Union-Tribune: Denouncing the wall

Local activists hold a press conference denouncing Donald Trump’s exectuvie orders targeting immigrants and refugees as well as the proposed building of a wall along the entire border between the United States and Mexico.

Read more at the Union-Tribune for the full story.

A lot depends on Trump’s definition of ‘criminal’ and ‘immigrant’

By Kate Morrissey

As President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches, his hard-line supporters and the unauthorized immigrants he has pledged to oust are waiting to find out how Trump will define a group that he has often railed against — “criminal immigrants.”

Both words of that phrase raise questions about Trump’s main targets for immigration policy.

“Criminal” raises questions because while a person’s immigration status is considered a civil matter, anyone who crosses the border without permission could be charged with a misdemeanor, illegal entry. Anyone who does it twice could be charged with a felony, illegal re-entry. Some wonder whether Trump will increase prosecution of these offenses as part of his plan to deport criminals.

“Immigrant” raises questions because, while Trump’s supporters seem focused on unauthorized immigrants, those who are here legally — such as with a green card — can also commit crimes and be deported for it.

Read the full story here.

Haitian Men Cut Off From Families as U.S. Tightens Entry Rules


MEXICO CITY — A sudden shift in American immigration policy has divided scores of Haitian families trying to enter the United States from Mexico, immigrants and advocates say.

The policy change, announced last week, has separated wives from husbands and children from their fathers, stranding the men in Mexico after their families were allowed to cross into the United States.

“I’m hoping God makes miracles,” said Sandra Alexandre, who was allowed into the United States last week ahead of her boyfriend and gave birth three days later. The new policy went into effect right before the child’s father could cross.

The family separations appear to be an unintended consequence of the Obama administration’s effort to tighten the border against the arrival of thousands of Haitians streaming north from Brazil, mostly to seek employment in the United States.

Read the full story here.


Independent Investigation Needed in the Deadly Shooting of Alfred Olango by the El Cajon Police Department

Victim needed help for his mental illness, not bullets 

San Diego, CA – The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium(SDIRC) is alarmed by the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Alfred Olango on Tuesday, September 27 by an El Cajon Police Department officer. Mr. Olango was unarmed when he was fatally wounded and had just recovered from a seizure.
SDIRC is further troubled that El Cajon Police Department officers were fully informed that they were responding to a mental health emergency, but did not dispatch their PERT unit, which is specially trained to de-escalate cases where someone is having a mental health crisis. According to a Washington Post report, one in four people killed by police officers were suffering from mental illness, and ill-equipped police officers used deadly force instead of tactics to de-escalate the situation.
We understand that Mr.Olango and his family, originally from Uganda, came to the US seeking refuge and protection. It is particularly tragic that an individual who fled to the US seeking safety should be killed at the hands of police. Mr.Olango’s death comes at a time when police are under scrutiny nationwide for unnecessary deadly encounters with mostly, unarmed Black men.
Ginger Jacobs, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, stated the following:
It is impossible for our communities to rely on police officers for help when they shoot first and ask questions later. Communities of color and immigrant communities need to know that law enforcement agencies are here to serve and protect ALL people.  We demand that an independent investigation be conducted by an agency outside of the El Cajon Police Department or sheriff’s department.
Ramla Sahid, a member of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium Advisory Board, stated the following:
The murder of Alfred Olango is a devastating blow to both San Diego and immigrant communities. This is truly a sad day for San Diegans as these types of incidents further wedge a gap of mistrust between community members and law enforcement agencies.”
About San Diego Immigrants Rights Consortium
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is a project of the Alliance San Diego. Beginning in 2007, community, faith, labor, and legal organizations have come together as the Immigrant Rights Consortium. Through the Consortium, these organizations are pursuing four common goals: Support comprehensive immigration reform; stop the spread of local policies and practices that target and violate the civil and human rights of immigrants; educate immigrants about their rights and the legal and other resources available to them and to educate the public about the important contributions of immigrants and counter the myths and misstatements made about immigrants. To learn more about SDIRC, visit www.immigrantsandiego.org.

KUSI: U.S. closes door to Haitian earthquake survivors

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The United States is closing the doors on thousands of Haitian immigrants who want to come to the U.S.

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security announced a policy change that prevents more survivors of the Haiti earthquake from entering the U.S. through the San Ysidro Border.

It’s important to know what these people are not. They are not illegal. They are not refugees. They are not asylum seekers.

They are seeking humanitarian help.

Obama’s Budget Contains Some Small Victories for Immigrant Advocates


By: ChaKiara Tucker / Communications Coordinator for Alliance San Diego

Recently, President Obama revealed the budget for 2017, his final budget as Commander-In-Chief. The $4.7 trillion financial blueprint is a proposal of how this country should appropriate funds, and will be sent to Congress for revisions and approval.

Here are few things you need to know about President Obama’s budget.