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Join us on Valentines Day, Friday, February 14 at noon to say No More Deportations!

RSVP on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/626790054024500/

We’ll tell Sheriff Stanek to stop breaking up families and breaking hearts, and instead break the ties to ICE! Join us for a Valentine’s Day protest Feb 14th at 12:00 pm — we’ll meet outside the Hennepin County Jail (corner of 4th Ave & 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis). We’ll tell Sheriff Stanek to stop cooperating with ICE and separating families through deportation!  No more deportations!

Please consider donating to MIRAc to help us continue the fight for immigrant rights in 2014.

MIRAc has been fighting for immigrant families this year amidst frustrating actions (and inactions) of Washington legislators and the maddening reality of jails being used as deportation machines in Minnesota. Locally, through our No More Deportations campaign we have been organizing ongoing protests to pressure Sheriff Stanek to stop using the Hennepin County Jail as a deportation machine and have been fighting to stop our friend Eder’s deportation, educating the public of the real threat that lingers over our neighbors.

Politically, since Immigration Reform has not passed, we believe we must demand that President Obama step up and use his executive powers to stop families from being separated immediately and keep our families intact and children stable by extending Deferred Action to all undocumented immigrants, like he did for Dreamers last year. That would halt deportations while the movement keeps pushing for a real path to legalization for all without repressive border militarization or workplace repression. In addition to our No More Deportations campaign, we have other exciting projects like our work with other community groups to create a beautiful political mural on the building where we have our office at 4200 Cedar in Minneapolis. Let us know if you’d like to help on that. We have a lot more work to do this year on the No More Deportations campaign and in the fight for immigrant rights, and we need your help!

MIRAc is an all-volunteer group that raises our money entirely from the community. So please consider giving us a donation to help us continue our grassroots organizing at this vital time in the struggle for immigrant rights.

You can you can donate to MIRAc via paypal at bit.ly/miracdonate. Or you can mail a check (made out to “MIRAc”) and send to MIRAc, 4200 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55407. A donation of $20 will help make copies of educational materials for a ‘know your rights’ presentation. $40 will help us buy materials to make signs and banners for marches. And $190 will cover our rent for a month! Any size donation is a great help.

This year we see the possibility of real immigrant rights victories. But only a bold, independent grassroots movement can make the changes we urgently need to see and feel in our community. We hope you’ll donate to support our work, and stay informed of our activities through our email list-serve to get involved at this crucial juncture in the struggle for immigrant rights.

In solidarity,
The members of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee

The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) condemns the politically-motivated arrest and indictment of Rasmea Yousef Odeh, Associate Director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network (AAAN), on an immigration-related charge. The sixty-five year old was arrested at her home in late October by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, alleging an immigration violation on a 20-year-old application. Immigration law should not be used as a weapon of political repression!

Rasmea, who has made it her life’s work to serve and help empower Palestinian and Arab families, is the victim of a witch-hunt by our federal law enforcement agencies, which continue to violate the civil rights of Arabs and Muslims with impunity. Rasmea is a leading member of Chicago’s Arab and Muslim communities, and her decade of service has changed the lives of thousands of people, particularly disenfranchised Arab women and their families.

As the Associate Director of the AAAN, Rasmea is responsible for coordinating an Arab Women’s Committee, which is active in defending civil liberties and immigrant rights.  She is a mentor to hundreds of immigrant women, and is a well-known and respected organizer throughout Chicago, the U.S., and the world.

Earlier this year, Rasmea received the Outstanding Community Leader Award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, which described her as a woman who has “dedicated over 40 years of her life to the empowerment of Arab women, first in her homes of Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon…and then the past 10 years in Chicago.” Rasmea is a community icon who recently completed a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Governors State University.  She was tortured by Israeli authorities while imprisoned in Palestine in the 1970s, and is a proud reminder of the millions of Palestinians who have not given up organizing for their rights of liberation, equality, and return.

