ACLU

ACLU TAKES BORDER WALL FIGHT TO SUPREME COURT, SEEKS HALT TO DESTRUCTION OF SACRED SITES, WILDLIFE AND PROTECTED SCENIC AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

 

File photo: A section of the old border fence being torn down in San Diego’s East County as work continues on new wall despite lawsuit and pandemic

 

July 23, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt construction of President Trump’s border wall. In a motion filed on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, the ACLU is urging the court to lift an earlier stay that allowed the Trump administration to divert $2.5 billion from military pay and pension funds for border wall construction that Congress had specifically denied. 


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TO END 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL NIGHTMARE,' ACLU SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER USE OF SECRET POLICE IN PORTLAND

"This is a fight to save our democracy."

By Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Photo:  Police confront demonstrators in Portland, Oregon on July 4, 2020. (Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

July 18, 2020 (Portland, Ore.) - The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon sued the Trump administration late Friday over its deployment of federal agents to Portland, where unidentified officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service have been detaining Black Lives Matter protesters without explanation and using indiscriminate force to crush demonstrations.


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ACLU DISMISSES LAWSUIT AFTER ICE RELEASES 4 IMMIGRANT DETAINEES VULNERABLE TO COVID-19

Otay Mesa ICE facility has at least 16 COVID-19 cases, highest of any  U.S. detention site

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

April 13, 2020 (San Diego) – After the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed lawsuits in 13 states demanding release of detained immigrants at high risk due to COVID-19, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent a letter to Congress on April 7 announcing it had identified 600 medically vulnerable detainees and to date, had released 160 of them.

Today, local ACLU representatives asked the court to dismiss a suit filed earlier this month on behalf of four medically vulnerable people detained at the ICE Otay Mesa Detention Center and Imperial Regional Detention Facility, after ICE released all four  plaintiffs.

“Our clients, Yusuf Ozdemir and Jane Doe, were released Thursday night; and Miguel Angel Benitez and Issis Yoselin Zelaya Sagastume were released Friday night,” states a press release issued today by  the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, ACLU Foundation Immigrants' Rights Project, ACLU Foundation National Prison Project and ACLU Foundation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & HIV Project.


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JOURNALISTS SUE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DEFEND FREE PRESS IN ACLU LAWSUIT

Government created secret dossier on journalists, interrogated them at border for information on sources and reporting

Source:  ACLU

November 21, 2019 (San Diego) -- Five journalists who were tracked, detained, and interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security in an unprecedentedcoordinated attack on the freedom of the press are suing to defend the First Amendment. The journalists were all reporting on conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border. On multiple separate occasions in 2018 and 2019, U.S. border officers targeted the journalists for secondary screening at the border, compelled them to disclose information about their sources and observations as journalists, and even searched through their photos and notes.


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IMMIGRATION SWEEPS LEAD TO 20 ARRESTS IN SAN DIEGO

 

Do you know your rights if ICE comes to your door?

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2019 (San Diego) – As part of immigration sweeps across the nation this week, 20 people with final deportation orders were arrested this past week in San Diego County, before the announced date of sweeps that President Donald Trump said would begin Sunday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced.

According to ICE, 85 percent of those arrested had criminal convictions or criminal charges pending that included drug and weapons offenses, hit and run, driving under the influence, theft, domestic violence, fraud, or evading law enforcement.

The other 15 percent had only immigration violations, but all will be processed for deportation.

Across the nation, President Trump’s announcement of the impending sweeps struck fear into immigrant communities, raising fears of family separations and sending some immigrant households into hiding, NPR reports.

Fear, even among legal immigrants or those with family members who are undocumented, has prompted a "Know Your Rights" campaign by civil liberties and immigrant rights groups.


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ACLU FILES MOTION TO COMPEL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO COMPLY WITH NEW PUBLIC RECORDS LAW

 

 

East County News Service

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) -- The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) on Monday filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit by several police unions seeking to prevent the release of police misconduct records as required by the state’s new law, the “California Public Records Act” (SB 1421). The ACLU demands that local law enforcement agencies act immediately to comply with the new law.


