From DACA Recipient to Rocket Engineer

cr: Andrew Lam, New American media

By Andrew Lam, New American Media

Henry Yi (not his real name) is studying mechanical engineering and dreams of working for NASA. The 19-year-old UC Berkeley student says he couldn’t have done it without his parents – not only because of the sacrifices they made to bring him to the United States, but because they helped him apply for a program that has changed his life.

Yi, who declined to use his real name to protect his family, says it was his parents who first told him about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The program, announced in 2012, grants undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children a reprieve from deportation and access to a work permit.

San Diegans Dismayed over Rep. Peters’ Vote Refusing Refugees

San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium Leaders to Return Proclamation Issued by Rep. Peters


San Diego, CA: Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill that unfairly targets Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing violence by increasing the roadblocks they must overcome before seeking refuge in the United States. The bill is H.R. 4038, the so-called “American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act.

Despite the repeated calls by refugees, faith leaders and community groups to oppose this shameful legislation, Representative Scott Peters voted in favor of H.R. 4038. If this legislation passes the Senate and becomes law, it would halt refugee resettlement for families fleeing Syria and Iraq, including individuals who served alongside U.S. troops.

In response, the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) will be returning a proclamation issued by Rep. Peters last week to honor the SDIRC for its work in support of immigrant communities in San Diego.  

SDIRC representatives will gather at Rep. Scott Peter’s office today at 3:30 pm for this action – 4350 Executive Dr suite 105, San Diego, CA 92121.

Promise of Reforms by CBP Commissioner Ring Hollow

Top-Officials Perpetuate Culture of Impunity and Violence Inside Nation’s Largest Law-Enforcement Agency

Southern Border Region:  The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) strongly condemns the lack of willingness from leadership at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hold Border Patrol agents that were involved in 67 lethal use-of-force incidents from 2010 to 2012, accountable for their actions. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) audit, released in 2013, concluded that CBP officers and agents the used of deadly force in these incidents where it may not be not justifiable and that many incidents were aren’t thoroughly investigated.

CBP has a long documented history of violence and abuse, due largely to the complete absence of meaningful with no commensurate accountability and oversight mechanism measures.  Its failure to establish an institutional culture of accountability and implement police best practices has far-reaching consequences for the quality of life of those who live and work in the Southern and Northern Border regions.

Christian Ramirez, Director, Southern Border Communities Coalition, stated:

The outrageous decision from Commissioner Kerlikowske not to discipline agents who engaged in excessive use-of-force underscores that the shameful culture of impunity and violence that plagues the nation’s largest law-enforcement agency is still in place. The deplorable announcement has a chilling effect for Southern Border communities. The Obama Administration must take immediate and urgent steps to implement oversight and accountability measures inside an agency that for far too long has been allowed to operate with disregard for the Constitution and human dignity.

Pedro Rios, Director, American Friends Service Committee San Diego, stated:

It is reprehensible that that CBP will not take action against border agents involved in unjustifiable deadly-force cases. This is on the verge of state-sanctioned killings, and absent any real transparent oversight in on these deadly incidents, we can conclude that CBP is evading responsibility and refusing to hold its agents accountable when excessive or unwarranted deadly force is used.

Vicki B. Gaubeca, Director, ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights, stated:

 The agency’s promises of transparency and accountability ring hollow when they appear to rubber stamp approval for the potentially lethal actions of their agents. To date, we know nothing about what these cases were, where they happened, and whether or not the families of the victims have been properly informed. CBP can’t turn the page on a decade of abuse and ignore the suffering of these families. Our country cannot allow the nation’s largest police force to abuse, brutalize and kill individuals without consequences from the agency, Department of Justice, or courts.

 Astrid Dominguez, Advocacy Coordinator, ACLU of Texas stated:

The Commissioner’s disappointing decision to take no action in any of the 14 cases his own investigators red-flagged calls into serious question whether CBP is committed to bringing justice to the families victimized by Border Patrol violence and to creating a more transparent and accountable agency.

The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) brings together community organizations from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region.


Calif. Senate passes health care bill for undocumented immigrants


A bill to provide state subsidized health care to some low-income immigrants in the U.S. illegally and allow those who can afford it to buy their own insurance cleared the State Senate Tuesday and will now go to the Assembly.

Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) authored the bill, SB 4, known as the Health for All Act, to extend health coverage because unauthorized immigrants are not eligible to buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If it is approved, California would become the first state to offer health insurance to those in the country without permission.

Initially the bill was more expansive, offering state subsidized insurance to all immigrants here illegally, but it was scaled back to address concerns about cost. According to the Public Policy Institute of California there are about 2.6 million unauthorized immigrants in the state – more than half live in Southern California. Experts estimate more than 1 million unauthorized immigrants are uninsured.

9 Cities Took Action to Stop Border Brutality



On May 28, the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium joined with nine cities across the country in the National Day of Action to Stop Border Brutality led by the Southern Border Communities Coalition. The coordinated actions aimed to call attention to at least 37 people killed since 2010 by Border Patrol or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

The day also marked the 5-year anniversary of the beating of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas that resulted in his death, which took place at the San Ysidro Port-of-Entry in San Diego, California.
Actions consisted of a march, vigils, video screenings of the PBS “Crossing the Line” investigation into CBP abuse, and a banner drop in Los Angeles.

In San Diego, a march brought out over 300 people to support 6 local families leading the struggle to stop border brutality.

On Twitter, the hashtags #StopBorderBrutality and #NoMásBrutalidad were alive with posts and images sharing the various artistic expressions that were seen throughout the day, including a powerful reenactment of the beating of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.
Here are photos from some of the coordinated actions: