Mon 6/24: “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz.” Tell your legislators to defund hate and uphold human rights. 4 actions.

Quote by Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps. She describes camps as “a deliberate choice to inject the framework of war into society itself. …You are revoking the human and civil rights of non-combatants without legal justification…. you don’t have to intend to kill everyone to have really bad outcomes.”

(Go here for today’s LOCAL SOCIAL JUSTICE actions)

Action #1 – Take a moment to watch history merge with the present.

Great! We’ve fallen so low that the 99-year-old former prosecutor at the Nazi Nuremberg trials has spoken out in protest of the Trump Administration’s treatment of refugees as crimes against humanity. Below is a fascinating 60 minute conversation with a sharp, humorous, ferociously kind man who discusses our immigration laws, war, war criminals, remorse, reparations and the hope he has for our students. What he says here is why we resist. (Download the Universal Declaration of Human Rights here.)

Action #2 – Be an active resister. Speak out against the Sunday Raids.

Last Monday, our president took a moment from his busy day to threaten immigrant communities with a massive ICE raid, perversely nicknamed the “family op“.Next week,” he tweeted, “ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.” 

Whether it’s realistic or not, his message was received and even the threat of imminent family destruction causes tremendous harm. The action has been delayed for approximately 2 weeks, supposedly for Democrats to fix “loopholes”. Loopholes…like the ones the Trump administration falsely claimed that “forced” them to separate families? Here is a copy of the the WH’s “Immigration Principles and Policies” with their current wish list, including:

  • Ending special safeguards, called the “William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act” (or TVPRA for short) that prevent unaccompanied children arrested at the border from countries other than Mexico and Canada from being immediately deported.
  •  Throttling down asylum laws, including imposing penalties for what the administration would consider frivolous, baseless, or fraudulent asylum applications, and expand the use of expedited removal as appropriate.
  • Terminating the 1997 Flores settlement, which requires the government to release children from custody to parents, adult relatives or other caretakers as their cases make their way through immigration court. Officials say many children never show up at their hearings. Actual real life shows that 75-80% show up, and the statistics are higher if they have an immigration attorney.

Let’s make sure that CA isn’t a part of this. A federal appeals panel has upheld California’s  SB-54 – “sanctuary state” law, so now it’s just a question of the will of our leaders.

Call: Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra have expressed support for the state’s sanctuary laws.

Minimal script: Tell them you want them to issue a statement that California will continue to enforce its law and refuse to assist ICE/CBP enforcement.

  • Governor Gavin Newsom: email; 916-445-2841
  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra: attorneygeneral@doj.ca.gov; 800-953-5335 [select English or Spanish, then press 0]

Action #3 – Be an active resister. Tell our legislators to vote “YES” on HR 2415/S.1243 – Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act 

Government lawyers stood up at the Ninth Circuit and casually declared that immigrants are not entitled to soap, a toothbrush, a blanket, or even sleep.

In response to these and other deprivations, Rep. Jayapal has introduced H.R.2415 /S.1243  “Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act.” – To provide standards for facilities at which aliens in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security are detained…”

Brownley has cosponsored, Carbajal hasn’t yet. Check for your congressperson here and your senators here. Harris has consponsored. Please call Feinstein. (More reading here and here and here.)

Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to immediately cosponsor and support {Rep H.R.2415 / Sen. S.1243 }- “Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act of 2019.”

Contacts
Rep. Julia Brownley: email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email. (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 

Action #4 – Be an active resister. Demand an end to the concentration camp practices in the U.S. 

jerry nadler

Early this week, House Democrats will vote on on HR 3401 – “Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019″ which would provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with additional funding. The Senate will also be voting on its own bill, which will contain nearly $5 billion for DHS. This is money that Trump can use to expand his detention and deportation machine. This is in the same week that Trump had threatened to launch nationwide arrests of immigrants. but have since been delayed. (See Action #1 above) We’ve seen that Trump will use every dollar he is given to terrorize communities and lock up families, and we need Democrats to be our first line of defense against these abuses.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___]  to refuse to vote for any funding measure that includes additional funding for ICE enforcement.

More script if you want it: We also ask that you follow the restrictions outlined in the letter written by Reps. Jayapal, Pocan, Castro, and Chu to Chairwoman Lowey, most importantly regarding DHS’s ability to transfer funds for immigration detention and enforcement purposes and to reduce the number of detention beds to FY 2016 levels. (Neither of our legislators have signed on to this letter. )

Even more if you’re on a roll: DHS has persistently abused its transfer authority, resulting in an unprecedented and congressionally unauthorized expansion of immigration detention.

