THE U.S. IMMIGRATION BATTLE INTENSIFIES

January 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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THE U.S. IMMIGRATION BATTLE INTENSIFIES
By David Bacon  in Equal Times, 1/28/15OAKLAND, CA — In an escalating dispute with President Barack Obama, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in mid-January, which would cut any funding from the Department of Homeland Security for suspending the deportation of undocumented people.  In December the President ordered the department, beginning this spring, to defer the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have children born in the U.S., who are thus U.S. citizens.

A previous Obama order suspended the deportation of young people without documents, brought to the U.S. as children.  The Republican bill would rescind both orders.

A new, Republican-dominated Congress took office in January.  Congress must fund the department by Feb. 27 or it could shut down.  President Obama has threatened to veto this bill, and while there are enough Republican votes in the Senate to pass it, there are not enough to override a veto. Read more

Another farmworker union leader fired – retaliation from Sakuma Bros.

August 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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On Monday August 11th over 150 Sakuma Bros Farms blueberry pickers, members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia  protested and assembled a picket line at the farm’s field office on Benson Road to protest the firing of a union leader, unreliable lunch break times, onerous piece-rates and a new disciplinary scheme that was imposed by the company.

Cornelio Ramirez, a Familias Unidas por la Justicia negotiation committee member has been the target of an internal campaign by the management of sakuma Berry Farms to seek out and discipline farm workers who are sympathetic to the independent farm worker union with a previously un-enforced company hand-book that establishes a warning based discipline system. The farm workers do not even have a copy of this handbook. Cornelio received two warnings for talking back to company representatives (a labor contractor and an anti-union consultant), one warning for using his cell phone to record a conversation in Spanish, his second language, and another for “picking too slow”. Read more

Seattle City Council Passes Immigration Resolution

August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
8/11/2014  3:00:00 PM
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Council Urges Federal Comprehensive Immigration Reform to Help Seattle Families

SEATTLE - City Council unanimously adopted a resolution today emphasizing the importance of family unity and calling upon the Obama Administration to stop deportations of undocumented residents without serious criminal convictions. It also calls for the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and urges the administration to end the use of the I-9 audits that have resulted in the firing of hundreds of undocumented workers in Seattle.

The federal government’s stated priority is the deportation of individuals with serious criminal convictions, yet the majority of those deported have only minor convictions, or no convictions whatsoever. Deportations have reached an annual national average of nearly 400,000 people since 2009.

The resolution also urges Congress to increase funding for resettlement services, to support family unity with the passage of comprehensive immigration reform that eliminates visa backlogs and to give immigration judges discretion in immigration and deportation proceedings.

Finally, the resolution calls on the City of Seattle to redouble efforts to inform the immigrant and refugee community of their legal rights and Seattle’s policies related to their immigration status, including options to qualify for different types of immigration status. Read more

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