From the Back of the Line is a 30 minute documentary film exploring the impact of current legislation and immigration policies on the families of undocumented immigrants living in Charlotte North Carolina. Through interviews and exploration, the film will document the struggles of individuals caught in low-priority deportation procedures, parents raising mixed status families, High School and College-age students who have lived in the United States since childhood and other situations current legislation passes over.

So often in the nation’s dialogue about undocumented immigrants and immigration reform, those at the center of the conversation are regarded merely as statistics, without a true picture of their lives, hopes, struggles and dreams ever being communicated. From the Back of the Line seeks to give a voice and face to the people falling through the gaps of proposed immigration reforms in order that we might craft a better American landscape through diversity and a greater depth of understanding.

The film will premiere May 3rd at a free public showing in UNC Charlotte’s Center City building in uptown Charlotte, NC.

Charlotte, NC filmmakers Haberdashery Films, in conjunction with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have partnered with Hannah Levinson, Armando Bellmas and the Latin American Coalition to create this unique regional film.

hella of my comrades in this short clip you see up here doing bad ass shit for themselves and their families. really proud and honored to be apart of this community. 

please share and donate if you are able to.

a goal of $3000, with 30 days to go!

reallifedocumentarian:

No more broken hearts this Valentines Day! Support drivers licenses for all! #undocumented #immyouth #immigration #denver #colorado #licensiasparatodos (at Colorado State Capitol)

reallifedocumentarian:

No more broken hearts this Valentines Day! Support drivers licenses for all! #undocumented #immyouth #immigration #denver #colorado #licensiasparatodos (at Colorado State Capitol)

Trans Immigrants Disproportionately Subject to Deportation and Detention, Suffer Special Gender-Related Harms in these Processes
Barriers to Getting any Legal Immigration Status:
employment-based immigration not available because of job discrimination
family-based immigration not available because trans people’s family members often reject them, trans marriages not seen as valid, chosen and extended family not recognized
asylum and other claims often not available because of lack of access to trans-friendly legal help, less connections with immigrant communities to get information combined with strict timelines, bias and harassment from immigration officers
Criminalization of Trans People:
most convictions and some arrests can make people deportable, even if they have status
trans people falsely arrested for lack of proper identity documents or for using bathroom
police profiling of trans people as violent, prostitutes
committing survival crimes because lack access to legal employment or education (sex work, drugs, theft, etc)
Trans immigrants likely to be detained and/or deported:
trans people disproportionately HIV positive, if from country where no access to HIV meds, deportation is death sentence. also, deportation can lead to serious transphobic violence, persecution, and imprisonment in home country.
in detention trans people often isolated and/or targeted for rape, harassment abusive searches and other violence by staff and other detainees. gender misclassified based on genitals in sex segregated system
can’t access hormones and other medical treatments while detained. forced to change gendered characteristics of appearance (cut hair, give up prosthetics, etc.). results in mental anguish and increased violence because appearance may conform even less to gender identity. 
infograph via the Sylvia Rivera Law Project www.srlp.org info@srlp.org 212.337.8550
pdf version of above chart available here: http://srlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/disprop-deportation.pdf

Trans Immigrants Disproportionately Subject to Deportation and Detention, Suffer Special Gender-Related Harms in these Processes

Barriers to Getting any Legal Immigration Status:

  • employment-based immigration not available because of job discrimination
  • family-based immigration not available because trans people’s family members often reject them, trans marriages not seen as valid, chosen and extended family not recognized
  • asylum and other claims often not available because of lack of access to trans-friendly legal help, less connections with immigrant communities to get information combined with strict timelines, bias and harassment from immigration officers

Criminalization of Trans People:

  • most convictions and some arrests can make people deportable, even if they have status
  • trans people falsely arrested for lack of proper identity documents or for using bathroom
  • police profiling of trans people as violent, prostitutes
  • committing survival crimes because lack access to legal employment or education (sex work, drugs, theft, etc)

Trans immigrants likely to be detained and/or deported:

