Latino Voices

Latino Voices

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO SUE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER DUMPING ASYLUM SEEKERS LOCALLY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 13, 2019 (San Diego) — San Diego’s County Supervisors voted 4-1 in closed session on Tuesday to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its treatment of families seeking asylum in the U.S. The federal government has been dumping migrants including parents with children on the streets of San Diego with no resources to help them while they await asylum hearings to which they are entitled under international law.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE MIGRANT SHELTER THROUGH DECEMBER

 

 

East County Supervisors Jacob and Desmond split on vote

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Courthouse building, courtesy of San Diego County

January 30, 2019 (San Diego) -- A temporary shelter for migrants will be set up in downtown San Diego at the old county courthouse slated for demolition – not at Camp Barrett, a former youth detention center in East County that was among several sites considered.

By a four to one vote, Supervisors voted to allow Jewish Family Services to lease the courthouse building for one dollar through December 31st.  The nonprofit group will reimburse the county for costs to open the migrant shelter and maintain the property near Balba Park on Sixth Avenue, and advised Supervisors that it has already secured funds.

HUNTER BILL WOULD ALLOW CITIZENS TO REFUSE TO ANSWER SOME CENSUS QUESTIONS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 25, 2019 (Washington D.C.) — 50th Congressional District representative Duncan D.  Hunter (R-Alpine) has announced plans to introduce a series of bills during the first 100 days of the new Congress.
 
Hunter calls his measures “common sense reforms” and calls on the new Democratic house majority to give his bills full consideration. The first measure he introduced is titled the “Authorizing Moderated Enumeration Responses Including Citizenship Acquisition (AMERICA) Act, which will limit the penalty imposed on U.S. citizens refusing or neglecting to answer one or more questions in connection with the 2020 census.  

SUPERVISORS VOTE TO HELP FIND TEMPORARY SHELTER FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS

 

By Chris Jennewein

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Jewish Family Service CEO Michael Hopkins speaks to the press after the Board of Supervisors vote. Photo by Chris Jennewein

January 8, 2019 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to help a coalition of local nonprofit groups assist asylum seekers by providing temporary shelter on county property.

“Now it falls to us to say, as leaders, what can we do? We have the obligation to help,” said newly elected Supervisor Nathan Fletcher at his first board meeting.

CITY, COUNTY OFFICIALS ARE MAKING MOVES TO SHELTER ASYLUM-SEEKERS

 

City officials plan to explore housing migrants seeking asylum at a shuttered juvenile facility in Alpine and county officials will explore options next week. An especially chaotic holiday season highlighted the need for more resources, shelter space and coordination to serve the thousands of asylum-seeking families federal officials are releasing in San Diego.

By Maya Srikrishnan and Lisa Halverstadt, Voice of San Diego

January 4, 2019 (San Diego) -- After waiting a month and seven days in Tijuana to seek asylum on the other side of the border, Leonardo Garcia and his family ended up outside a San Ysidro McDonald’s after dark.

CALIFORNIA TEEN LEADS LAWSUIT TO KEEP HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS IN U.S.

 

By Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  "I felt like I needed to speak up... and represent all the children whose parents have TPS and could be sent back," said Crista Ramos, 14. The Bay Area teen is suing the federal government. Photo for CALmatters by Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED

January 3, 2019 (San Diego) - High school freshman Crista Ramos used to be mostly preoccupied with school, friends, and soccer practice with her team, the Richmond Lionesses.

All that changed in January when the Trump administration announced plans to end the humanitarian protections that allow her mother and about 260,000 other immigrants from El Salvador to lawfully live and work in the United States.

TRUMP THREATENS TO SHUT DOWN BORDER AS FEDERAL SHUTDOWN CONTINUES

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2018 (San Diego) – As a government shutdown over a budget impasse enters its second week, President Donald Trump today threatened to shut down the entire U.S.-Mexico border indefinitely unless Congress passes a budget with billions of dollars in funding to build a border wall.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Trump said in a morning tweet. 

But in fact, Republicans still control both the House and Senate until January 3, when Democrats will become the majority party in the House of Representatives—and Congress adjourned for the holidays without passing the President’s budget.

The San Diego and Imperial County Chambers of Commerce estimated that a one-day border shutdown at San Ysidro, one of the world's busiest border crossings, over Thanksgiving weekend cost an estimated $5 million in lost revenues to the San Diego County economy. 