It is appalling that our government is now attempting to imprison her once again. We condemn this attack on Rasmea, as well as the broader pattern of persecuting Arabs, Muslims and other immigrant communities.

We ask all of our supporters to sign the petition at http://www.iacenter.org/rasmeaodehpetition/ to demand that they Drop the Charges against Rasmea Odeh Now!

The “Gang of Eight” Senators have unveiled their bipartisan immigration reform proposal. It offers a pathway to citizenship which could improve the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants, though for most immigrants the path is extremely long, difficult, and it would exclude a not insignificant number of people. We must fight for everyone to be included and for the process to be less restrictive and punitive.

     As many also feared, the proposal contains repression, militarization, and discrimination. The first part of the proposal is a radical increase in the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. This includes $3 billion for increased border surveillance, increased presence of Border Patrol and Customs agents, and unmanned aerial drones. This will be supplemented by $1.5 billion for more border fences. As in the past, instead of preventing migrants from crossing the border, militarization just forces people to cross at more dangerous points, increasing deaths.

     Immigrants that enter the new Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status aren’t eligible to become Lawful Permanent Residents until the new Border Security and Fencing strategies have been implemented, a mandatory nationwide employment verification system is in place, and an electronic exit system is installed at all air and sea ports.

     MIRAc believes that every person has the right to move where they feel they will best be able to provide for their families and create a better future. This is especially true under globalized capitalism and free trade agreements like NAFTA that open borders for money and products but not people. As long as capital is able to move freely, people must be able to move freely too.

     At the same time, MIRAc believes that no one should be forced to migrate due to poverty, war, or discrimination. The immigration reform proposal does nothing to address these root causes of migration. U.S.-backed wars and exploitative economic policies that continue in Latin America will keep driving people to migrate north.

     To be considered for the new Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status, a person must have lived in the U.S. before December 31, 2011 and maintained a continuous presence here since then, pay a $500 fine, back taxes and other fees (DREAM Act eligible youth are exempted from some fees). Many immigrants who send remittances to their children back home are not allowed to claim their children as dependents on their taxes, an injustice which this proposal does nothing to fix. Immigrants will be ineligible for RPI status if they’ve ever been convicted of a felony, gross misdemeanor, or three misdemeanors, or have unlawfully voted. RPI is temporary and must be renewed after 6 years (for an additional $500 fee).

     After 10 years in RPI status, immigrants could adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident status and apply for a green card. To do this immigrants must have stayed in the U.S., paid all taxes, worked continuously, demonstrate a working knowledge of Civics and English, paid a $1000 fine and all people currently backlogged waiting for green cards must be processed. Immigrants eligible for the DREAM Act or the Agricultural Program can get their green cards in 5 years, and apply for citizenship immediately after.

      This means that it will be at least 10 years before most immigrants will be eligible for a green card, and at least 3 more years before applying for citizenship. And politicians have many excuses to postpone the process even longer, like if border militarization benchmarks aren’t met or visa backlogs aren’t cleared.

     And what happens to immigrants who fail the background check, or elderly immigrants who haven’t learned English? What happens to day laborers who have no documentation of their work history? Any new immigrants arriving to the U.S. after the arbitrary December 31, 2011 cut-off date will be forced even deeper into the underground economy.

     The proposal follows a “security and enforcement” framework, criminalizing undocumented workers and pitting “worthy” against “unworthy” immigrants. Instead of receiving the immediate legalization they deserve, immigrants will be forced into a second-class status for over a decade before even knowing if they’ll qualify for legal permanent residency or citizenship.

     Another key part of the proposed legislation is a drastic increase in workplace repression. The E-Verify program, which verifies employees’ immigration status, would change from optional to mandatory. Everyone – not just immigrants – will have to show a biometric ID card when applying for a job. Mandatory E-Verify is the first step in the implementation of massive programs that the FBI is developing to track all people in the U.S., and is also the first step toward a national ID card, which many people concerned with civil liberties oppose.  

