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Viridiana Martinez: 919-704-0599

AG Roy Cooper Says No to In-State Tuition for DACA Students

Another Democrat Throws Immigrant Students Under the Bus

Raleigh, NC – Days after the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, Attorney General Roy Cooper has thrown immigrant students under the bus.

Yesterday, the Attorney General in an advisory letter declared: “We agree with University and Community College attorneys that North Carolina law does not provide for in-state tuition for these students.”

Upon hearing news of the decision, Oliva Prezas, a DACA recipient and current student at Vance-Granville Community College, remarked: “I can’t believe it. I am devastated. I need in-state tuition! I don’t want to be stuck without an education.”

Democrat Roy Cooper follows a line of Democratic politicians putting politics over policy when it comes to immigrant students. From former Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton who in 2010 denied undocumented students the right to enroll in community colleges to Senator Kay Hagan who voted against the DREAM Act, Attorney General Roy Cooper has shamelessly played petty politics instead of opening up the doors to higher education.

Undocumented students are ready to work with public officials, including people like Republican Speaker Will Weatherford of the Florida House of Representatives or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who know “the time is always right to do what is right.

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Sunday, December 22nd,  2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Jose Rico

Jose.rico@thencdreamteam.org

919.802.0508

DREAMers Push for In-State-Tuition by Christmas

Undocumented Youth to Rally Outside AG Roy Cooper 

Raleigh, NC—On Tuesday of last week, Rep. Marcus Brandon formerly requested the Office of the Attorney General Roy Cooper for a legal written opinion weather Undocumented youth beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are eligible to receive in-state tuition in the State of North Carolina.

Undocumented Youth led groups like the NC Dream Team, Immigrant Youth Forum, and the One State One Rate Campaign issued a press conference last Thursday announcing the news to the community and press about the ask to AG Roy Cooper. The campaign to get the word out to the Attorney General has been escalating, with a petition, calls, and undocumented students stressing the importance to get in-state tuition rates for the upcoming semester, but it hasn’t been enough.

Undocumented Students, community supporters, teachers, and families will be gathering at the Office of the Attorney General.

When:

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 @ 11:30am

Where:

NC Department of Justice

Office of the Attorney General

114 W Edenton St

Raleigh, NC

“I am worried, I am frustrated, that when January comes around undocumented students will still be paying out-of state tuition. It is simply unjust. It is simply unfair. We are graduates of N.C high schools. North Carolina is our home and we should not be treated as out-of-state students. Attorney General Roy Cooper, we need in-state-tuition Now!” Said, DACA student from Creedmoor, NC

For more info please visit ncdreamteam.org and OneSateOneRate.org

FB event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/497388493709139/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&source=1

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MEDIA ADVISORY

CONTACT:

Viridiana Martinez

viridiana@thencdreamteam.org

NC Dreamers Push for In-State Tuition

State Rep. Marcus Brandon Requests Written Opinion from Attorney General Cooper

Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina “One State, One Rate” Campaign and the NC Dream Team is pleased to announce that State Representative Marcus Brandon has formally requested a written opinion from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office as to whether undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition at institutions of higher learning in North Carolina.

For 20-year-old Lexington resident Ricsy Sanchez who has lived in North Carolina for 9 years, the struggle to gain in-state tuition has had a real impact: “Right after high school, my plan was to go straight to university. I wanted to major in biology. After I graduated from Davidson County Community College, I was accepted to UNC Chapel Hill but I was unable to attend because I was charged out-of-state tuition.”

DREAMers in North Carolina have been spearheading efforts to obtain in-state tuition for undocumented youth. Last week, the UNC Faculty Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the University of North Carolina system to grant “in-state tuition and financial aid to all people without regard to immigration status.”

** Please note that a more detailed press release will be released on Wednesday.

For more information, visit NCDreamTeam.org and OneStateOneRate.org.

Visit our online petition at http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/instate

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Contact: Santiago Garcia
avsantiagova@gmail.com
Rally to Support Edgar and Eloy: Victims of Workplace Exploitation and Fraud
Expedite Adjudication of U-Visa Supplement for Forced Labor & Worker’s Compensation Fraud Victims
 
National–Edgar Rolando Vazquez-Canto (A#205-503-535) and Eloy Flores Martin del Campo (A# 205-503-445) are currently being held at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, FL, where they have been for several months in spite of being victims of crime byWastePro USA for nearly seven years in some cases. ICE visited the criminal and immigration attorneys of these individuals, and despite the victims having cooperated with a potential investigation, testifying to the abuses and fraud that they were victims of, all are currently being detained, and false charges against them have never been dropped, much less investigated.
 
