1Love and Friends Launch…THE 1996 BLOG!

Over the last 9 months, 1Love came together with allies and groups across the country who also work with their communities against criminal deportation, and the mass incarceration and mass deportation systems. We came together with a vision of breaking our isolation in this movement by creating a space for us to grow together. Through a collective process, this became The 1996 Blog! We are proud to present to you today the fruits of our collective thinking, vision, and commitment to this work and our solidarity with each other. Official release statement below, please share!

National Collective of Human Rights Groups Launch The 1996 Blog

Monday April 28, 2014 – In the national controversy surrounding immigration reform, presidential action, and a nationwide grassroots call for an end to all deportations, community members being deported for criminal convictions have been largely left out of the policy conversations. The 1996 Blog was created to draw the immigrant rights movement towards an analysis that fully encompasses the need for reform of two laws passed in 1996: the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), known as the “1996 Laws.” These laws created a standard of mandatory and indiscriminate double punishment of immigrant community members who have interfaced with the criminal legal system.

Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center stated, “Our communities across the country have been suffering under draconian immigration laws for almost 20 years, the same laws that have fueled a surge in the number of overall deportations. It’s time for us, as an immigrant rights movement, to address the 1996 laws and demand change that protects and uplifts all of our communities.”

“It is an age-old tactic of those in legislative power to create divisions by simplifying experiences and creating an atmosphere of judgment and labeling that forces communities to throw each other under the bus,” said Mia-lia Kiernan, National Organizer of 1Love Movement, “We came together to create this online space to talk, write, discuss and demand that our community’s complicated experiences of incarceration and deportation in this country is not spoken for us, but by us.”

The 1996 Blog will cover issues such as the good immigrant/bad immigrant narrative, the War on Drugs, the root causes of forced migration, social movement history against criminal deportation, the prison-industrial complex, policing and racial profiling, the school-to-deportation pipeline, unjust 1996 welfare, criminal and juvenile justice reforms, and many others.

“We want to broaden the understanding of our experience”, stated Abraham Paulos, Executive Director of Families for Freedom, “We can’t continue to fight mass deportation without fighting mass incarceration. These systems work intentionally together to remove people from our communities and break families apart.” Opal Tometi, Co-Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, added, “This isn’t solely a movement for immigrant rights, this is a movement for racial, social and economic justice that rests in our country’s history of exploitation and oppression of communities of color.”

Follow the blog at www.1996blog.org and contact the Editorial Committee at 1996blogpost@gmail.com

The 1996 Blog Committee Members: 1Love Movement, American Friends Service Committee – Immigrant Rights Program, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Families for Freedom, Immigrant Defense Project, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Silicon Valley De-Bug, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

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Philly’s New ICE Detainer Policy: Time for Celebration, Caution, and Culture Shift

Nine days ago today the City of Philadelphia signed into policy an Executive Order regarding ICE Detainer Requests.

The City’s policy reads:

Section 1. No person in the custody of the City who otherwise would be released from custody shall be detained pursuant to an ICE civil immigration detainer request pursuant to 8 C.F.R. 287.7, nor shall notice of his or her pending release be provided, unless such person is being released after conviction for a first or second degree felony involving violence and the detainer is supported by a judicial warrant.

Section 2. The Police Commissioner, the Superintendent of Prisons and all other relevant officials of the City are hereby required to take appropriate action to implement this order.

This means that anyone convicted of a crime by the City of Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and is serving their sentence in a Philadelphia prison, will NOT be transferred to ICE when they’re released. In order to detain someone through the City’s prisons, ICE will need to get a “judicial warrant” of probable cause that another crime has been committed. They can no longer detain someone from the prisons only based on their immigration status. Given the one very narrow exception, Philadelphia police and prison staff have been instructed to ignore all ICE detainer requests.

Please see 1Love Movement’s Blog for FAQs and more information about the policy’s impact on our communities.

IT HAS TAKEN US IN 1LOVE MOVEMENT SOME TIME TO REFLECT ON THIS VICTORY, understand it’s real implications on our communities that interact daily with law enforcement, and critique the divisive framing of the policy as it’s worded – “unless such person is being released after conviction for a first or second degree felony involving violence”.

In the City’s initiative to essentially end the use of all ICE holds by requiring ICE to obtain a judicial warrant to support a detainer request, we join our Philadelphia Family Unity Network partners in celebrating this incredible win for our communities and our unwavering solidarity in gaining this win for all. We congratulate all of our ally groups who have worked for years and supported this cause, and we stand humbled by the power of our community through the struggles we’ve faced to demand justice for our families. We also feel the love and support of allies, groups and communities across the country who have praised this moment in Philadelphia as shifting the national landscape of police and ICE collaboration policies.

Philadelphia’s new policy represents the turning tide.  We expect more cities will follow Philly’s lead in weeks and months ahead, and we congratulate and thank everyone involved in this historic policy. ~ Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

As Philadelphia passes one of the most progressive policies in eliminating local police cooperation with ICE officials, we’re hoping that mayors from cities across the country are watching, and realizing that more can be done to stop the unjust and immoral deportations happening in their communities. ~ Lorella Praeli, Policy Director, United We Dream

THROUGH ALL OF THIS, WE REMAIN CAUTIOUS IN THE POLICY’S FRAMING that continues to draw lines of who is deserving and who is not based on criminal background. While we have moved mountains in policy and legal language that will now protect more people than ever before, we continue to be faced with a destructive societal and political culture of judgement, exclusiveness, and scapegoating.