     The new proposal also reorganizes the work visa system. The Diversity Visa (through which many African immigrants come to the U.S.) and visas for siblings of U.S. citizens are eliminated, while H-1B visas for highly-skilled workers increase. Immigrants with more education, higher-skilled jobs, and a longer time in the U.S. will get visas, while immigrants who lack education or job training are left out.

     At the same time, the proposal creates a new system of temporary visas for farm workers, and a new W-Visa for immigrants who work in “lower-skilled” jobs, like construction, meatpacking, or factories. Workers can come for up to 3 years, and will be tied to a specific employer and job. Although they can seek work with a new W-Visa employer, they can’t be out of work for more than 60 days. The new proposal promises workers higher wages and some labor protections, but in the past these types of guest worker programs have been rife with abuse.

     “Secure Communities” deportation program would continue, and local police, jails and employers are dragged further into becoming immigration enforcers.

     Some may say this deal is the best we can hope for, and that a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants is worth trading for increasing deaths on the border, discriminating against workers, deepening police-immigration integration, and shutting future immigrants out. While there are some advances in the proposal, it’s not enough. Our starting point shouldn’t be to accept a compromise with so much repression. We must continue to demand basic human rights and equality for all people. Now is the time to raise our voices and be in the streets. Through struggle, we can make the politicians do better.

     We demand an immediate legalization for all immigrants, without chains. We can’t continue to let families be ripped apart as legal status separates parents from children, and keeps families without the means to support themselves. Merecemos mas! It is unconscionable for the US government to treat immigrants who came here to feed their families as criminals. Merecemos mas! No more deportations! Unconditional legalization for all now!

Los senadores de la “Banda de los ocho” ya revelaron su propuesta bipartita para una Reforma Migratoria. La propuesta ofrece un camino hacia la ciudadanía que podría mejorar las vidas de millones de inmigrantes indocumentados, aunque para la mayoría el camino es muy largo y difícil y excluiría una gran cantidad de personas. Debemos luchar para que todos sean incluidos y para que el proceso sea menos restringido y punitivo.  

   Como era de esperarse esta reforma incluye medidas draconianas de represión, discriminación y militarización. La primera parte de la propuesta es un aumento drástico en la militarización de la frontera EEUU-México. Ésta incluye $3 billones para aumentar el monitoreo de la frontera, más presencia de la Patrulla Fronteriza y hasta el uso de aviones aéreos no tripulados. También pretenden gastar $1.5 billones para instalar más muros en la frontera. En el pasado, en lugar de prevenir que los inmigrantes crucen la frontera, la militarización obliga a las personas a cruzar en zonas más peligrosas, aumentando así el número de muertes.

   Los inmigrantes que entren al nuevo estatus de Registro Provisional de Inmigrante no calificarán para ser residentes permanentes hasta que las nuevas estrategias de la seguridad fronteriza hayan sido implementadas, hasta que el sistema nacional obligatorio de verificación de empleo esté instalado y hasta que un sistema electrónico de salida sea instalado en todos los puertos aéreos y terrestres.

  MIRAc cree que toda persona tiene el derecho de mudarse donde crea que mejor podrá proveer para su familia y crear un mejor futuro. Esto es especialmente cierto bajo el capitalismo globalizado y los acuerdos de libre comercio como NAFTA que abre la frontera al dinero y a los productos pero no a las personas. Si el capital tiene la facilidad de moverse libremente, las personas deben también poderse mover libremente.

   A la misma vez, MIRAc cree que nadie debe ser forzado a migrar debido a la pobreza, la guerra o la discriminación. La propuesta de reforma migratoria no hace nada para abordar las causas de la migración. Las guerras respaldadas por los EE.UU. y las políticas económicas explotadoras que continúan en América Latina siguen forzando a las personas a migrar hacia el norte.

   Para ser considerado para el Nuevo estatus de Registro Provisional de Inmigrate, una persona debe haber vivido en EE.UU. antes del 31 de diciembre de 2011, haber mantenido una presencia continua aquí desde la fecha, pagar una multa de $500, pagar los impuestos antiguos y otras multas (los jóvenes que califican para el DREAM Act están exentos de algunas multas).