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WANTS MIGRANTS TO WAIT IN MEXICO FOR ASYLUM HEARINGS; COURT BLOCKS TRUMP DENIAL OF ASYLUM TO DOMESTIC AND GANG VIOLENCE VICTIMS



By Miriam Raftery

December 20,2018 (San Diego) – Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today announced that Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. must wait in Mexico until their hearing dates, except for unaccompanied minors. But the action is likely to be challenged in court—and thus far, federal courts have consistently ruled against the Trump administration efforts to restrict the rights of asylum seekers.

SEN. ATKINS CALLS FOR UNITED RESPONSE TO MIGRANT CRISIS, RECALLING HEPATITIS A SCANDAL

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  State Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins says she was having “productive conversations” with Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Photo by Chris Stone

December 19, 2018 (San Diego) - Recalling the deadly hepatitis A outbreak, state Senate leader Toni Atkins on Tuesday urged public officials at all levels to coordinate responses to what she called the ongoing humanitarian crisis in San Diego and Tijuana.

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL DIRECTS STAFF TO DRAFT LETTER OF CONCERN OVER SOUTHWEST KEY MIGRANT CHILDREN FACILITY

Action comes after Union-Tribune reports seven children missing from Southwest Key facility

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Ana Babudar, Southwest Key Programs Inc., addresses City Council

Watch video testimony here

December 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The El Cajon City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a proposal asking staff to prepare letters to the California Department of Social Services and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services asking for a review of Southwest Key Programs, Inc, The Texas-based company provides extended care for undocumented immigrant children. Its El Cajon facility, known locally as “Casa San Diego,” contracts with the federal government to provide care to children who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border without any parents, as well as some children who were separated from their legal guardians by U.S. immigration officials.

Co-sponsored by Council members Steve Goble and Gary Kendrick, the proposal stems from a November 18, 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune article that revealed discrepancies with Southwest Key reports to the El Cajon Police Department and California Department of Social Services.

31 ARRESTED IN BORDER PROTEST; LOCAL FAITH LEADER RELEASED WITHOUT CHARGES AFTER VIDEO DEBUNKS ASSAULT CLAIM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via American Friends Service Committee




December 13, 2018 (San Diego)—On Monday, 32 people, mostly faith-based leaders from across the nation, were arrested in a peaceful protest in support of migrants seeking asylum at the international border in San Diego.

While most were charged with not following officers' orders and quickly released, Matthew Leber from the American Friends Service Committee representing Quakers was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a Border Patrol agent and kept overnight. But he was released without charges after a video posted by the AFSC shows agents knocking down Leber and taking his backpack, countering officials’ version of what occurred.  View video:  https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational/videos/338520756967150/

East County resident Jack Shu, president of Cleveland National Forest Foundation, witnessed the incident. “I was standing only 15 feet from Matt when he was arrested,” Shu told East County Magazine. “The media reported that he was arrested for assault when the truth is, it was the Border Patrol that escalated the situation and used physical force when it was not needed.”

ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA LEADS MULTISTATE AMICUS BRIEF CALLING FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TO PROTECT ASYLUM-SEEKERS

 

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2018 (Sacramento) - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a multistate amicus brief filed in support of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, which challenges the Trump Administration’s efforts to prevent people who have not entered the country at a “port of entry” from applying for asylum in the United States. 

 

DEC. 11 EL CAJON COUNCIL AGENDA WILL INCLUDE CONCERNS OVER CHILDREN IN MIGRANT SHELTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2018 (El Cajon) – Following news reports that a shelter for immigrant children in El Cajon failed to report several runaway youths to state authorities, the El Cajon City Council will add a discussion of the problems to the Council’s agenda at its December 11th meeting.

The facility run by Southwest Key houses primarily unaccompanied minors but also some children separated from parents at the international border.

RUNAWAYS, SEXUAL ABUSE AND MEDICAL NEGLECT OF IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AT U.S.-RUN FACILITIES RAISE CONCERNS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: federal shelter for migrant children in El Cajon, where five runaways remain unaccounted for

November 28, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Concerns over the safety and well-being of migrant children are rising amid disturbing reports of sexual abuse and medical neglect at federal detention centers in Arizona and Texas, as well as runaways from an El Cajon shelter who remain unaccounted for.

