to say his goodbyes.  People who can not post bond are deported directly from a detention center, without the opportunity to put their lives in order or see their loved ones again.  The video above was created by Tasha Prados, a University of North Carolina intern at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ).  En Espanol, with English subtitles.

Andrea Black of DWN talks to the Bond Fund about Arizona

Bond Fund:  First of all, full disclosure:  Andrea is on our Steering Committee.  Thank you Andrea, for all your time and expertise these last two years with the Bond Fund.  Can you talk a little about your background?

Andrea Black:  I’m the Network Coordinator at the Detention Watch Network.  Prior to that I worked as an attorney at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona, which assists and represents immigrants detained in Arizona.

BF:  What are your primary concerns about the new law in Arizona?

Andrea Black:  It is tearing apart families, and it violates our Constitution and international human rights law.  Clearly it increases the likelihood of arbitrary arrests and detention.  Once a person is detained, the likelihood of finding an attorney plummets.  Detained cases move quickly, and its very hard to gather witnesses, evidence, and put together a case.

BF:  What is happening locally with immigration enforcement in Arizona?

Andrea Black:  As a result of expanded ICE enforcement collaboration with local police, there is already a lot of immigration processing at local county jails.  The new law puts more power in the hands of local police to ask for papers, make a determination, and immediately hand someone over to ICE for deportation.  A person who can not show documents may be offered no options other than signing a stipulated order of removal, and getting on a bus to leave the country right then and there.  People don’t know what they have signed, and attorneys can’t get there fast enough.

BF:  Does Arizona have the capacity to detain all the people who could be arrested?

Click here to watch a video of Andrea Black

Andrea Black:  No, the detention system in Arizona is already out of control, with ever-expanding bed space, poor conditions,  and limited access to family and counsel that further isolates the detained person.  The expansion of the prison system on the backs of immigrants is lining the pockets of private prison executives, and ultimately the community pays the cost.

BF: How isolated are these detention centers?

Andrea Black: The Eloy detention center, for example, is out in the desert, an hour and a quarter from Phoenix.  Its very isolated, with limited visiting hours and no public transportation.  Families who travel from Phoenix to visit loved ones in detention will pay $200 for a taxicab.  When people are released, they are let out the door, with no way to get anywhere.

BF:  Do you have hope for the future of immigration enforcement and policy?

Andrea Black:  Communities are up in arms.  People are educating themselves, asking questions of their elected officials, making demands to keep their communities and families safe.  Here is the potential for reform.   What can we do to support it?  We can get the word out, share stories, and help people get out of detention for a fair hearing.

BF:  Thank you Andrea, for your part in helping people come together to call for reform.

For more information on the Arizona immigration law and how it will impact detention and deportation, check out DWN’s “Detention and Deportation Consequences of Arizona Immigration Law (SB 1070)

Remembering the Postville Raid, 2 Years Ago Today

via NYTimes.com:

In the excellent video interview above, Erik Camayd-Freixas, an interpreter, speaks about the proceedings against undocumented immigrants arrested at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Iowa on May 12, 2008.

In an essay he wrote about the experience, Camayd-Freixas noted:

It is no secret that the Postville ICE raid was a pilot operation, to be replicated elsewhere, with kinks ironed out after lessons learned. Next time, “fast-tracking” will be even more relentless. Never before has illegal immigration been criminalized in this fashion. It is no longer enough to deport them: we first have to put them in chains. At first sight it may seem absurd to take productive workers and keep them in jail at taxpayers’ expense. But the economics and politics of the matter are quite different from such rational assumptions.

As an update to the Postville raid, just last month, a former manager of the kosher Iowa slaughterhouse was convicted of financial fraud and now faces a possible life sentence.

So in 2010, are we any better off?

What a Difference a Bond Makes: Dignity and Due Process Two Years after the Van Nuys Workplace Raid

How has the National Immigrant Bond Fund assisted individuals affected by the immigration raid in Van Nuys on February 7, 2008?

  • Antonio Bernabe (CHIRLA): “This bond basically gave the people a right to the process, and that was very important”
  • Nora Preciado (NILC): “It allowed them to stay and seek a day in court, to be able to see what remedies they had available to stay in the country.”

Special thanks to CHIRLA for help with still images.

Click here to donate

Video: San Bernardino, CA Rally for Immigration Reform

More than a hundred immigration reform supporters, including families, students, workers , clergy and community organizers, gathered on the steps of San Bernardino City Hall for a rally and press conference urging the passage of comprehensive immigration reform this

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year. Speakers, mostly from the Justice for Immigrants Coalition of Inland Southern California, recognized and applauded CongressmanJoe Baca’s strong support of immigration reform, while urging continued action and mobilization in the Inland Empire to ensure that justice is finally brought for suffering immigrant communities.

The Justice for Immigrants Coalition of Inland Southern California consists of around twenty groups from all sectors of the community, dedicated to providing direct service to the local immigrant community while  working toward a just solution to the broken immigration system that is separating families punishing workers.

Video: Is there Dignity and Due Process for Immigrants in Arizona?

Arizona Human Rights March 1/16/10 Footage gathered for the National Immigrant Bond Fund, a project is supported by a grant from the Open Society Institute. Video by Will Coley, Aquifer Media.