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ACLU TO MONITOR WILDFIRE VICTIMS' RIGHTS

 

Social service agencies are required by law to provide disaster-related assistance without asking for information or documents

East County News Service

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- As wildfires rage in Southern California this week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of San Diego and Imperial Counties is on alert to protect the rights of fire victims in this region.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: WHITE SUPREMACIST VIOLENCE IS NOT FREE SPEECH

 

 

Statement by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California

 August 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- Our country’s greatest strengths are the diversity of its people and the principles of equal dignity and inclusion that unite us all. There are troubling events planned in our state in the coming weeks. This is an incredibly painful and difficult time for millions of Californians. 

For those who are wondering where we stand – the ACLU of California fully supports the freedom of speech and expression, as well as the freedom to peacefully assemble. We review each request for help on a case-by-case basis, but take the clear position that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence.


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JUDGE TEMPORARILY HALTS DEPORTATIONS OF IRAQIS NATIONWIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Iraq prayer vigil held in El Cajon in July 2014. El Cajon is home to 40,000  or more Iraqi-Chaldean Christians as well as Kurds and other Iraqi religious minorities.

June 27, 2017 (San Diego ) – A federal judge yesterday issued a nationwide two-week ban on deportation of  Iraqi-Americans back to Iraq.  The ruling was prompted by a lawsuit on behalf of 114 Iraqis  rounded up and detained in  Detroit, mainly Christian Chaldeans, but the ban applies broadly to 1,400 Iraqis under deportation orders nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued the stay to give him time to determine whether his court has jurisdiction to weigh in on the detainees’ fears that deportation to Iraq could lead to death, torture or persecution, the Chicago Tribune reports.  Goldsmith wrote, “Such harm far outweighs any interest that government may have in proceeding with the removals immediately.”


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ACLU HOSTS COUNTY BUDGET TOWN HALLS ON INVESTING IN SAN DIEGO FAMILIES

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2017 (San Diego) -- The Invest in San Diego Families Coalition invites you to join a series of Town Hall meetings throughout the county to discuss the San Diego County’s $5.4 billion budget and how it can better serve communities. The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties and other members of the Invest in San Diego Families encourage you to demand smart, impactful investment in San Diego and programs that will ensure more of its residents thrive.  A meeting in East County’s 2nd Supervisorial district will be held on May 22nd at La Mesa Methodist Church.


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COURTS BLOCK PART OF TRAVEL BAN FROM MUSLIM NATIONS AS PROTESTS GROW; TRUMP CLAIMS ORDER IS WORKING “VERY NICELY”

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Protest planned at 5 p.m. tonight at Lindbergh Field; immigrant attorneys warn demonstrators could be detained, caution non-citizens not to participate due to “grave” risks

January 29, 2017 (San Diego)—Multiple federal courts have issued orders temporarily blocking deportation of  legal residents detained at airports following President Trump’s executive order Friday, including a New York federal judge ruling on an ACLU suit that applies nationwide. While some remain detained and denied access to counsel per the ACLU, others were allowed to meet with immigration attorneys  and were soon set free at airports across the U.S., where large crowds gathered and greeted the arriving immigrants with cheers to welcome them to America (View video).

The court orders thus far protect only those already at U.S. airports or in transit. Other lawsuits are set to be filed Monday by civil rights and Arab-American groups seeking to overturn as unconstitutional the broader ban on admitting refugees as from seven mostly Muslim nations (Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Syria, Libya and Yemen)  listed as countries of concern by the State Department. 

The order also applies to  an estimated half million legal U.S. residents with green cards from those countries, as well as people who hold dual citizen in any of the seven nations as well as citizenship in U.S. ally nations including Canada and Great Britain.


