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Meet 9 year old Nayeli (R) and 7 year old Blanca (L). They’re fighting for their family to stay together this holiday season. Their mother, Maria Juana, is set to be deported to Mexico on December 27th. This could be their last Christmas together. All they want for Christmas is for their family to stay together. Will you help them?

SIGN the petition!

Senator Hagan, stop our mom's deportation!

Senator Hagan, stop our mom’s deportation!

 Their mother, Maria Juana, came to the US in 2000. She was caught at the border when she initially tried to cross and was deported. She crossed again days later and has lived in NC ever since. Because of her initial contact with immigration, ICE is refusing to stop her deportation.

On December 22, 2010, Maria Juana was stopped by Alamance County law enforcement and charged and arrested for not having a driver’s license. This is also the county that is under investigation by the Department of Justice for the racial profiling of Latinos.

Maria Juana’s request for prosecutorial discretion has been denied by ICE and they insist on breaking up this family just because of the previous deportation .

The reality is that many in our undocumented community find themselves in this same situation. In our determination to get to the US, if we don’t make it across the border on our first attempt, we will try again and again and again. It’s not about comitting a crime over and over and becoming a repeat offender. It’s about literal survival. There is no apologizing for that. As a single mother of three US Citizen children, the only bread winner in the household and no criminal record, Maria Juana needs to stay in this country.

Blanca and Nayeli are standing up for their mother and they have a Christmas wish that Senator Hagan can make come true. Senator Hagan has the power to put an end to their nightmare and stop their mother’s deportation.

Maria Juana hugs her young family that includes her three children.

Maria Juana hugs her young family that includes her three children.

In 2010 Senator Hagan voted NO on the DREAM Act stating that she was in support of a more  comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Now is the time for the Senator to leave the talking points behind and actually support this family. With the recently released numbers of nearly 205 thousand deportations of parents of US Citizens, Senator Hagan must be accountable to Nayeli and Blanca who are only asking for help so that their mom can stay home with them. Senator Hagan needs to immediately call for an end to Maria Juana’s deportation and not let her fall through the cracks of this broken immigration system.

Please join Nayeli and Blanca in making 100 calls to Senator Hagan and ICE so that they end their mom’s deportation. Sign the petition and call Senator Hagan and ICE now. We will stand with Blanca and Nayeli, will you?

Sign the petition at http://bit.ly/ncjuana!

Let us know in the comments how the calls turn out.

Senator Hagan:

Washington DC: 202-224-6342

Greensboro: 336-333-5311

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that Senator Hagan support Maria Juana Perez Santiago (A 200-576-618) and stop her deportation set for December 27, 2012. Maria Juana is the sole bread winner for her family that includes three US Citizen children. In 2010, Senator Hagan killed the DREAM Act because she wanted Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We are holding the Senator accountable to that. The Senator has a responsibility to keep this family together. Maria Juana is a low-priority case and her deportation should be stopped immediately.
Call ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000 or 202-732-3100

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that ICE stop Maria Juana Perez Santiago’s (A 200-576-618) deportation. She is the mother of three US citizen children and a previous deportation order should not split this family apart. She is a low priority for deportation. Her children need her to stay here to be able to provide for them. Deporting Maria Juana threatens the future of her US born children.

 

Thanks for your support!

ATENCION ILEGALES: No Contraten Servicio de Cable con Time Warner – Los Van a Deportar!

timewarnerdeports

Tell ICE that Lorena is a low-priority case that should be closed immediately because all she wanted was cable service!

 

Single mother Lorena Yanez-Mata (A# 205-214-279) could be separated from her 7 year old US citizen daughter tomorrow when she goes before an immigration judge in Charlotte. Yesterday, Time Warner Cable announced the company “has no interest in charges being brought against Ms. Yanez-Mata”. TWC remains responsible, however, for the deportation proceedings of Ms. Yanez-Mata. Lorena told Time Warner staff when signing up for cable over the phone that she did not have a legitimate Social Security number but the representative told her to use the false one she uses for work purposes and to come into the store to finalize the application. Sounds like a set up to us.

Time Warner Cable issued a statement saying it does not routinely turn over customer’s information to law enforcement. So, why is Lorena in deportation proceedings again?

Email Time Warner Cable at jack.stanley@twcable.com and susan.leepson@twcable.com and urge them to do the following:

- TWC should tell ICE to immediately close Lorena’s case because she should not be in deportation proceedings in the first place. TWC should release a statement of support for Lorena before her upcoming immigration court date on December 13th (TOMORROW at 8:30 am @ Immigration Court: 5701 Executive Center Drive, Suite 400. Charlotte, North Carolina 28212)

- TWC should also tell Senator Kay Hagan to intervene in the case of Lorena. Senator Hagan has the power to write a letter of support for Lorena addressed to ICE telling them to exercise favorable prosecutorial discretion.

Don’t forget to SIGN and SHARE the petition too!

Thanks for your support!

After the outpouring of community support, Time Warner Cable has told Lorena Yanez-Mata (A# 205-214-279) and her attorneys that her charges have been dropped.

