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Immigrant Advocates Allege Rights Abuses

 OAKLAND, CA - The Obama Administration and Congress need to shift away from the immigration policing regime that the government has been building over the past decade, according to a new report issued within days of International Migrants Day, December 18. Injustice for All: The Rise of the Immigration Policing Regime, is published by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) and points to the dramatic growth of a multi-faceted immigration control system that is normalizing government abuses against immigrants in the U.S.

The report is based on over 100 stories of rights abuses documented during 2009-2010 by HURRICANE: The Human Rights Immigrant Community Action Network, an initiative of NNIRR. Injustice for All raises concern that increased policing through Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) with state and local agencies, along with heightened border security, is undermining the health and safety of entire communities.

Injustice for All is the third report from HURRICANE, which maintains a national database of rights abuses against immigrants.

Ada Volkmer, coordinator of the Western North Carolina 100 Stories Project that contributed to the report, explained, "We found that when local police have immigration enforcement authority they are more prone to perpetrate abuses, including racial profiling."

The North Carolina project was started by community groups to document abuses and organize for redress following widespread experience with law enforcement discrimination and abuse in the region. "Immigration-police collaboration makes our communities more vulnerable to abuses and exploitation because people do not trust the police and will not go to them to report crimes," Ms. Volkmer added.

Ayesha Mahmooda, an organizer with DRUM: Desis Rising Up & Moving and contributor, stated, "In New York, South Asian workers and community members are reporting stolen wages and unsafe working conditions. They are very concerned that employers act with impunity and create a climate of fear by threatening them with deportation if they complain about working conditions."

Laura Rivas, coordinator of the HURRICANE initiative, said, "We are calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to suspend the policing operations, the detentions and deportations. We want an aggressive investigation into the abuses; they must hear from our communities."

In addition to calling for policy changes, Injustice for All calls on members of Congress to conduct field hearings to hear directly from community members-workers, men, women, children, youth, families, neighborhoods-who have experienced the rise in racial profiling, workplace abuse, forced family separation, and hate violence.

The text of the report is available HERE


STORY TAGS: HISPANIC, LATINO, MEXICAN, MINORITIES, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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