BUSINESSES HURT BY BORDER CLOSURE; MORE CHAOS COULD LIE AHEAD

 

 

Las Americas Premium Outlets was forced to close on the busiest shopping weekends of the year, as a sky made hazy by tear gas bit at customers’ throats and eyes

By Kendra Sitton

 

Photos by Philip Ballew

 

Updated November 30, 2018 with figures from a Reuters news report on economic losses to hotels in our region due to the border conflict

 

November 26, 2018 (San Diego) — In a Monday tweet, President Trump threatened to shut down the border if Mexico does not remove the Central American migrants, thousands of whom are still arriving in Tijuana over the next week. He has made similar threats before, but this time Trump said he would close the ports of entry permanently if need be. 

U.S. SHUTS DOWN BORDER AT SAN YSIDRO, TEAR GASSES MIGRANTS INCLUDING CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot off CBS 8 live feed

Update November 26, 2018 with comments from Congresswoman Susan Davis.

Update 5:30 p.m.: Border Patrol has reopened northbound and southbound lanes.

November 25, 2018 (San Diego)—U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has shut down the international border at San Ysidro in both directions today, also closing major highways and roads nearby including portions of I-5, I-805, and state route 905.  A trolley line and pedestrian crossing that closed temporarily have since reopened.

When some members of a migrant caravan from Central America attempted to cross into the U.S., agents repelled them with tear gas. Reuters reports children and babies were screaming after the attack. There are also eyewitness reports that a loud sound device was deployed, possibly a flash-bang device or a sonic weapon.

The border shutdown on a busy holiday weekend inconvenienced vacationers on both sides of the border seeking to return home.  Border crossers were forced to detour and endure hours-long waits to crossings at Otay or Tecate.

SAN DIEGO RAPID RESPONSE NETWORK SHELTERS ASYLUM SEEKERS DUMPED BY ICE ONTO SAN DIEGO STREETS; LAUNCHES GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN

 

East County News Service

November 20, 2018 (San Diego) -- Every day since October 26, immigration authorities have released onto the streets of San Diego 20-30 migrant families (50-70 individuals) seeking asylum at the San Diego-Tijuana Border. Once processed and vetted for security risks, the Department of Homeland Security has quietly dropped these families – tagged with ankle bracelets and without any resources – at locations across San Diego. The situation has left hundreds of migrants homeless on San Diego’s streets, with nowhere to go and no way of getting to their final destinations.

REP. HUNTER AND TRUMP WANT TO ELIMINATE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP FOR IMMIGRANTS’ BABIES, BUT SUPREME COURT RULED THIS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

By Miriam Raftery

November 5, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump, in an interview with Axios, declared his intention to eliminate birthright citizenship by executive order – a move that reputable legal scholars on both the left and right agree would be unconstitutional.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has previously supported a bill in Congress to similarly end granting citizenship to most children of immigrants born here.

Trump stated,  "You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they're saying I can do it just with an executive order." 

But the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. is crystal clear that everyone born in the U.S. must be granted citizenship.  It states: "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Moreover, the Supreme Court has upheld that the amendment does cover children of immigrants, regardless of their parents' legal status.

CASA CORNELIA HOSTS ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY, PROVIDES LEGAL COUNSEL TO MINOR ASYLUM-SEEKERS

 

 

Dilkhwaz Ahmed honored for efforts helping refugees and immigrants in El Cajon

By Briana Gomez

 

October 25, 2018 (San Diego) -- Casa Cornelia, a non-profit law firm that provides pro-bono services to the San Diego immigrant community, hosted its annual “La Mancha Awards” last Friday, Oct. 19

VISIONARY DANCE THEATRE PERFORMERS DISPLAY TALENTS AND ENERGY IN FAST-PACED “QUESTA” PROGRAM

 

Review by Kathy Carpenter

Photos courtesy Eva Anderson

October 15, 2018, (City Heights) – Questa, the chronicles of an American family, is a celebration of director Spencer John Powell's ancestors from the beautiful little village of Questa, New Mexico. Alex Haley once said, "In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future."  Powell celebrates his family with this dance tribute, performed by Visionary Dance Theatre  in 13 amazing contemporary dance numbers. 

JUDGE, CITING RACISM BEHIND TRUMP’S ORDER TO REMOVE NONWHITE IMMIGRANTS, TEMPORARILY BLOCKS DEPORTATIONS OF HAITIANS, SUDANESE AND CENTRAL AMERICANS WITH PROTECTED STATUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2018 (San Francisco) – U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco has temporarily blocked an order by the Trump Administration to revoke the legal status of over 300,000 immigrants who had been granted temporary protection in the U.S.  after fleeing violence and natural disasters in Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Some have lived in the U.S. for over 20 years.  The order also protects children who are U.S. citizens, whose parents have been ordered deported.