  • trans people disproportionately HIV positive, if from country where no access to HIV meds, deportation is death sentence. also, deportation can lead to serious transphobic violence, persecution, and imprisonment in home country.
  • in detention trans people often isolated and/or targeted for rape, harassment abusive searches and other violence by staff and other detainees. gender misclassified based on genitals in sex segregated system
  • can’t access hormones and other medical treatments while detained. forced to change gendered characteristics of appearance (cut hair, give up prosthetics, etc.). results in mental anguish and increased violence because appearance may conform even less to gender identity. 

infograph via the Sylvia Rivera Law Project www.srlp.org info@srlp.org 212.337.8550

pdf version of above chart available here: http://srlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/disprop-deportation.pdf

TELL ICE TO DROP THE ICE HOLD 
FREE HECTOR NOLASCO!!!
Call ICE Director, John Morton
(202) 732 3000
Sample Script: “I am calling in support of Hector Nolasco, he was arrested after his employer falsely accused him of assault when he stood up for his rights. He is now in Los Angeles Sheriff’s custody and has been issued an ICE hold. His booking number is 3451662. I urge you to life Hector’s ICE hold. Hector belongs with his wife and daught.”
Sign the petition: http://bit.ly/helphector 
#not1more

TELL ICE TO DROP THE ICE HOLD 

FREE HECTOR NOLASCO!!!

Call ICE Director, John Morton

(202) 732 3000

Sample Script: “I am calling in support of Hector Nolasco, he was arrested after his employer falsely accused him of assault when he stood up for his rights. He is now in Los Angeles Sheriff’s custody and has been issued an ICE hold. His booking number is 3451662. I urge you to life Hector’s ICE hold. Hector belongs with his wife and daught.”

Sign the petition: http://bit.ly/helphector 

#not1more

Keep Humberto and his family together!
Humberto is 27 years old, has two U.S. citizen children and has lived in the United States for 11 years. He is a skilled mechanic, has no criminal record, is an active member of the PTA at his children’s school, and pays his taxes.
Humberto is facing deportation and the possibility of being separated from his family after being stopped by police on March 21st, 2012 for driving without his headlights on. He was then arrested for driving without a license. According to ICE Director John Morton’s prosecutorial discretion memo, Humberto is a “low-priority” case. 
Humberto’s two children, ages 5 and 11, need their father in their lives. He is a valuable member of our community and deserves our support. By signing this petition you show your support for Humberto, and ask Immigration & Custom Enforcement that he be allowed to stay with his family.
"I am calling on our community to support me, please, not only for my case but for the many other parents like me who are going through this painful process." –Humberto
Help us make sure this family can stay together.
¡Ayude mantener a Humberto con su familia!
Humberto tiene 27 años, tiene dos hijos ciudadanos de Estados Unidos y ha vivido en Estados Unidos por 11 años. Él es un mecánico profecional, no tiene antecedentes penales, es un miembro activo de la Asociacion de Padres y Maestras (PTA) en la escuela de sus hijos, y paga sus impuestos. Humberto fue detenido por la policía el 21 del marzo de 2012 por conducir sin sus luces encendidas, y fue arrestado por manejar sin licencia. Sus dos hijos de 5 y 11 necesitan a su padre en sus vidas.
Ahora Humberto se enfrenta la deportación y la posibilidad de ser separado de su familia. Humberto es un miembro valioso de nuestra comunidad y merece nuestro apoyo. Su caso es de “baja prioridad” segun el directivo de John Morton, el director de ICE. Al firmar esta solicitud, demuestra su apoyo a Humberto, y pide que se le permitan quedarse con su familia.
"Pido a nuestra comunidad que me apoyen, por favor, no sólo por mi caso, pero para los padres como yo y muchos otros que están pasando por este proceso doloroso." -Humberto
Ayúdenos a asegurarnos que esta familia se mantengan juntos.
Sign this petition: Keep Humberto and his family together!

Keep Humberto and his family together!

