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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.

Ever since I begin to understand a little bit more about how injustices were oppressing my community, I hadn’t realized that there are actual people who really dislike people like me. I profoundly believe that people begin to create assumptions, and opinions based on the amount of information they hear about people like me. This is precisely why I tried to answer some of the though questions.

Now, you may ask, who are people like me? Well, as I have explained before, my name is Jose Rico Benavides. I am a community college student. I am Undocumented, Unafraid, and Unashamed to not only speak out against the many injustices that affect the migrant community, but also take action about it.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, hate is defined as an “intense hostility usually driven from fear, anger or sense of injury.” Is it hate what they really feel? My guess would be yes. When someone calls you “an illegal immigrant,” using the word illegal is very inappropriate when referring to a human being. No human being is illegal!!

In the morning of June 1, 2011, Rep. Dale Folwell from Forsyth County, NC approached an NC DREAM Team member, yours truly, and asked him: Are you the one that called me a coward? Are you the one?” Of course, he was referring to this press release the NC DREAM Team issued in regards to the introduction of HB 744. Rep. Folwell came with a posture and body language that was disrespectful and intimidating asking these questions, and more over when he went on and asked, “Do you have the balls to tell it to my face?” At that moment, I felt frightened and fearful that the representative would lash out at me if I would have answered honestly, so I remained silent and kept my cool. Folwell escalated at the end of the conversation by asking, “Are you an illegal immigrant?” At that point, I decided to completely ignore his behavior by not answering his questions that surely attacked the integrity of my team and mine, I simply responded: “I am not going to answer to that.”  

Provided by Walter Gomez, La Conexion

If you read the press release, it clearly states:

“Requiring children to register their immigration status with their schools will inevitably result in discrimination, harassment or exclusion. Plain and simple, the legislators who support these bills are unprincipled cowards.”

Rep. Folwell, we are attacking the issue of asking children for their immigration status as a qualification to enter K-12 public education. We are not singling out any representative, just how you felt. We are simply calling out the bills and politicians who support anti-immigration legislation that attack our communities and children.

Pedro Guzman, a loving husband and father, has been released from Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. He is now home with his family. His crime? Immigration Court sent his information to the wrong address.

We’re happy to hear that Pedro is now free. You can read more about Pedro’s case at the links above and here, at the Larsens in Lagrange blog.

Secure Communities, also known as S-Comm or SeCom has been promoted by the Department of Homeland Security as a tool by which local law enforcement can assist ICE in prioritizing who it deports. However, even DHS figures show that the program has been used for anything but. It has been abused-especially in the Southeast-as a dragnet used against the immigrant community.

Illinois has stood up and said enough is enough and pulled out of the program. The state is also moving forward with an Illinois DREAM Act, which is looking likely to pass. A private fund would provide financial aid to undocumented college students.

Check out the Immigrant Youth Justice League for more details.

Students have chained themselves to the chairs of a board meeting of the Tuscon Unified School District in defense of high school Ethnic Studies program, derailing the introduction of a measure that would eliminate it.

(2) WAIVER- Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the ground of ineligibility under paragraph (1), (4), or (6) of section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the ground of deportability under paragraph (1) of section 237(a) of that Act for humanitarian purposes or family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest.

Conspiracy theorists like William Gheen made a big deal about the waiver authority included in the December version of the DREAM Act, claiming that itr allowed for the federal government to extend DREAM Act relief to all undocumented immigrants within the United States. Gheen recently restated this on the State of Things with Frank Stasio.

Aside from being incorrect, Gheen’s claim doesn’t make any sense. The waiver only applies to paragraphs (1), (4) and (6) of section 212a of the the Immigration and Nationality Act, which are health, welfare and unlawful entry considerations. It also states that DHS can only do so “for humanitarian purposes or family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest.”

Let’s humor the idea for a second: if the President were to interpret the waiver so loosely as to apply it to twelve million people rather than the estimated two million, why would he need the DREAM Act at all? The president can already unilaterally halt deportations, as 22 Senators are now asking him to do. He can also freeze someone’s immigration status (known as “paroling-in-place”) without legislation. The motivation to do what Gheen claims Obama is doing isn’t there, even it were possible.

The problem has been Obama’s failure to do everything he can for immigrants, not what he might do with legislative backing. Nonetheless, this is one conspiracy theory you will still find all over the Internet.

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@NCDREAMTeam

  • "@RobertMillaEsq: @NCDREAMTeam congratulations! ...drive safely!" Gracias!#FWYH 9 hours ago
  • MT @JoelBrownWTVD: Out of the shadows: Maria Ruiz, one of first in Raleigh to receive NC driver's license.... fb.me/2fUPCSNa8#FWYH 9 hours ago
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