Contacts
Rep. Julia Brownley: email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email. (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 

Background

JUST IN! (June 21) The House just released its 4.5 billion Emergency Border Supplemental package. Text here. A comparison of the House and Senate emergency border supplementals is here. A fact sheet on the bill is here. The supplemental also contains important oversight provisions to hold the administration accountable and to protect the rights and dignity of migrants, including:

  • No funding for a border wall or barriers, or for ICE detention beds;
  • Prohibits the use of funds for any purpose not specifically described;
  • Places strict conditions on influx shelters to house children by mandating compliance with requirements set forth in the Flores settlement;
  • Protects sponsors and potential sponsors from DHS immigration enforcement based on information collected by HHS during the sponsor vetting process;
  • Ensures congressional oversight visits to facilities caring for unaccompanied children without a requirement for prior notice;
  • Requires monthly reporting on unaccompanied children separated from their families;
  • Requires additional reporting about the deaths of children in government custody; and
  • Ensures CBP facilities funded in the bill comply with the National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search.

(June 19) Senate appropriators approved $4.59 billion in emergency funding Wednesday to address the influx of migrants at the southern border, and their House counterparts said they’re prepping a similar bill to bring to the floor as soon as Tuesday.

The measure appropriators sent to the Senate floor provides slightly less than President Donald Trump’s administration had requested, but leaders of both parties said it did not include “poison pills” that could block passage, like funding for a border wall or additional immigration detention beds, according to a Democratic summary.

Keep an eye out: Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) and shill for the president, postponed a Thursday markup session to advance his own immigration legislation, which would radically overhaul asylum in the United States, making it far more difficult for some migrants to qualify and blocking many people from even seeking it. The measure would also do away with a court-ordered requirement that children be held for no more than 20 days in an immigration detention facility and alter a law that bars unaccompanied children from Central America from being quickly deported. Meanwhile, Trump is considering an executive action that prohibits migrants from seeking asylum if they have resided in a country other than their own before coming to the U.S.

Here is the letter that our Reps. Brownley and Carbajal did NOT sign on to.

Dear Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Granger, Chairwoman Roybal-Allard and Ranking Member Fleischmann:

        As you develop the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, we urge you to include language limiting DHS’s ability to transfer funds for immigration detention and enforcement purposes and to reduce the number of detention beds to FY 2016 levels. DHS has persistently abused its transfer authority, resulting in an unprecedented and congressionally unauthorized expansion of immigration detention.

        DHS’s appropriated budget for immigration detention and enforcement has increased by nearly $1 billion in the past two years, from $3.212 billion in FY 2016 to $4.110 billion in FY 2018.[4] As of March 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained more than 50,000 people for the first time in history despite the fact that Congress has only provided ICE with funding to detain an average of 40,520 people per day.[5]This is a 45 percent increase from FY 2016’s average detention population of 34,376.

This immense increase occurred through ICE’s persistent manipulation and mismanagement of appropriated funds, operating on the assumption that Congress will allow the agency to reprogram and transfer funds with impunity.[6] According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), ICE transferred and reprogrammed $50.8 million in additional funding for detention purposes in FY 2016.[7] In addition, in FY 2018, DHS transferred $169 million from other programs to ICE for immigration detention and enforcement, including $9.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) despite the rapid approach of Hurricane Florence to the East Coast.[8]

        ICE’s persistent failure to manage its budget is unacceptable. ICE seeks to justify rising detention numbers by claiming that the people in its custody pose a public safety risk; however, the vast majority of people in detention pose no public safety risk.[9] ICE’s rapid detention expansion has occurred even as the DHS Office of Inspector General has found that some detention facilities have “problems that undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provisions of a safe and healthy environment.”[10] In addition, civil society organizations have long documented severe problems at immigration detention facilities, including a lack of appropriate medical care and failure to hold its facilities accountable for lack of adherence to ICE’s own detention standards.[11] Further, ICE has a broad array of alternatives to detention, such as the Family Case Management Program, that would allow ICE to decrease its use of detention.

        It is past time for Congress to hold DHS accountable. We urge you to impose a statutory restriction on the ability of DHS and its components to transfer funds into its ICE or CBP accounts. Should DHS have a legitimate need for funds in greater quantities than what is appropriated, the ability to request supplemental funds will remain available to them.  Language imposing a statutory restriction on transfers should also include an explicit directive for the DHS Inspector General to monitor DHS detention and enforcement spending and report to Congress on a monthly basis any attempts to spend more than appropriated amounts for immigration enforcement. In addition, we urge you to cut ICE detention funding to FY 2016 levels, which provided an average daily population of no more than 34,376.

        Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

Sincerely, [Last Names of signed on Members of Congress below]

  • Jayapal
  • Pocan
  • Castro
  • Chu
  • Barragán
  • Beyer
  • Blumenauer
  • Clarke
  • Cohen
  • Cummings
  • Doggett
  • Engel
  • Escobar
  • Espaillat
  • García (IL)
  • Garcia (TX)
  • Gomez
  • Haaland
  • Hastings
  • Huffman
  • Johnson (GA)
  • Lee (CA)
  • Levin (MI)
  • Lofgren
  • Lowenthal, C. Maloney
  • McGovern
  • Moore
  • Norton, Ocasio-Cortez
  • Omar
  • Pallone
  • Pressley
  • Raskin
  • Rush
  • Sánchez
  • Schakowsky
  • Sires
  • Smith (WA)
  • Soto
  • Tlaib
  • Vargas
  • Velázquez
[1] Spencer Ackerman, ICE is Detaining 50,000 People, an All-Time High, The Daily Beast (Mar. 8, 2019) https://www.thedailybeast.com/ice-is-detaining-50000-people-a-new-all-time-high.
[2] Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, H.R. 244, 115th Cong. (May 2017) https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CPRT-115HPRT25289/pdf/CPRT-115HPRT25289.pdf at 931.
[3] Adiel Kaplan, DHS transferred $169 million from other programs to ICE for migrant detention, NBC News (Sep. 13, 2018) https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/dhs-transferred-169-million-other-programs-ice-migrant-detention-n909016.
[4] See Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, H.R. 1625, 115th Cong. (Mar. 2018), https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1625/text; Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, H.R. 244, 115th Cong. (May 2017) https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/244/text; Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, H.R. 2029, 114th Cong. (Dec. 2015) https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2029/text.
[5] Spencer Ackerman, ICE is Detaining 50,000 People, an All-Time High, The Daily Beast (Mar. 8, 2019) https://www.thedailybeast.com/ice-is-detaining-50000-people-a-new-all-time-high.
[6] Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, H.R. 244, 115th Cong. (May 2017) https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CPRT-115HPRT25289/pdf/CPRT-115HPRT25289.pdf at 931.
[7] Government Accountability Office, Immigration Detention: Opportunities Exist to Improve Cost Estimates (Apr. 2018) https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/691330.pdf at 2.
[8] Adiel Kaplan, DHS transferred $169 million from other programs to ICE for migrant detention, NBC News (Sep. 13, 2018) https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/dhs-transferred-169-million-other-programs-ice-migrant-detention-n909016.
[9] See, e.g., Tara Tidwell Cullen, ICE Released Its Most Comprehensive Immigration Detention Data Yet. It’s Alarming., National Immigrant Justice Center (Mar. 13, 2018) https://www.immigrantjustice.org/staff/blog/ice-released-its-most-comprehensive-immigration-detention-data-yet; Jorge Rivas, ICE’s Own Figures Show Most Immigrants in Detention Pose No Threat to Public, Splinter News (Mar. 16, 2018) https://splinternews.com/ices-own-figures-show-most-immigrants-in-detention-pose-1823812743; Hamed Aleaziz, ICE Might Be Violating Federal Law by Keeping Immigrants Detained During the Shutdown, Buzzfeed (Jan. 9, 2019) https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/shutdown-ice-detention-may-violate-federal-law.
[10] Dep’t of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, Concerns About ICE Detainee Treatment and Care at Detention Facilities (Dec. 11, 2017)https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2017-12/OIG-18-32-Dec17.pdf.
[11] See, e.g., Meredith Hoffman, ICE’s Rapid Expansion Has Led to Chickenpox, Quarantines, and Desperation, VICE (Feb. 25, 2019)https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wjm4qb/ices-rapid-expansion-has-led-to-chickenpox-quarantines-and-desperation; Scott Bixby, Immigrant Miscarriages in ICE Detention Have Nearly Doubled Under Trump (Mar. 1, 2019) https://www.thedailybeast.com/immigrant-miscarriages-in-ice-detention-have-nearly-doubled-under-trump; Jennifer Chan, Mary Small & Carl Takei, Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention, American Civil Liberties Union, Detention Watch Network & National Immigrant Justice Center (Feb. 2016) https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/default/files/reports/Fatal%20Neglect%20ACLU-DWN-NIJC.pdf; Claudia Valenzuela, Tara Tidwell Cullen, et al., Lives in Peril: How Ineffective Inspections Make ICE Complicit in Immigration Detention Abuse, National Immigrant Justice Center (Oct. 2015) https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/default/files/Lives%20in%20Peril_NIJC,%20DWN.pdf.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s