Humberto is 27 years old, has two U.S. citizen children and has lived in the United States for 11 years. He is a skilled mechanic, has no criminal record, is an active member of the PTA at his children’s school, and pays his taxes.

Humberto is facing deportation and the possibility of being separated from his family after being stopped by police on March 21st, 2012 for driving without his headlights on. He was then arrested for driving without a license. According to ICE Director John Morton’s prosecutorial discretion memo, Humberto is a “low-priority” case. 

Humberto’s two children, ages 5 and 11, need their father in their lives. He is a valuable member of our community and deserves our support. By signing this petition you show your support for Humberto, and ask Immigration & Custom Enforcement that he be allowed to stay with his family.

"I am calling on our community to support me, please, not only for my case but for the many other parents like me who are going through this painful process." –Humberto

Help us make sure this family can stay together.

¡Ayude mantener a Humberto con su familia!

Humberto tiene 27 años, tiene dos hijos ciudadanos de Estados Unidos y ha vivido en Estados Unidos por 11 años. Él es un mecánico profecional, no tiene antecedentes penales, es un miembro activo de la Asociacion de Padres y Maestras (PTA) en la escuela de sus hijos, y paga sus impuestos. Humberto fue detenido por la policía el 21 del marzo de 2012 por conducir sin sus luces encendidas, y fue arrestado por manejar sin licencia. Sus dos hijos de 5 y 11 necesitan a su padre en sus vidas.

Ahora Humberto se enfrenta la deportación y la posibilidad de ser separado de su familia. Humberto es un miembro valioso de nuestra comunidad y merece nuestro apoyo. Su caso es de “baja prioridad” segun el directivo de John Morton, el director de ICE. Al firmar esta solicitud, demuestra su apoyo a Humberto, y pide que se le permitan quedarse con su familia.

"Pido a nuestra comunidad que me apoyen, por favor, no sólo por mi caso, pero para los padres como yo y muchos otros que están pasando por este proceso doloroso." -Humberto

Ayúdenos a asegurarnos que esta familia se mantengan juntos.

Sign this petition: Keep Humberto and his family together!

crunkfeministcollective:

Guest post by Verónica Bayetti Flores

immig reform cfc

Those of us who have been doing immigrants’ rights work have been hearing whispers of it coming along for a few months, and it finally seems to be here: Immigration reform is gearing up to come into full swing, and if we want this to benefit queer and trans folks, we’re going to have to stay on our toes and keep our eyes on the prize. Are you ready for this jelly?

So far, what we’ve got in our hands are some very basic blueprints – one from the Senate, and one from the White House. They don’t say much in terms of details quite yet, but what they do say…let’s just we’ve got a lot to work with.

The good news is that both the Senate and the White House seem to agree that a path to legalization for the 11 million undocumented people in the country right now is necessary (the House seems less convinced, though they have yet to put out anything solid). But as it stands, the path to citizenship seems as though it will be rife with socioeconomic barriers. Both blueprints emphasize the need for undocumented people to “take responsibility for their actions” and pay taxes and a penalty (I’m guessing the U.S. won’t be taking any responsibility for a foreign policy that devastates economies in the global south and makes it so that folks have to come here for work in the first place). How steep will this penalty be? Who will be able to afford it, and who won’t? Moreover, the blueprints lay out a pathway to citizenship that includes a criminal background check. While on its surface this may not seem unreasonable, we need to be watching out for the details on what kinds of crimes will block this path. What will make a “serious” criminal? Will it include the kinds of crimes – sex work, petty drug convictions, theft – that low-income and undocumented queer and trans folks often turn to as strategies for survival? We know that convictions largely play out along lines of class, race, and gender identity, and if we’re not diligent about calling out the details of completing this path it’s likely that citizenship will remain inaccessible to many undocumented people.

