From AZ – MA Press Advisory

Arizona to Massachusetts Press Advisory | PDF
What: From Arizona to Massachusetts: Our Struggle for Justice Event
When: Thursday, April 7th 2011 6:00-8:00PM
Where: Doyle’s Café, 3484 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain MA 02130
Who: Kalila Barnett, Kyle de Beaussett, Jesus Gerena, Mariama White-Hammond, Jeannette Huezo, Cris Lagunas, Gloribell JP Progressives and ¿Oiste?

Contacts: Gloribell Mota, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE) (617) 480-8410

Community Organizer from Phoenix Arizona unites with Greater Boston community leaders to raise awareness on the impact of the “Secure Communities” program and immigrant struggles.

BOSTON, MA –Greater Boston community leaders, JP Progressives and ¿Oiste? are hosting Carlos Garcia, community organizer from Phoenix Arizona, who for the last four years has worked towards ending and educating about the constant human rights abuses of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the 287(g) Agreements and Arizona’s series of anti-migrant laws. Carlos, working with the PUENTE movement and the National Day Labor Organizing Network has focused on using the example of Maricopa County to inform the country of the atrocities in ICE and Local Police collaboration.

On March 21, 2011 the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Center for Constitutional Rights and the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law sent a letter to Governor Deval Patrick; regarding Massachusetts ability to opt out of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s “Secure Communities” program (S-Comm). After the organizations reviewed thousands of internal ICE documents regarding S-Comm, which they obtained through Freedom of Information Act litigation, it demonstrated persisting problems with ICE’s claim that the program’s focus is on high-level dangerous criminals.

The advocacy agencies released a new analysis of the latest data that contradicts the ICE’s claim that the program pursues those convicted of dangerous crimes and prevents opportunities for racial profiling on the part of local law enforcement. “Nationally, 1 in 4 people deported under S-Comm haven’t been convicted of any crime. That ratio jumps to over 50% in Boston, certain areas of California, and in multiple examples across the country.” Explained Bridget Kessler of Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. “Those numbers raise questions about how S-Comm may allow local police to cover up profiling and circumvent due process.”

The organizers of this event anticipate that by raising awareness and educating on the impact the S-Comm program will have in Massachusetts and currently has with the piloting of Boston Police Department, they will generate support to speak out against it and urge Governor Deval Patrick to consider the consequences of signing onto the program in The Commonwealth. Currently, Washington state and the District of Columbia have refused to sign on to implementing the S-Comm program.

Carlos Garcia, Community Organizer is available for comments and interviews all day Thursday, April 7th and Friday, April 8th.