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ACLU SUES TO STOP CATHOLIC HOSPITALS FROM WITHHOLDING CARE TO PREGNANT WOMEN WITH PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS

 

East County News Service

October 3, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Pregnant women seeking emergency care at Trinity Health hospitals, a chain of 80 Catholic hospitals nationwide, have become septic, experienced hemorrhaging, contracted life-threatening infections and suffered severe pain for days after being denied medical care during pregnancy complications including miscarriages, a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contends.

In some cases, the water or membrane surrounding a fetus burst during early stages of pregnancy, meaning a baby could not survive, but the mother’s life was in danger without termination of pregnancy.  However the Catholic hospitals’ directives prohibit doctors from terminating a pregnancy for any reason, even when a miscarriage is in progress. Their doctors are also banned even from telling a woman than an abortion could save her life or health.

The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of women members including some who live in cities or counties where Trinity is the only hospital providing emergency care for obstetrical and gynecological conditions or is the only hospital that takes the member’s insurance.


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SUPERVISORS POSTPONE ACTION ON WATERFRONT PARK FREE SPEECH RULES UNTIL JULY

 

By Miriam Raftery and Janis Russell

“It is the basic tenet of all Americans to speak truth to power without restriction or regulation.” – David Patterson, U.S. veteran and Ramona resident (photo, left, by Janis Russell)

View video of complete hearing (item 7): http://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1682

 

June 10, 2015 (San Diego)- San Diego’s Board of Supervisors yesterday postponed action until July 21st on a controversial proposal to restrict protesters in the Waterfront Park outside the County Administration Building. The  County claims its goal is to protect free speech rights while also protecting rights of the growing number of others using the new waterfront park for activities such as weddings, picnics, concerts, yoga and children’s play.

Supervisors voted to delay action and ask staff to re-examine the proposal after the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter calling the action “probably unconstitutional” as written, also noting that the City of San Diego has no permit requirements for free speech activities. Members of the public and Supervisor Dianne Jacob also voiced concerns about the proposed ordinance.


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PRISONER REALIGNMENT DRAWS CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS ON BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT

By Miriam Raftery

Governor Jerry Brown, in his State of the State Speech in January, praised legislators for casting “difficult votes to cut billions from the state budget.  You curbed prison spending through an historic realignment,” he said among other cost-cutting measures listed.

The realignment shifts responsibility for tens of thousands of prisoners from the state to local governments by 2014.  The action is fueled in part by a court ruling that ordered California to reduce overcrowding in state prisons by 33,000 prisoners, though the Governor’s move goes further in an effort to cut the budget.

The action, however, shifts responsibilities for those prisoners  to local counties and cities. It is also forcing some jurisdictions to release some prisoners early to avert overcrowding in local jails--and raises questions on how best to address the state's crime problems overall.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

February 7, 2013--(San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

 Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

November 13, 2012  --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.


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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

November 1, 2012  --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

  • The end is near (Turko Files helps bring end to Alpine Blvd. repaving nightmare)
  • The Mayoral candidate scorecard, general election edition (Voice of San Diego)
  • For Filner, it’s always sunny in San Diego  (Voice of San Diego)
  • Filner’s travel becomes campaign issue(UT San Diego)
  • The 2012 elections:  vital issues that affect Latinos (San Diego Free Press)
  • Supervisors could end $1,000 limit on contributions (KPBS)
  • Helix Highlander band takes first place (La Mesa Today)
  • Tesla stores challenge auto dealerships (U-T San Diego)
  • ACLU sues over photo restrictions at border (Sacramento Bee)
  • Spring Valley grocery worker is poster child for New York Times story (La Mesa Patch)
  • From Sex Dolls to Staged Garbage: The Election's Worst Campaign Dirt

STATE

  • Debunked: 6 lies that Biotech and Big Food are telling voters about Prop 37 (San Diego Free Press)
  • CA Charter schools grow to over 1,000 for 2012-13 (U-T San Diego)
  • Court says Arizona group must provide information in CA election (Sacramento Bee)

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.