After the application fees, fines, and background checks, immigrants who have cleared these hurdles will be given a provisional legal status, and will have to wait for existing immigration backlogs to be cleared before they are eligible for lawful permanent residency. Both blueprints have made it clear that during the time that immigrants have this provisional status, they will not be eligible for public benefits. While we don’t know exactly how long the wait between the provisional status and permanent residency will be, it seems likely that the wait will be at least a few years. Add to that the five-year bar – which forbids immigrants with legal permanent residency from accessing most public benefits for the first five years they have that status – and it becomes clear that for low-income undocumented people who are able to get through the initial hurdles, relief in terms of very basic needs such as health care and housing will not be coming any time soon. This is particularly disturbing when thinking of undocumented children and young people, who may literally go a lifetime without access to health care or food assistance.

We are also seeing much emphasis placed on “securing the borders” in both of the blueprints offered. And while I’m sure we will be hearing a lot about how much it will cost to bring immigrants out of the shadows and possibly cover them with of public benefits many years down the line, I’m guessing no one’s gonna bat an eyelash at how much beefing up border security with drones is going to cost. You read that right – unmanned aerial vehicles make appearances on both the Senate and the White House proposals. It seems that drones are one thing everyone can agree on. We will have wait to see how this “securing the border” business is going to play out, but it’s not hard to guess that queer people of color – and particularly gender non-conforming and trans people – will be hugely affected by any increased policing. As it stands now, queer and trans people of color are disproportionately ending up in deportation proceedings, and without larger systemic changes that address issues of economic injustice, this does not seem poised to change with this immigration reform.

Both blueprints emphasize that employers who deliberately hire undocumented workers must be held accountable. To do this, employers must be able to verify that their workers have the appropriate documentation to work, and herein lies the problem: in the past, verification systems (such as E-verify) have been rife with errors. As it happens, these errors disproportionately affect people who tend to change their names – that is, women and trans folks (possible extra bonus: being outed as trans at work!). Though the White House’s blueprint mentions a pilot program for people to check their own records and make sure that everything is accurate before applying to a job, it is unclear what recourse a transgender person, for example, might have for changing their information in this system.

We’re also going to have to really be on our toes when it comes to the detention lobby. Right now there are many people making huge sums of money off of the detention of immigrants, and you better believe that they are going to be looking out for themselves in this mess. We know that they have a quite the formidable lobbying arm, spending millions, and this legislation presents the perfect opportunity for them to solidify and expand their business. Though the White House’s blueprint claims it will prioritize humane detention (I’m just gonna go ahead and call that an oxymoron), we have every reason to believe that the CCA & friends are completely willing to put profits far above human rights. We’ve seen it before, and we’re going to have to be very diligent if we are going to avoid seeing it again.

Of course, it’s not all bad, and in fact the reason it is truly important to critique such an initiative is due to the potential it has to radically alter the circumstances of millions of immigrants in the United States today, including queer and trans folks. The fact that there appears to be a general consensus that the 11 million undocumented in the U.S. deserve a path to citizenship is a huge improvement from the political climate of even a few months ago. Moreover, the White House proposal even included bi-national same-sex couples in their blueprint, proposing giving U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to seek a visa based on a long-term relationship with a same-sex partner.

But it is important to remember who and what kind of political action got us to a point where immigration reform finally seems inevitable after many, many years of need and just as many of political inaction. And here I have to give mad props to DREAMer youth, many of whom are queer, who have spent the last few years on an unapologetic campaign to get the country to face the fact that non-action on immigration is unsustainable by engaging in direct actions and refusing to give up and go away – even when the odds seemed so far out of their favor. If we are going to make immigration reform meaningful for queer and trans immigrants, we must stay steady on our hustle. We have to remain diligent in watching out for all the ways the most marginalized immigrants could be excluded from this process, and demand better for our communities. This is a huge opportunity, family. Y’all better werk!

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and artist who just moved to Holyoke, MA. She has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color, and helped to lead social justice efforts in Wisconsin, New York City, and Texas.

Obama Deportation Toll Could Pass 2 Million at Current Rates

lahoops:

WASHINGTON — As lawmakers debate the Obama administration’s commitment to immigration enforcement, a report released last week shows that 2 million people will be deported by 2014 — more than the total number of deportations before 1997 — if they continue at the current rate.