Edgar and Eloy are victims of workplace exploitation and fraud. They were forced to pay middle managers money under the constant threat of deportation. They are victims of wage theft, fraud, forced labor, constant threats of deportation, and exploitation.
 
Join members of the NC Dream Team, as we hold a rally to support Edgar and Eloy:
 
When: Thursday, August 29th, 2013 @ 1:00pm
Where: NC Department of Labor. 4 W Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Exploited workers should be able to go to the Department of Labor for protection from these abuses. WastePro USA must be stopped!
We urge the Department of Labor to take leadership and expedite the adjudication of U-Visa supplement for Edgar and Eloy for their fair chance to stop their deportations. Release the WastePro workers victims of fraud, exploitation, and forced labor before they are deported like several others before them have.
 
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The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies. We are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize our individual and collective power to activate our communities. We also aim to create awareness of the broader struggle for social justice. We do not shy away from purposeful direct action and civil disobedience in the pursuit of a more just future for our immigrant community.

ncdreamteam.org

By: José Rico

My name is Jose Rico and I am a Community College student here in North Carolina. In fact, I have been a community college student for the past five years. Why so long? As an undocumented student,  I do not qualify for in-state tuition nor am I eligible to receive any federal financial aid. Wanna know the whole spiel, read it here:

Community Colleges Guidelines PicThe UNC-System also has a similar policy, which you can read here:

UNC-System Undocumented PolicyNow, has it always been this way? The answer is No. At the community college level, the policies for undocumented students has changed five times over the last decade*. At one time, each college adopted each own policy, some of them even banned undocumented students.   Here at the North Carolina Dream Team, we have advocated for educational opportunities and tuition equity since our founding. In fact, our very first action was a hunger strike in May 2010 to push Senator Kay Hagan to co-sponsor the Dream Act. The result? She voted against it.

As of right now, there are 12 states in the Untied States that have their own versions of the Dream Act. North Carolina, is still keeping undocumented students like me in the shadows, and allow schools like Wake Tech to implement policies that are keeping us “at the back of the bus” when it comes to registration. Here is an email sent by the admissions office at Wake Technical Community College:

Wake Tech email 1Wake Tech email 2If you notice, this email was sent to all the students identified by Wake Tech to be undocumented. If you look closely you’ll see that this was sent for the registration period for the Spring of 2013. Classes for the Spring began on January 7th, but the college forces all undocumented students to register a week after classes had begun.  Most of the time this limits us from registering for any math or physics courses or classes for which a professional license will be needed to work at the end of the program of study; like a nursing degree. THESE POLICIES ARE UNJUST, UNFAIR AND DISCRIMINATORY.

We must take a stand, so join us one more time to ask for in-state-tuition to ALL North Carolina students.

Where? Wake Technical Community College, Main Campus,  9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, NC

When? Thursday, August 15th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

NC Dream Team

*As of Monday, August 5th, NCCCS have opted to once again change their policy to allow DACA youth to register at the same time as all the other students; still leaving undocumented youth behind and charging both DACA and non-DACA students out-of-state tuition.

Sign the PETITION to get our driver license back by clicking here!

La marcha sigue en pie! Nos vemos mañana, Martes, afuera de las oficinas del Departamento de Transportacion. Mas detalles:

Cuando: Martes, 22 de Enero a las 9am
Donde: 1 S. Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC

*Bring your banners, caps and gowns, and matracas.
**Parking: Street parking or on-site parking decks at 120 S. Wilmington St. and also 115 S. Wilmington St. ($2/hour).

Para mas informacion, favor de contactar a:
Jacki Aguilar: 919-395-8458
Jose Rico: 919-802-0508

 

After weeks of going back and forth on the recent change in policy by the DMV to not grant drivers licenses to immigrant youth that benefit from President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), it has become evident that the NC Department of Transportation does not intend to change back its policy. They will continue to hold our drivers licenses hostage.