In a statement sent over email, TWC said the following:

“TWC has no interest in charges being brought against Ms. Yanez-Mata.”

This is great news as it means your calls and emails have made the difference. However, Lorena still remains in deportation proceedings. Her second immigration court date is in just 2 days. Lorena could be torn apart from her 7 year old US citizen daughter simply because a TWC representative felt it was necessary to set up Lorena for deportation. So, we still need your help to make sure Lorena and her family can put this behind them and spend the holidays together.

Email Time Warner Cable at jack.stanley@twcable.com and susan.leepson@twcable.com and tell them Lorena and her daughter still need 2 things from them:

- TWC should tell ICE to immediately close Lorena’s case because she should not be in deportation proceedings in the first place. TWC should release a statement of support for Lorena before her upcoming immigration court date on December 13th (in TWO days!)

- TWC should also tell Senator Kay Hagan to intervene in the case of Lorena. Senator Hagan has the power to write a letter of support for Lorena addressed to ICE telling them to exercise favorable prosecutorial discretion.

Lorena YANEZ-MATA & daughter

Also, if you haven’t yet, SIGN and SHARE Lorena’s petition! And we hope you’ll make it out to today’s rally at the Time Warner Cable office where Lorena was arrested: 316 Huffman Mill Road in Burlington at 3 pm. 

Thanks for your support, y’all!

On Friday we joined Cristina Tzitzios and her son, Sebastian, for a vigil in Charlotte. They are leading a fight against this immigration system intent on deporting Miguel Tzitzios-their father/grandpa. Cristina and Sebastian are asking for your support to get Miguel released from North Georgia Detention Center.

John Morton (ICE), Senator Hagan and Senator Burr have the power to release Miguel NOW. Help Cristina and Sebastian win their family back:  Sign the petition and make your calls.

Vigil in Charlotte: Cristina asks her community to join her in getting her father released

On October 21, Miguel was on his way to work when he was pulled over by a police officer because his license plate was expired. The police officer arrested Miguel and charged him with driving without a license and for possession of fraudulent identification, even though he presented a valid passport. Despite being low priority, Miguel was transferred to North Georgia Detention where he has been ever since.

Miguel’s daughters and one year old grandson depend on him financially and emotionally. President Obama has said people like Miguel shouldn’t be deported. Why has Miguel not been released?

We will hold this administration accountable because behind each deportation are real people like Cristina and Sebastian who only want their family to stay together.

Sample Scripts:

Call ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000

“Hi, I am calling to urge ICE to release Miguel Tzitzios Gonzalez (A# 205-210-562) from North Georgia Detention. Miguel has been living in the U.S. for 13 years and has two daughters and a grandson that depend on him emotionally and financially. According to the Morton Memo, Miguel is a low-priority case and should be released immediately.”

Senator Hagan:

Washington DC: 202-224-6342
Greensboro: 336-333-5311

Senator Burr:

Washington DC: 202-224-3154
Winston-Salem: 1-800-685-8916

“I am calling to ask the Senator take a position on the case of Miguel Tzitzios Gonzalez (A# 205-210-562) from North Georgia Detention Center. Miguel has been living in the U.S. for 13 years and has two daughters and a US citizen grandson that depend on him emotionally and financially. According to the Morton Memo, Miguel is a low-priority case and should be released immediately. Will the Senator take a position on this case and issue a letter of support?”

Astor was only 11 years old when he came to the U.S. to be reunited with his mom and brother after the people who murdered his uncle threatened to kill Astor too. Upon arriving to the US, he was detained by immigration officials at the border.

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He is currently in 10th grade and wants to graduate from high school to help sustain his family. Astor is DREAM Act eligible and should be released immediately! 

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Make a Phone Call to Stop Astor’s Deportation!

Call ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000 

Sample Script: “Hi, I was calling to ask that ICE release Astor Romario Mejia Rodriguez (A# 098-596-657). Astor fled Honduras when he was just 11 years old after his uncle was murdered and the people who committed the crime threatened to kill Astor too. He is currently a DREAMer in the 10th grade. Please stop the deportation of Astor now.” 

Call Senator Kay Hagan @ 336-333-5311 

Sample Script: “Hi, I was calling to ask that the Sentor intervene in the case of Astor Romario Mejia Rodriguez (A# 098-596-657). Astor fled Honduras after his uncle was murdered and the people who committed the crime threatened to kill Astor too. He is currently a DREAMer in the 10th grade. Will the Senator tell ICE to release Astor now?”

After you call, make the image below your profile picture on facebook to help spread the word!

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Thanks for your help!

On November 12th, Pablo was on his way back home from work when he backed into a car. Pablo drove off thinking no damage was done to the car he backed into but frightened because he doesn’t have a driver’s license. He can’t get one. He’s undocumented.

The police showed up at his apartment later that night looking for him. Pablo was arrested for No Operators License. He is currently sitting at Wake County Detention Center with an ICE hold.

According to the President Obama’s Morton Memo, Pablo meets the requirements for prosecutorial discretion. Pablo has been in the United States since 2005 and he has no criminal background. Why is he still detained with an ICE hold?

Act NOW!

