Governor Brown, SB54 is sitting on your desk awaiting your signature, the California Values Act will protect state residents from overzealous, and often illegal activities of immigration enforcement officers who terrorize our communities and separate families.
Our position is that no city, county, or state agency should ever be a part of a federal deportation proceeding. Do the right things, Governor Brown, sign the California Values Act.
DREAM Team Los Angeles is one of scores of immigrant and human rights organizations who are demanding the purge of the DACA database. The purpose of the purge is so no other government agency, notably the Department of Justice, can use the information contained to target undocumented DACA recipients, their families, or their employers.
Raising the Alarm: The DACA Database is a Registry of Undocumented Immigrants
The DACA database is a registry of the names and addresses of millions of undocumented immigrants (800,000 DACA applicants and the millions of their family members and co-residents), and the fate of this existing registry is currently in the hands of forces that are openly hostile to immigrant communities. When U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced President Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program, there was no guarantee given on what will happen with the information already collected. Given the rhetoric and the practices from this administration and from its agencies, and as organizations that work with undocumented community members everyday, we urgently raise the alarm bells for this registry. We call on our movements for immigrant, racial, worker justice, and privacy rights to demand the deletion of the DACA database.
Our country has an unfortunate and extensive history with registries. One of the most recent of which was the NSEERS (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System) program, more commonly known as the Muslim Registry, which led to the registration of over 150,000 men and boys from Muslim-majority countries and the deportation of more than 13,000 people in the aftermath of 9/11. It was only through the organizing of directly impacted community members and the political direction and vision provided by them, that ensured the eventual discontinuance and finally the dismantling of the NSEERS program in December 2016. We have also been witness to the destruction that has been caused by tracking and targeting of millions of immigrants for deportations in the last several years, and through the increasing raids in the last few months.
We are a similar point in history where we need to have strong momentum with a grassroots-led movement demanding the deletion of the DACA database. While many of us are pursuing the legislative course of action to pass a Dream Act, there are no guarantees of safety from the Trump Administration or it’s agencies on the rights and security of millions of undocumented immigrants. We know that ICE already has a pending request to access the DACA data. There has been a 25% increase in the revocation of DACA in the last three months. The DHS memo on the DACA rescission includes language advising recipients to get their financial and travel arrangements in order within the next 6 months. The xenophobic and nativist logic and intent was clear in AG Session’s announcement. The millions of undocumented people who reside at the addresses of DACA recipients have never had any protections from deportations, and will continue to be at risk even if a dream legislation is passed. Fear of the data being weaponized to target, detain, and deport people is not theoretical. It is very real and expansive.
We cannot afford to only wait and see what happens legislatively, while a large registry of undocumented youth and their loved ones exists. We need immediate action to safeguard the millions of immigrants at risk from this registry. We call on the movements for immigrant justice, racial justice, privacy rights, and human rights to take up the fight to demand the complete elimination of the DACA database now.
Original Story at ATTN.com
March 2, 2017
by: Thor Benson
A 48-year-old father named Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Los Angeles this week while he was dropping his daughters off at school — and the emotional scene was caught on camera.
Avelica-Gonzalez is an undocumented Mexican immigrant who has been in the United States for 25 years. He and his wife had just dropped off their 12-year-old daughter — and were about to drop off their 13-year-old daughter — when ICE intercepted them, according to LAist.
“My dad dropped off my first sister and then when he turned around, they turned on their light,” Avelica-Gonzalez’s 19-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, told LAist. “My dad was really scared. He didn’t want to pull over, but he did. As soon as he did, one car went in front of his truck and one in back of his truck. They took him out and they arrested him. My little sister was still in the car, she’s 13. My mom was also there.”
Avelica-Gonzalez has four daughters, all born in the U.S. An immigrant defense organization, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), is calling on people to sign a petition and demand ICE release him.
“It is alarming that ICE followed a father to school and arrested him there while his daughter was in the car,” Emi MacLean, an attorney with NDLON, told ATTN:.
“He has lived in the US for over 25 years,” MacLean said. “His whole life and family are here. These are egregious actions that show a total disregard for the terrorizing effects of ICE’s actions. Or, worse, an intention to terrorize a community.”
According to LAist, an old DUI conviction and an expired vehicle registration are being used to justify his deportation. The family has been told by immigration officials that Avelica-Gonzalez has been granted a temporary stay, however, meaning he won’t be deported immediately.
“ICE’s actions serve to intimidate and destroy families and communities,” MacLean said. “We must fight back, and in this case, Romulo’s family and community fought back. He is still here, and we are going to do everything in our power to resist these destructive actions.”
Avelica-Gonzalez’s situation is representative of bigger issues connected to President Donald Trump’s harsh crackdown on undocumented immigrants. ICE arrests have been rising since Mr. Trump took office, with so-called Dreamers and others with clean criminal records caught in the net. New policies from the administration will mean even more aggressive deportation actions going forward, meaning there will be many more families confronted with scenarios like this.
“President Trump says he will only deport criminals, ‘bad hombres.’ However, we knew this meant any undocumented person would be considered a criminal,” Jose Lopez, an organizer for the immigrant defense group Dream Team LA, told ATTN:. Trump said someone having a DUI from 10 years ago and improper registration over 20 years ago wouldn’t generally make them a “criminal” in most Americans’ eyes. “But to nativists and nationalists, the core of Trump’s support, coming across the border at one year old makes you a criminal,” Lopez said.
Lopez pointed out that statistics show undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the average person in the U.S.
“ If widespread immigration violence exists in our nation, it is committed by the hands of ICE who commit violence by taking away fathers, mothers, never to be seen again,” Lopez said. “It is a violence against children that occurs every day and over many decades. ”
ATTN: reached out to ICE for comment but did not receive a response.