VISIONARY DANCE THEATRE PRESENTS QUESTA, CHRONICLES OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY, OCT. 11-13

 

 

East County News Service

October 1, 2018 (City Heights) – Visionary Dance Theatre of La Mesa will present “Questa," chronicles of an American family, at the City Heights Performance Annex (3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego) on October 11th-13th at 8 p.m.

The performance is based on the genealogical work of Artistic Director Spencer John Powell’s ancestors from the beautiful little village of Questa, New Mexico. He has traced his family’s roots back to the early 1600s and has developed work representing the family names of Duran, Rael, and Quintana, their indigenous, Spanish, Jewish, French and African lineage.  Powell also explores the beautiful landscape of this village nestled in the mountains.

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS LEGISLATION THAT WILL GRANT DIPLOMAS TO DEPORTED HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS

 

 

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher Bill will apply to all students in good standing whose education was interrupted against their will

East County News Service

October 1, 2018 (Sacramento) — A proposal authored by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) to retroactively grant diplomas to deported high school seniors was signed by Governor Brown last week.  AB 3022 passed the State Assembly with a 75-1 vote and the Senate by a 35-1 vote

GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES CELEBRATE LATINX HERITAGE MONTH

 

Source:  Grossmont/Cuyamaca Community College District

September 10, 2018 (El Cajon) – Food, music and dance at Cuyamaca College and a visit at Grossmont College by nationally acclaimed poet Yosimar Reyes will highlight a series of special events honoring Latinx Heritage Month at the two East County colleges from mid-September to Nov. 1. All events are free and open to the public.

HUNDREDS OF IMMIGRANT CHILDREN REMAIN IN DETENTION AFTER PARENTS DEPORTED

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ACLU: Sammy Reyes-Mejia, 3, didn’t recognize his mother after being reunited following three and a half months of separation and being held in a federal detention center.

September 2, 2018 (San Diego) – Despite a court order to reunify all children separated from immigrant parents at the border, 497 children remain in federal custody, including 322 children whose parents were deported, the Hill reported on August 30th.   There are 22 tots under age 5 in detention, and those deported included parents of six children under age 4.

FEDERAL JUDGE RESTORES DACA, PROTECTS DREAMERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 9, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – U.S. District Judge John Bates issued a ruling last week order the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The program protects many young immigrants who came here as children from deportation.

Trump announced plans to shut down the program and his administration has stopped accepting applications or processing renewals. But the judge ruled Trump’s rationale for dropping DACA, a program created during the Obama administration, did not pass legal muster.

STALKING A BUS STATION

 

A La Mesa writer finds a way to help families released from ICE detention

By Mimi Pollack

Photo:  Honduran man and his two sons

August 1, 2018 (San Diego) -- Helping others is not political. It is good for the soul. When you help others, you forget about your own problems for awhile. In addition, nobody should make you feel bad about who you decide to help. In my case, as a writer, I have interviewed many good folks assisting others -- be they two legged or four legged recipients – and ended up also giving to many charitable human and animal organizations.

JUDGE DELAYS DEPORTATION OF FAMILIES SEPARATED FROM CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 16, 2018 (San Diego) — U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego issued an order today blocking deportations of immigrant families until at least July 23 to assure that parents are not deported without their children, require the government to respond to ACLU papers, and to allow reunited families time to decide whether to seek asylum. 

ESTELA DE LOS RIOS: AN ADVOCATE FOR HER COMMUNITY

 

Human rights leader is an organizer of hate crimes forum July 17 in El Cajon

By Mimi Pollack

July 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- As the executive director of CSA-Center for Social Advocates, Estela de los Rios cares about the well-being of the community. She also has a strong sense of justice, which she developed at an early age. As a human rights activist, she strives to make the world a better place and doesn’t want others to feel the pain of discrimination, something she herself has faced in her life.

CSA is a place where people can come and voice their concerns. It is made up of six agencies that provide community services to East County, including fair housing, immigrant and refugee rights, civic engagement, hate crimes, and human trafficking. It is a place that in her words, “embraces newcomers and community.”

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