Tag Archives: immigration law

Arizona Students walk out in protest of SB 1070

Arizona students walk out of class in protest of SB 1070

In the ongoing vigil to veto SB 1070 in Phoenix, Arizona, today, more than 500 students walked out of a local h igh school in protest of the impending bill.

Two of the students from Metro Tech High School, Diana Antunez and Miguel Vasquez had this to say:

” We walked out for our family, we don’t want SB 1070 to pass. It would affect more than half of my family who would be in risk of getting deported and I would be left alone in this country as a minor.”

Diana was born in Phoenix. Her parents parents immigrated to the city 18 years ago and have been working hard to provide for their families ever since, despite not being eligible for citizenship.

“I get very emotional to see all of the people gathering together for the same cause, to do what’s right for Arizona and veto SB1070”.

Miguel has never been a part of of a movement like this and believes that by leaving school he will be able to affect the governor’s decision. He wished he could meet the governor face-to-face to be able to make the case for his own family.

Both Diana and Miguel say tomorrow they will not be going to school as a show of protest against SB 1070. They hope to show Governor Brewer that the current situation is keeping them from obtaining a proper education because they live in constant fear. Fear of having their parents taken away. Fear that their younger siblings will be left abandoned.

“If the governor sees that by signing this bill she will be keeping students from school hopefully she will veto it so students can continue to get an education and live normal lives like our classmates”.

The students plan on keeping from school until SB 1070 is vetoed.

Stand with them – ask Governor Brewer to veto SB 1070>>

Supreme Courts extends rights of immigrants to due process

Yesterday, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision that upholds due process for immigrants in court. The decision means that any immigrant defendant has a right to be informed about whether or not a plea could lead to deportation.

From the Washington Post:

“The severity of deportation – the equivalent of banishment or exile – only underscores how critical it is for counsel to inform her noncitizen client that he faces a risk of deportation,” said Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the opinion for the court.

The decision puts a new burden on lawyers to advise immigrant clients about the consequences of a guilty plea…”

Jose Padilla, the defendant in the case, had lived in the United States for 40 years as a legal permanent resident and was facing automatic deportation for  a plea made in 2001. He was told by his lawyer that the plea would not affect his immigration status.

Yesterday’s decision ruled that:

“It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant – whether a citizen or not – is left to the ‘mercies of incompetent counsel.'”

This is a big victory for immigrant rights in the U.S. legal system, though it comes at the cost of thousands of deportations that should have been legally avoided.

For more on this decision check out:

National Public Radio:  High Court: Lawyers Must Give Immigration Advice

The Detention Watch Network Blog

Change.org:  Landmark Decision: SCOTUS Upholds Due Process for Immigrants

America’s Voice: Justice Prevails With Supreme Court Decision on Immigration Counsel

Resource: Immigration in the New Administration Symposium Webcasts

Last month, Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law Center for Immigrant Rights held an immigration symposium titled “Immigration in a New Administration”. You can check out webcasts of all the presentations from the conference. Subjects include:

ACTION: Support the National Immigrant Bond Fund

To follow up on my last post, I am posting on a cause that I truly believe in – The National Immigrant Bond Fund.

If our “justice” system will release people accused of murder on bail, why won’t it allow the same for hard-working immigrants caught up in our broken system?

If you believe in due process – you should support the National Immigrant Bond Fund.



For too long U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have raided workplaces across the country, detaining and separating hard-working immigrants from their children, while leaving their local communities in total disarray.

 ICE agents have detained, shackled and pushed men and woman alike through hearings in which these detainees have been deprived adequate legal representation, including an attorney of choice. In some cases ICE has flown detainees thousands of miles from their families to be tried in detention centers on the border.

These harsh enforcement actions are causing an economic, constitutional and humanitarian crisis in the United States. 

Legal experts across the nation agree that the best chance for a fair trial is to post bond immediately and contest their case in the courts. Posting bond sets jurisdiction in the district where the arrest took place, thereby avoiding ICE’s rapid transfer of detainees outside the district. Posting bond also increases the detainee’s ability to argue his/her case for a stay of deportation before a judge. Lastly detainees able to post bond have better access to community resources and family support.

Go to http://www.immigrantbondfund.org to help families remain intact and honor our nation’s commitment to human dignity and due process. 

The goals of National Immigrant Bond Fund are to:

  • Assist immigrants caught in raids to post bond so that they can assert their right to legal counsel and due process in court
  • Build public opposition against raids and support for immigration reform by focusing on the lack of rights afforded detainees.
  • Support local community’s efforts to respond effectively to ICE enforcement actions and raise public awareness of the need for detained immigrants to access due process.

100% of your tax deductible contribution will go directly to an immigrant seeking due process in our courts (families of detained immigrants will be required to contribute towards the posting of bond).  Released bonds will be returned to the Fund to assist other detained immigrants.


The National Immigrant Bond Fund is a fiscal project of the Public Interest Projects, Inc. (PIP). PIP strengthens the work of philanthropic institutions, nonprofit groups and other public interest organizations sharing a vision of a society that ensures justice, dignity and opportunity for all people.

Color in Your Cheeks

There is a great post on Smart Borders today that reinforces my point from an earlier post – –  Immigration Backlogs Put Lives on Hold.

Writing about his first day working for an Immigration Law firm, Matthew Webster cuts to what is at the core of our debate today – humanity. Here is an excerpt:

Despite the fact it was my first day, I felt I was able to contribute both to the attorney and these clients, these people. I enjoyed speaking Spanish with a Mexican man who has been working here for years and is attempting to get employer-sponsored citizenship. My heart went out to a woman who was calling about her husband’s file, a husband she has not seen for two years since he was forced to leave the country. I thumbed through thousands of files, thousands of lives and stories and situations, thousands of big dreams and tiny legalities.

Click here to read the full post.


Court Rejects Decisions of Immigration Board


Published: June 12, 2008

In a scathing opinion, a federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday that immigration judges and the appellate system established as a check on their decisions committed “obvious errors” by denying asylum to three Guinean women who claimed that they were victims of genital cutting back in Africa.

Click here to read full article.

Postville, Indian Guest Workers: Victims of Abuse treated like Criminals

Yesterday, New American Media posted an article that sheds some light on how the government is shifting their immigration policy towards and criminalizing immigrants.

Historically, immigrants who are victims of abuse or trafficking have been granted protective visas by the government – a policy that reflects the compassion and humanity our country was founded upon. However, amidst the current trend of fear and criminalization of immigrants, that compassion and humanity has been all but forgotten…

The article is lengthy, but well worth the read – click here to read the full post.