   A muchos inmigrantes que envían remesas a sus hijos en sus respectivos países no se les está permitido reclamar a sus hijos como dependientes en los formularios de impuestos, una injusticia que esta propuesta no compone. Los inmigrantes no calificarán para el estatus de RPI si alguna vez han sido condenados de un delito grave, delito menor, tres delitos menores o han votado ilegalmente. El RPI es temporal y debe ser renovado después de 6 años (por una cuota adicional de $500).

   Después de 10 años con el estatus de RPI, los inmigrantes podrían hacer la petición para el estatus de residente permanente y aplicar para la tarjeta de residencia. Para hacer esto, los inmigrantes deben haber permanecido en EE.UU., haber pagado todos sus impuestos, haber trabajado de forma continua, demostrar conocimiento de inglés y cívica, y pagar una multa de $1000. Además, tendrán que esperar hasta que todas las personas que han hecho sus peticiones anteriormente para tarjetas de residencia sean procesadas. Los inmigrantes que califican para el DREAM Act o para el Programa de Agricultura pueden obtener sus tarjetas de residencia en 5 años y después aplicar para la ciudadanía inmediatamente.

   Esto significa que tomará al menos 10 años antes que la mayoría de los inmigrantes califiquen para una tarjeta de residencia y al menos 3 años más antes de aplicar para la ciudadanía. Los políticos pueden poner muchas excusas para alargar el proceso, por ejemplo podrían decir que las metas de la militarización no han sido logradas o que las  visas en espera no han sido procesadas.

   Y ¿qué pasará con los inmigrantes que fallen el chequeo de antecedentes penales o los ancianos que no han aprendido inglés? ¿Qué pasará con los jornaleros que no tienen documentación de su historial de trabajo? Todo aquel inmigrante reciente que llegue a los EE.UU. después de la fecha arbitraria del 31 de diciembre de 2011 se verán forzados a someterse a la economía clandestina.

   La propuesta sigue una infraestructura de “seguridad e imposición” criminalizando a los trabajadores indocumentados y poniéndolos unos en contra de otros. En lugar de recibir la legalización inmediata que merecen, estos inmigrantes serán forzados a un estatus de segunda clase por una década antes de saber si califican o no para la residencia permanente o la ciudadanía.

   Otra parte clave de la propuesta es un aumento drástico de la represión en los centros de trabajo. El programa E-Verify, el cual verifica el estatus migratorio de los empleados, pasaría de ser opcional a ser obligatorio. Todos tendríamos que mostrar una tarjeta biométrica al aplicar a un trabajo no solamente los inmigrantes. La implementación obligatoria del E-Verify es el primer paso en la implementación de programas masivos que el FBI está desarrollando para monitorear a todas las personas en el país. Este es también el primer paso hacia la tarjeta de identificación nacional hacia la cual se oponen todas aquellas personas que se preocupan por las libertades civiles.

   La nueva propuesta también reorganiza el sistema de visas de trabajo. La visa de Diversidad (a través de la cual muchos inmigrantes africanos arriban al país) y visas para hermanos de ciudadanos estadounidenses serían eliminadas; mientras que las visas H-1B para trabajadores altamente calificados aumentarían. Los inmigrantes con mayor educación, trabajos profesionales y con mayor tiempo en Estados Unidos obtendrían visas mientras que los inmigrantes que carezcan de educación o entrenamiento laboral serán excluidos.

   Esta propuesta crea además un nuevo sistema de visas temporales para trabajadores del campo y una nueva visa (W-visa) para inmigrantes que trabajan en lugares como construcción, plantas empacadoras de carne, o fábricas. Dichos trabajadores pueden venir por un período de hasta 3 años y estarán atados a un empleador y trabajo específico. Aunque ellos puedan buscar empleo con otro empleador que use la nueva visa- W, no podrán estar sin trabajo por más de 60 días. La nueva propuesta promete a los trabajadores salarios más altos y algunas protecciones laborales pero en el pasado, estos programas de trabajadores huéspedes han estado plagados de abusos.