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Call Wake County Detention Center at (919) 255-7111 and DC ICE at 202-732-3000!

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that ICE drop the hold on Pablo Caballero-Montoya (inmate #1043830). Pablo is committed to working hard so he can sustain his wife and children who are in college. He has nothing but a No Operators License charge. Please remove the ICE hold and release him immediately.” 

Ask for the day off! We need your support in Charlotte on Thursday at 8:30 am for Uriel’s immigration bond hearing. More details to come. RSVP to the Facebook event here.

ICE will have to prove that a misdemeanor is worth tearing a family apart! #FreeUriel 

Also, SIGN the petition for Uriel! If you can, consider making a donation for his bond. Thank you.

If you have heard of the ‘Morton Memo’, you have probably heard it as something to be happy about. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton has urged his agency to utilize “prosecutorial discretion”, meaning that it may not pursue deportations as vigorously as it has. Unfortunately, this memo isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. There aren’t any guarantees that undocumented youth are now safe from deportation–it shouldn’t be thought of as anything remotely reassuring. In fact, President Obama just deported asylum-seeker Andy Mathe the day after personally finding out about the case.

Here’s a brief overview of this much talked about memo and what it means for you.

The Memo, ICE and Obama

On June 17, John Morton put into writing what President Obama and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano have been saying for months: that DREAM Act-eligible youth are not a deportation priority. Despite that, as you’ve seen from the continued need for petitions, undocumented youth are still winding up in proceedings (and deported, as mentioned above).

Overall, ICE has been taking heat for two of its programs under the ICE ACCESS umbrella of law enforcement partnerships, 287(g) and Secure Communities, making the Morton Memo appear to be a concession to satisfy critics who have rightly accused ICE of rounding up immigrants without respect their civil rights and civil liberties or the due process of law, let alone the nuances of their cases. As the National Day Laborers Organizing Network pointed out, President Obama has now deported more immigrants than President Eisenhower under Operation Wetback in the early 1950s.

A Brief History of Prosecutorial Discretion

The Morton Memo is another development in a history of prosecutorial discretion that goes back to the Clinton Administration and changes to immigration law in the past two decades.

Long before the Morton Memo, a previous memorandum on prosecutorial discretion written by INS Commissioner Doris Meissner in 2000 established significant authority for prosecutorial discretion in immigration cases. After Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1996, judges in immigration court lost a lot of their ability to use, well, judgment on individual cases. INS was forced to make better decisions about where it allocated its resources now that immigration judges would no longer be able to grant as much relief from removal as they once had. Meissner’s memo places a greater emphasis on “substantial Federal interest,” meaning that prosecutorial discretion permits ICE not to pursue cases–even “legally sufficient” ones–which don’t benefit the federal government in any way. Meissner’s memo also lists cases in which discretion should be used and categories of people that should “trigger” favorable discretion. Some of those triggers should sound familiar: “Juveniles;” “Aliens with lengthy presence in United States (i.e., 10 years or more); and “aliens present in the United States since childhood.” The memo also notes that “community attention” is a factor to consider when discretion might be possible.

The Morton Memo and today’s politics

In 2011, what does the Morton memo say? Nothing too different from the previous policy directive. It doesn’t say anything about the DREAM Act. However, many of the factors ICE should use to consider backing off would apply to undocumented youth:

the circumstances of the person’s arrival in the United States and the manner of his or her entry, particularly if the alien came to the United States as a young child;
[…]
the person’s pursuit of education in the United States, with particular consideration given to those who have graduated from a U.S. high school or have successfully pursued or are pursuing a college or advanced degrees at a legitimate institution of higher education in the United States;
[…]
whether the person, or the person’s immediate relative,has served in the U.S. military, reserves, or national guard, with particular consideration given to those who served in combat;
[…]
the person’s criminal history, including arrests, prior convictions, or outstanding arrest warrants;
[…]
the person’s ties and contributions to the community, including family relationships;

But as previously noted, there are no guarantees that undocumented youth will not be deported. In fact, Meissner’s memo was far more rooted in looking at the merits of individual cases and the radical idea that law enforcement officials ought to do more than round people up and ship people out. The Morton Memo is based more in budgetary concerns rather than humanitarian ones.

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and several other senators have claimed that the Morton Memo was an attempt to “grant administrative amnesty“, but this is the same Jeff Sessions that lied on the Senate floor when he said that undocumented immigrants could already join the military during the December DREAM Act vote. There’s no reason to take him seriously on this. As a member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship, Sessions is supposed to be an expert on immigration, so the only explanations are that he’s a liar or that he is completely undeserving of his position.

The history of prosecutorial discretion and its present reiteration reveal the root of the problem: a system that is too narrowly focused on deportations. Such a narrow focus is ill-fit for the present reality, and one that we wouldn’t tolerate from any other law enforcement agency. Police have to do more than make arrests–immigration officers have to do more than raids and deportations. Prosecutorial discretion isn’t a solution, or even really a benefit. One way or another, it shouldn’t be thought of as a pro-migrant accomplishment by the Obama Administration.

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@NCDREAMTeam

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