We have watched this happen in all levels of government from immigration reform to administrative relief to state and local policies. It urges us, as a movement for dignity, justice and fairness, to focus on the pieces of movement work that promote shifts in our culture as a society – the community organizing. 1Love Movement will continue this work with our Philadelphia Family Unity Network partners.

While we celebrate our victory in Philadelphia to separate local police & ICE, we recognize our work here and across this country is not done. Those in power will continue to try and divide us through their language and tactics and we must stand strong against their distractions if we ever, truly, wish to be free. ~ Erika Almiron, Executive Director, Juntos

New Sanctuary Movement strongly stands against deportation of anyone, regardless of criminal conviction. We understand mass deportation to be just one piece of a larger mass incarceration system. As we celebrate the historic victory of ending ICE holds for all in Philadelphia, we reject stigmatizing language and policies that seek to divide communities into deserving and undeserving. ~ Peter Pedemonti, Executive Director, New Sanctuary Movement 

THROUGH ORGANIZING WITH OUR COMMUNITIES, we will work to create a true culture shift, further a root cause analysis, and honor the human spirit. We will do this work envisioning a day when we have genuinely transformed our culture and communities, and ensure that our principles of transformation are reflected in policies that directly impact our communities. We will organize so that we will have policies around the country, throughout all levels of government, that read like this:

Section 1. There exists, in our country, a mass incarceration and mass deportation crisis. These systems work together to remove people from our communities and break families apart. We view the current criminal legal and deportation systems as harmful and destructive, as they deny us of our right to remain together, and deny us of our individual and community capacity as human beings to grow, transform, and heal.

Section 2. While we create policy change to break down institutional mechanisms that have created more harm in our communities, we will continue to envision and build community structures to address root causes of violence, and create processes to address violence and harm through transformative healing and accountability that is community-led and survivor-centered.

1LoveMountain

Philadelphia Executive Order on ICE Holds: Frequently Asked Questions

On Wednesday April 16th, the City of Philadelphia passed a new policy on ICE detainers. Anyone convicted of a crime by the City of Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, AND is serving their sentence in a Philadelphia prison, will NOT be transferred to ICE when they’re released. In order to detain someone through the City’s prisons, ICE will need to get a “judicial warrant” of probable cause that another crime has been committed. They can no longer detain someone from the prisons only based on their immigration status. Philadelphia police and prison staff have been instructed to ignore all ICE detainer requests. Please review the details of the policy below so you and your family can be fully informed of your rights!

WHAT ARE ICE HOLDS?

ICE holds (aka “detainers”) are requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to a law enforcement agency (ie, the police or the prison system) to hold someone beyond the time at which they should be released, for up to 48 hours. ICE issues an ICE hold when it intends to take the person into custody and begin a deportation case against the person. ICE holds are issued by immigration officers and are not reviewed by a judge. It is not mandatory for law enforcement to turn people over to ICE—they can release the person if they choose to do so.

WHAT DOES THE NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER SAY ABOUT ICE HOLDS?

The Executive Order states that the Philadelphia police and the prisons should no longer use ICE holds, with one very narrow exception: where DHS obtains a judicial warrant to support the detainer, and where the person has a new conviction for a 1st or 2nd degree felony involving violence.

WHAT IS A JUDICIAL WARRANT?

A judicial warrant is an order signed by a judge or magistrate, based on evidence presented that supports a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed. A judicial warrant permits law enforcement to arrest a particular person. ICE has the authority to issue administrative warrants for deportation, however these warrants are not reviewed by a judge or magistrate and would not qualify under the new Executive Order. ICE would be required to obtain a judicial order from a judge or magistrate to support their ICE hold request.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PHILADELPHIA RESIDENTS?

In practice, this policy will end the use of ICE holds in the Philadelphia police department and the local prisons. Police and prison staff have been instructed to ignore ICE holds, and not to contact ICE regarding the release of an individual from the criminal system. ICE holds have been removed from the prison system database. When a person’s release date from a prison in Philadelphia is up, that person should be released to their family and not sent to ICE.

WHO DOES THIS POLICY PROTECT FROM ICE HOLDS?

  • People who are stopped on the street by Philly police for any reason
  • People who are convicted of any crime in Philadelphia who serve a sentence of less than two years or who receive a sentence of probation of any length of time

WHO IS NOT PROTECTED?

  • People who are serving sentences that are longer than two years in state prison facilities
  • People in the federal prison system
  • People on probation or parole who are reported to ICE by their POs or who are picked up during a meeting with their PO

DOES THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER STOP DEPORTATION IN PHILADELPHIA?

Unfortunately not. ICE can still try to arrest people in their homes or on the street. If ICE approaches you or comes to your house, you have rights!

  • You have the right to refuse to allow ICE into your house unless they have a signed warrant that lists the name of a person who lives in that house.
  • You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions from ICE or the police.
  • You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you.

WILL THE POLICE FOLLOW THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER?

We hope so, but the police often ignore the rules. If you know someone who was transferred to ICE on a detainer, please contact Caitlin Barry: barry@law.villanova.edu or 610-519-3216.

1Love Movement thanks our partners in the Philadelphia Family Unity Network – Juntos, New Sanctuary Movement, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, and Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia – for the honor of our coalition work to put this policy in place. As well as, all the groups, organizations, and individuals, who paved the way over many years to bring us where we are today.

1LoveMountain