Only weeks ago, the DMV stated that they would stop issuing drivers licenses until they heard from the opinion of Attorney General Roy Cooper. Late last week, Cooper issued a statement explaining that DACA beneficiaries not only hold legal presence, but that the state is required to issue us driver licenses:

“It is therefore our opinion that individuals who have been granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy directive are lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferment. As such, N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-7(s), which states that DMV shall issue a drivers license of limited duration to person who present valid documentation demonstrating deferment and meet all other statutory requirements, requires that such licenses be issued.”

Following Attorney General Cooper’s clarification, US Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) also issued a formal statement in regards to driver licenses for DACA recipients:

“Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. For purposes of future inadmissibility based upon unlawful presence, an individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect. An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect.”

http://www.uscis.gov/images/layout/logo.jpg

According to recent USCIS data,  as of this month there are 14,777 immigrant youth that were given deferred action in the state of North Carolina.

However, it has become apparent to us that our state’s Department of Transportation does not care much for these clarifications. They continue to discriminate DACA youth and have given no sign of changing back the DMV policy that keeps us from obtaining a driver license. They have also found an ally in their bullying of immigrant youth with Lt. Governor Dan Forest.

Nolicenses4illegalers

A recent statement given by NC Lt. Governor Dan Forest expresses:

“A person entering the United States illegally should not be afforded the privileges reserved for US citizens..”

This is yet another attack on us. You and I have a choice to make: Will we remain silent or fight back?

Here at the NC DREAM Team, we have heard our community loud and clear. We have received your calls and read your emails and messages that:  We NEED to fight back! We WANT to fight back! We WILL fight back!
DMVFAIL

Here’s what we need to do:

1. Sign the petition and make calls:

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/license/

2. Come to the protest organized by local immigrant youth TOMORROW:

When: Tuesday, January 22 @ 9am
Where: 1 S Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC

*Bring your banners, caps and gowns, and matracas.
**Parking: Street parking or on-site parking decks at 120 S. Wilmington St. and also 115 S. Wilmington St. ($2/hour).

For more info on the protest please contact:
Jacki Aguilar: 919-395-8458
Jose Rico: 919-802-0508

See you there!

On July 30, Lorena walked into the Alamance County Time Warner Cable office to apply for cable service. The representative who assisted her asked her to complete some paperwork and to present a form of identification. The representative went to her office for several minutes telling Lorena she was making copies of the paperwork. Finally, the representative came out and returned the I.D. and asked Lorena to pay for the deposit and first month of services. As soon as Lorena paid, a police officer came from the back room and arrested her. She was taken to Alamance County Jail and was then transferred to ICE custody and placed in deportation proceedings. She is scheduled to appear in court on December 13 and could be given a final order of deportation.

Is it Time Warner Cable’s policy to work with Alamance County law enforcement to entrap undocumented people so they can be arrested and deported? Recent findings by the Department of Justice show that Sheriff Terry Johnson and his department have engaged in egregious discriminatory practices against Latinos living in Alamance County. Why is Lorena facing deportation and separation from her 7 year old daughter when all she wanted was cable service?

Tell Time Warner Cable’s President Jack Stanley to stop collaborating with Alamance County law enforcement and stop targeting immigrants who want cable service @ 336-665-0160 or sent him an email: jack.stanley@twcable.com

Lorena came to the United States in 2004 and has been living in North Carolina for the past 8 years. She is a single mother of a 7 year old U.S. citizen child. If Lorena is deported, her daughter will be separated from the only person who provides her with emotional and financial support. Most importantly, her daughter will be left without a mother to care for her.

According to the Morton Memo, Lorena is a low-priority case and should be granted favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Lorena has been living in the U.S. for 8 years, has a 7 year old U.S. citizen daughter. Lorena only went to the Time Warner Cable’s store to get cable service for her family. Instead, a police officer came out from the office and arrested her. Why is this company working with the police to target undocumented immigrants? Lorena needs to stay in the U.S. to continue to provide for her daughter.