   El programa de deportaciones, “comunidades seguras” continuaría y la policía local, las cárceles y los empleadores se verían obligados a convertirse en agentes de inmigración.

   Algunos dicen que esta es la mejor propuesta que podemos esperar y que vale la pena cambiar  la ciudadanía de algunos inmigrantes indocumentados por un aumento de las muertes en la frontera, discriminación en contra de los trabajadores, agudización de la integración de la policía como agentes migratorios e impedir la entrada a futuros inmigrantes. Aunque hay algunos avances en la propuesta, estos no son suficientes. Nuestro punto de partida no debe ser aceptar un compromiso con tanta represión. Debemos continuar exigiendo los derechos humanos básicos y una igualdad para todas las personas. Ahora es el momento de alzar nuestras voces y de salir a las calles ya que a través de la lucha podemos hacer que los políticos hagan algo mejor.

   Exigimos una inmediata legalización para todos los inmigrantes sin ataduras de ningún tipo. No podemos permitir que las familias sigan siendo separadas a causa de su estatus migratorio, separando a padres  e hijos y dejándoles sin las posibilidades de ayudarse entre sí. ¡Merecemos más!  Es inconcebible que el gobierno de Estados Unidos trate como criminales a los inmigrantes que llegan acá para alimentar a sus familias. ¡Merecemos más!  ¡No más deportaciones!  ¡Legalización incondicional para todos ya!

May 1, 2013 edition of MIRAc News / Noticias MIRAc

NOTICIAS-MIRAc-MAY-2013-FINAL_Page_4no-mas-deportaciones-poster-may-2013NOTICIAS-MIRAc-MAY-2013-FINAL_Page_1

 

 

 

 

PDF – Noticias MIRAc – 1 de mayo 2013

Like MIRAc on facebook for regular updates!

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Rally for Immigration Reform
April 10 – 4:30pm

People’s Plaza (Hennepin County Government Center Plaza)
300 6th St S, Minneapolis, MN

Join with MIRAc at this protest sponsored by SEIU Local 26 and many other organizations. Look for our “No Más Deportaciones” banner and join with us there to say “no more deportations” and “legalization for all now”!

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Protest to Tell Sheriff Stanek:
No More Deportations in Hennepin County jail!
Saturday, April 13 – 9-10am
Outside of Hennepin County Jail (during jail visiting hours)
Corner of 4th Ave & 5th Street, downtown Minneapolis
(Government Plaza light rail stop or by Bus: 3, 7, 16, 94 or 22)

RSVP on facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/168915959928065/

Join us to send a message to Hennepin County Sheriff Stanek:

  • Stop Using Hennepin County jail as a deportation machine!

  • Stop cooperating with “Secure Communities” deportation program

  • Stop honoring ICE detainer requests!

This is an action of MIRAc’s No More Deportations campaign.

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Get Ready for May 1st – Sign-making & T-shirt making with MIRAc!
Sunday, April 28 – 5:30pm
4200 Cedar Ave S., Minneapolis

 

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/466840106721915/

 

Join us on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30pm to make signs, banners and t-shirts for our contingent at the annual May 1st march for immigrant and workers rights! There will be food and good company! Bring your own t-shirt if you want to screen it with our May 1st design! Then also join us for our “No More Deportations / Legalization for All Now!” contingent at the May 1st march in St. Paul.

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May 1st march for immigrant & workers’ rights

Wednesday, May 1
Time & details to be announced soon!

Join with Mesa Latina and others to celebrate workers and to fight for driver’s licenses for all, access to higher education (Dream Act) and for a dignified immigration reform.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/504873019575722/

 

 

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Like MIRAc on facebook at facebook.com/MIRAcMN
Sign up for the MIRAc email list

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Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc)

facebook.com/MIRAcMN | mirac1.wordpress.com | 651-389-9174

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