Tanya Golash-Boza, an associate professor of sociology at University of California-Merced, found that interior immigration enforcement has expanded rapidly as border-crossings have slowed down, leading to more families being separated by deportation. Read more

What does ‘enforcement’ mean?

jahalath:

Border security is the top priority for the Senators charged with reforming our immigration system. Immigrants must take a back seat to enforcement.

The US-Mexico border will become more militarized under Obama and Congress’ proposal, even though Republicans admit that border security is at an all-time high. Drone usage will be ramped up, but Republicans assure tax-payers that these aren’t the kind of drones that kill.

45% of undocumented people enter the US on temporary visas and stay until after they expire. The gang of 8 hopes to implement an exit-entry system so that all temporary immigrants are tracked and removed. A new taskforce will also be created that gives Southern politicians more say over border control. 

What is going ignored in this kerfuffle- by immigration activists and legislators alike- is that militarized borders means the death of innocent people.

It was reported late last year that border deaths have reached a historic high even though migration from Mexico is at a net 0. Routine stories of ICE, Border Patrol, and racist Minute Men militias ‘accidently’ murdering immigrants surface from time to time. There was the brutal case of  Brisenia Gonzalez, a 9 year old who was shot in her Arizona home after a gang of Minute Men raided her house pretending to be Border Patrol agents. In 2010, Anastasio Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican migrant worker, was tased and beaten to death at the San Ysidro border crossing by more than a dozen Customs and Border Protection officers. And in late 2012, a 15 year old Mexican citizen was shot 7 times by Border Patrol when he was on the Mexican side of the border. BP claimed that they were targeting ‘illegal drug traffickers’ nearby.

Let’s not forget that the Obama administration has deported more people than Bush. Nearly 2 million people have been forced out of our country, and thousands are detained, arrested, and deported every month- including Dream Act eligible youth who are supposed to be immune and their family members.

No one, including prominent migrant activists and corporate advocates, will talk about what border security actually looks like: not a fence, not a wall, but a trail of blood leading to a stack of brown bodies.

The Associated Press reports that President Barack Obama’s uncle from Massachusetts has a scheduled deportation hearing.

Onyango Obama is President Obama’s father’s half brother who came from Kenya as student during his teenage years. In 1992 Onyango Obama had been filed for deportation after he did not renew an application to stay. His status had become public in 2011 after he had been arrested in Framingham for drunk driving.

Onyango Obama’s lawyer Scott Bratton told the Associated Press “Everybody wants to stay in America,”

The judge has scheduled Onyango Obama’s new hearing for Dec. 3.

Even Obama’s uncle can’t catch a break. 

jahalath:

LEGALIZE WHO?  These are the 11 million  undocumented people living in the shadows.
Nearly half of long-term undocumented immigrants own a house.
More than half have been in the US for more than a decade.
4.5 million US citizen children have at least one undocumented parent.
Nearly half of undocumented adults have children under the age of 18. 
Over half of undocumented immigrants between ages 25-64 have at least a high schooldegree.
Two-fifths of undocumented immigrants attend church, mosque, temple, or other religious services every week.

jahalath:

LEGALIZE WHO?  These are the 11 million  undocumented people living in the shadows.

  1. Nearly half of long-term undocumented immigrants own a house.
  2. More than half have been in the US for more than a decade.
  3. 4.5 million US citizen children have at least one undocumented parent.
  4. Nearly half of undocumented adults have children under the age of 18. 
  5. Over half of undocumented immigrants between ages 25-64 have at least a high schooldegree.
  6. Two-fifths of undocumented immigrants attend church, mosque, temple, or other religious services every week.
luigimonstre:

I just want to thank all of you who reblogged, signed and called for Jorge.
Unfortuantely, ICE ignored all the efforts and decided to deport Jorge today.
He is safe in his country of Nicaragua but his family, including his 2 kids remain here.
CIR talk is fine and dandy but this only proves that we need an end to all unjust deportations. This just can’t keep happening.

luigimonstre:

I just want to thank all of you who reblogged, signed and called for Jorge.