Help Lorena by calling ICE director John Morton at 202-732-300 and signing her petition online: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/lorena/

Lorena YANEZ-MATA & daughter

 

image by S. Pavey

Since June 2010, the Department of Justice announced its investigation on “allegations of discriminatory policing and unconstitutional searches and seizures.” Today, September 18th, 2012 this very investigation has reached its climax by publishing its findings. Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson has in his part repeatedly denied such claims.

Among these findings, these practices are found:

  • ACSO deputies target Latino drivers for traffic stops;
  • A study of ACSO’s traffic stops on three major county roadways found that deputies were between four and 10 times more likely to stop Latino drivers than non-Latino drivers;
  • ACSO deputies routinely locate checkpoints just outside Latino neighborhoods, forcing residents to endure police checks when entering or leaving their communities;
  • ACSO practices at vehicle checkpoints often vary based on a driver’s ethnicity.   Deputies insist on examining identification of Latino drivers, while allowing drivers of other ethnicities to pass through without showing identification;
  • ACSO deputies arrest Latinos for minor traffic violations while issuing citations or warnings to non-Latinos for the same violations;
  • ACSO uses jail booking and detention practices, including practices related to immigration status checks, that discriminate against Latinos;
  • The sheriff and ACSO’s leadership explicitly instruct deputies to target Latinos with discriminatory traffic stops and other enforcement activities;
  • The sheriff and ACSO leadership foster a culture of bias by using anti-Latino epithets; and
  • ACSO engages in substandard reporting and monitoring practices that mask its discriminatory conduct.

We, the NC Dream Team, have been approached by many community members in Alamance County because of these practices, and most of the time we found ourselves working on individual cases of family members detained in this county by checkpoints, driving without a license, or simply driving while brown. Alamance County is one of seven counties in North Carolina that have 287(g) programs. This program is one of several ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) programs, “which provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to team with ICE to combat specific challenges in their communities.” However, as we can see in the case of Alamance County, these programs do far from “combating the challenges in our communities;” in fact, they do quiet the opposite by separating our families from their loved ones, subjecting them to mistreatment in violation of their civil rights, and in many cases having them locked up in detention centers for long periods of times before deporting them. Members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, our umbrella organization, have some findings on this very topic after infiltrating an immigration detention facility.

Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security released today a statement terminating its 287(g) program in Alamance County:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is troubled by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) findings of discriminatory policing practices within the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO).   Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust.  DHS will not be a party to such practices. Accordingly, and effective immediately, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is terminating ACSO’s 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting their access to the Secure Communities program.  ICE will utilize federal resources for the purpose of identifying and detaining those individuals who meet ICE immigration enforcement priorities.  The Department will continue to enforce federal immigration laws in Alamance County in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor.

We are pleased to see the release of these findings by the DOJ and the decision taken by DHS in terminating 287 (g), but we are unimpressed. We still have 6 other counties in North Carolina that have this program and ALL COUNTIES in our state have Secure Communities, which is another type of ICE ACCESS program. Meanwhile, we still keep receiving word from families being detained for minor traffic violations; such as having a broken tail-light or being encountered by check-points organized by local police.

The Obama administration needs to come forth and terminate 287(g) in ALL COUNTIES in North Carolina and take policies like Secure Communities away. It is completely unacceptable for the Obama administration to keep empowering agencies and agents, like Alamance County’s Sheriff  Terry Johnson, that keep our communities insecure.

For the full report from DOJ visit: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/171201291812462488198.pdf

 

Viridiana was able to call in live on to the Democracy Now! program to speak about Broward Transitional Center where she is currently detained.

Listen in here for a longer, more in-depth interview.

And be sure to sign here to demand a full and complete review of each detainee at the Broward Detention center and that all low-priority detainees immediately be released and their cases administratively closed.

Yesterday, 13 undocumented leaders took a stand and in Alabama, risking deportation, against fear caused by the state’s harsh, anti-immigrant laws. They fought back against the oppressive shadows of fear and silence by raising their voices so that others will take heart and take action.

Local news channel WSFA 12 pulled NCDT’s own Viridiana aside to talk about what happened and why these brave leaders undertook yesterday’s action. Check out this powerful footage of what she had to say.

Also, you can support the AL13 by pitching in to their bail fund- every bit helps.

Donate & Subscribe

Donate here. Donations help us travel around the state and purchase materials for actions and events. You can also subscribe to our mailing list.

@NCDREAMTeam

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