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Day Laborers Continue Fight Against SCOMM In California

Subrina Hudson |
February 23, 2012 | 5:49 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Hundreds marched in downtown Los Angeles, chanting and singing in protest against Secure Communities, a federal program that demonstrators say allows law enforcement agencies to unfairly deport undocumented immigrants whether or not they have criminal charges against them.

The rally was held by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) on Wednesday, the third day of its four-day summit, to discuss the future of day laborers and the challenges they face. NDLON consists of 43 organizations aiming to advance the rights of immigrant workers. 

Protestors gathered in front of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors office holding large signs with “Alto Polimigra!”—Stop the Migra, a word many Latinos use for immigration authorities—above a Homeland Security symbol that said “U.S. Department of Homeland Insecurity.” One group held a mural poster depicting a family clinging to loved ones as they are being deported.

NDLON’s Sarahi Uribe said thousands have been deported through the program with 60,000 deportations so far in California alone.

“Los Angeles is emblematic of a city that has been built by immigrants. The economy runs because of immigrants, and yet, we are turning our backs on them,” said Uribe. “We’re here to propose a solution to pass the California Trust Act that would address some of the problems with the Secure Communities program.”

Angela Chan, an attorney at Asian Law Caucus, said the Trust Act would end detainments in California by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the exception of serious or felony convictions.

She said her organization is fighting alongside NDLON to prevent police from holding people in prison due to immigration status. She said ICE only interferes when someone is being released from a criminal case, regardless of whether they were released on bail, a case was dismissed or they were found innocent.

“We see Asian-Americans in our lobby who are undocumented, who are victims of crime, including domestic violence, who have been picked up by police and immigration because of Secure Communities,” Chan said. “So, this has been a priority for us.”

Reach Staff Reporter Subrina Hudson here.




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