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COMMON CAUSE LAUNCHES EFFORT TO STOP VOTER SUPPRESSION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Nadin Abbott

October 24, 2012 (San Diego)-- It is ironic. This morning ECM attended a press conference dealing with voting suppression, while nearby volunteers from both the Democratic and Republican Parties were getting ready to register newly minted citizens after their naturalization ceremonies.

The conference was called by State Senator Leeland Yee (D-8). He was joined by State Representative Marti Block (D-78- Assembly), as well as Simon Mayeski of the non partisan Common Cause and Phillip W. Liburd, Executive Board Member of the NAACP San Diego Branch.


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COUNTY BARS ALPINE PLANNING GROUP FROM REMOVING MEMBER LOUIS RUSSO, AFTER ACLU SAYS SANCTIONS UNCONSTITUTIONAL


By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2011 (Alpine) – San Diego County Counsel Thomas Montgomery has barred the Alpine Planning Group from removing Louis Russo, a member. The board had attempted to oust Russo after he wrote an article published online in the Alpine Community Network criticizing recent board decisions and suggesting that the planning group may need to be disbanded.


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ICE AGREES TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE FOR IMMIGRATION DETAINEES IN SETTLEMENT OF ACLU SUIT

 

Lawsuit Charged Lack Of Medical And Mental Health Care Led To Death and Unnecessary Suffering


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READER'S EDITORIAL: ACLU FILES SUIT TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEE RUNNING FOR ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD


October 9, 2010 (Alpine) - The ACLU has filed a lawsuit to protect Chris Neucomb's right to run for Alpine School Board. He was appointed to fill a vacancy and is running for re-election. A retired naval officer, now a federal employee, he is barred by the Hatch Act from partisan political activities. California school board elections are nonpartisan, and Neucomb is campaigning in a nonpartisan manner. Yet the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has warned it may find him in violation and declared that “a nonpartisan election could become partisan” if any candidate in the race seeks or advertises a political party's endorsement.

 

If found in violation, Neucomb could be forced to withdraw from the race, resign his federal position, or face enforcement action. He is asking a federal court to protect his First Amendment right, and asked that we publish his open letter to voters.

 


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ACLU ACCUSES SDSU OF ILLEGALLY WITHHOLDING DOCUMENTS ON ADMISSIONS POLICY CHANGE

 

December 18, 2009 (San Diego) - The ACLU says San Diego State University has delivered an "empty Christmas present", turning over incomplete records in response to a public documents request.  Now the ACLU has sent a demand letter on behalf of the Education Consortium demanding full disclosure. 


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ACLU SUES CITY OF SAN DIEGO FOR DESTROYING HOMELESS PEOPLE’S BELONGINGS INCLUDING PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES, BLANKETS AND PHOTOS OF LOVED ONES


Class Action Suit Alleges Policies Intended to “Harass Homeless People Into Going Away”


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A “LEARNING EXPERIENCE” FOR RAMONA SCHOOL DISTRICT: SCHOOL APOLOGIZES FOR BANNING 6TH GRADER’S HARVEY MILK REPORT

Move Comes After ACLU Letter Alleged District Violated Student’s Constitutional Rights

June 13, 2009 (Ramona) – A Ramona school district has apologized to sixth grader Natalie Jones for censoring her classroom presentation about Harvey Milk last month, and school officials promised they won't engage in allegedly unconstitutional restriction of similar free speech in the future.

Move Comes After ACLU Letter Alleged District Violated Student’s Constitutional Rights


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ACLU THREATENS LAWSUIT AFTER RAMONA SCHOOL BANS SIXTH GRADER’S PRESENTATION ON HARVEY MILK

May 27, 2009 (Ramona) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sent a demand letter to the Ramona Unified School District alleging that a school policy on sex education was used to illegally censored a sixth grader’s classroom presentation about Harvey Milk earlier this month. The ACLU contends that the District violated Natalie Jones’ free speech rights when it refused to allow her to give the presentation in class. Instead, the school improperly required classmates to get parental permission to see the presentation during a lunch recess.


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