Unfortuantely, ICE ignored all the efforts and decided to deport Jorge today.

He is safe in his country of Nicaragua but his family, including his 2 kids remain here.

CIR talk is fine and dandy but this only proves that we need an end to all unjust deportations. This just can’t keep happening.

United 4 the DREAM, a local, Charlotte based, youth led migrant justice organization stages scenes depicting the reality of our broken immigration system using a technique called Theater of the Oppressed. 

The scenes included family separation, unequal access to education for undocumented students, migrant labor exploitation, and anti-migrant racism, stereotyping and profiling.

This action occurred to today on the corner of Trade & Tryon - one of the biggest intersections of Charlotte’s downtown. 

DETAINED DURING A WORKING RAID: DON’T DEPORT THE SHOGUN 5!
On November 29, 2011, ICE raided the Shogun Buffet & Hibachi Grill in Asheville, North Carolina. They pulled out of a van and placed the restaurant on lockdown. In all, 12 workers were taken and put in deportation proceedings. Now 5 workers remain fighting their unjust deportations.According to the Morton Memo, the Shogun 5 (Flor, Audencio, Osvaldo, Jose, and Julio) are low priority cases and should not be deported. Make a phone call and sign the petition urging ICE to grant them discretion!TAKE ACTION: Make a Phone Call Call DC ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000 Call Charlotte ICE @ 704-672-6990Sample Script: "I am calling to urge ICE to stop the deportation of the Shogun 5 in North Carolina: Flor Funes (A# 89 955 708), Audencio Diaz (A# 89 951 976), Osvaldo Solis (A# 89 951 995), Jose Castillo (A# 89 951 978), and Julio Molina (A# 89 951 999). All 5 of them were detained at a raid at the Shogun Buffet, where they were victims of labor abuses and wage theft. They have been living in the U.S. for years. According to the Morton Memo, all 5 are low priority cases and should be granted prosecutorial discretion."
SIGN THIS PETITION 

DETAINED DURING A WORKING RAID: DON’T DEPORT THE SHOGUN 5!

On November 29, 2011, ICE raided the Shogun Buffet & Hibachi Grill in Asheville, North Carolina. They pulled out of a van and placed the restaurant on lockdown. In all, 12 workers were taken and put in deportation proceedings. Now 5 workers remain fighting their unjust deportations.

According to the Morton Memo, the Shogun 5 (Flor, Audencio, Osvaldo, Jose, and Julio) are low priority cases and should not be deported. 

Make a phone call and sign the petition urging ICE to grant them discretion!


TAKE ACTION: Make a Phone Call 

Call DC ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000 

Call Charlotte ICE @ 704-672-6990

Sample Script: "I am calling to urge ICE to stop the deportation of the Shogun 5 in North Carolina: Flor Funes (A# 89 955 708), Audencio Diaz (A# 89 951 976), Osvaldo Solis (A# 89 951 995), Jose Castillo (A# 89 951 978), and Julio Molina (A# 89 951 999). All 5 of them were detained at a raid at the Shogun Buffet, where they were victims of labor abuses and wage theft. They have been living in the U.S. for years. According to the Morton Memo, all 5 are low priority cases and should be granted prosecutorial discretion."

SIGN THIS PETITION 

Low Priority & Father of Two: Release Jorge Herrera from North Georgia Detention Center

luigimonstre:


image


image

Jorge Herrera, father of two who has lived in the U.S. for 18 years, was pulled over and arrested for driving without a license. Now he is being held in North Georgia Detention Center. His youngest son, who is 6 years old, suffers from severe asthma. Jorge is an active participant in the Baptist community. He is a low priority for deportation, so why is he still being detained?

Everyone can you please take a few minutes out of your day to
take action & support Jorge.

Call ICE, sign and share the petition!