National Network E-News
A wrap up of activities, updates and news you can use.
New Attention to Rights Abuses at the Northern Borders...
On February 23 & 24th, NNIRR joined over 100 advocates and organizers in Detroit at the Northern Borders Conference, convened by the newly-formed Northern Borders Coalition to address issues faced by communities at the U.S.-Canadian border. We participated in a plenary session with folks from San Diego and New Mexico to share challenges faced and best practices in organizing against the impunity and abuses faced by communities for decades at the US-Mexico border. We also presented in a workshop on human rights documentation and shared the tools for how to build a HURRICANE in your community and document abuses to build community power. Read more...
Community Actions CAN Make a Difference...
During the past two months, community members in Florida and North Carolina were released from ICE custody after local groups, with NNIRR support, organized to demand that ICE release them from jail. Local organizing and media work, along with the support of hundreds who signed online petitions and made direct calls to ICE, raised awareness and built pressure on ICE. In Florida, Lazaro's case received national media attention; the next day, Lazaro was reunited with his family.
And this just in...Rebecca Fontaine of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice reports that 18 members of the Buen Pastor Church in North Carolina have been given prosecutorial discretion. One member was denied, and three have cases with merits being argued in court. Two years ago the families were stopped in Louisiana as they returned home to Raleigh from an annual jubilee in Texas, called the “Santa Cena” or “Holy Week.” The vans were not cited with any traffic violations; rather, the stop and the arrests were motivated by CBP’s suspicion -- based on Latino appearance -- that the church members may be undocumented. Online petitions, calls and faxes pressed for their release and safety from deportation.
On the Road to the UN's High Level Dialogue on Migration in 2013
NNIRR participated in February in the 10th Coordination Meeting (CM10) on International Migration, held at UN headquarters in New York. This year, the discussion focused on the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development (HLD), scheduled for 2013. Other participants included Migrants Rights International (MRI), NNIRR's New York-based members (United Methodist Women, Desis Rising Up and Moving, VAMOS UNIDOS, AFSC Newark), and partners (the NGO Committee on Migration, the AFL-CIO, National Alliance of Latin and Caribbean Communities, Global Workers). The groups led a coordinated civil society presence with joint statements and shared talking points, and three side events including one with the newly-appointed Special Rapporteur on Migrants Rights, Francois Crepeau, and with UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) chief on migration, Bela Hovy.
From the 2-day meeting, members gleaned that collective and strong action will be needed in and out of the HLD process, national and international mobilization to centralize human rights, bring attention to root migration issues, and hold politicians and institutions accountable. NNIRR will be rolling out its plan of action on the 2013 HLD with its international partners in coming months. Stay tuned for how to join and take part!
NNIRR helped to host a workshop addressing the "push factors" of rural women's migration on March 1 in New York during the UN Commission on the Status of Women session. The side event with partners from United Methodist Women, the International Trade Union Confederation, Pubic Services International and other partners, brought together a packed room of international and local participants who vividly pointed to numerous pervasive problems worldwide contributing to the escalation of women in migration. Corporate land-grabbing, the impacts of climate change, lack of decent job opportunities and high levels of work informality, rural poverty, lack of quality public services, gender and racial discrimination and war were among the themes described. Read an article on the workshop on the UMC Women website here.
Anyone interested in joining an international listserve addressing the intersection of gender and global migration can email email@example.com to be added to the list. (Above, workshop convenors pose before a 'map' of global migration sites. Photo by Nancy Hawthorne)
Members on the frontlines...
DRUM, Desis Rising Up and Moving in New York, has helped to lead a call for accountability of the NYPD after widespread exposure that the police deportament has been involved in the surveillance of Muslim, Arab, SOuth Asian, African American and other communities and organizations. DRUM is conducting a community-based racial profiling survey documenting Muslim community interaction with law enforcement.
Fighting nasty anti-immigrant state-level bills has been a continous task for the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance. MIRA recently led organizing to defeat HB 488, a sweeping "Alabama-type" bill. But MIRA warns that the fight isn't over as its proponents contoinue to seek ways to resurrect it. MIRA notes that they have helped to defeat over 220 anti-immigrant state bills in the last decade, and know from experience that there are no easy victories...and they must continue to be vigilant!
Spreading the word...
Colin Rajah, Director of NNIRR's International Migrants Rights and Global Justice program, guested on KPFA radio's Africa Today, hosted by Walter Turner. Colin shared updates and perspectives on a wide range of topics, from key issues in the U.S. immigrant rights movement to challenges and opportunities for migrants rights at the global level. The interview can be heard here. Colin spoke on April 4 at California State University at Sacramento on human rights and immigration.
On March 21, Executive Director Catherine Tactaquin presented at St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA, on "Hands that Shape the World: Women and Global Migration," hosted by the Women's and Gender Studies Department. The topic honored International Women's Day.
Later in April, Catherine will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to participate in the international conference hosted by the Alliance for Women's Rights in Development, or AWID. She will be joined by NNIRR member Carol Barton of United Methodist Women. Both will participate in the workshop, "Building Alliances to Claim Migrant Women's Human Rights" and will network with migrant rights and trade union women on gender and global migration issues and strategies. Look for Catherine's blog from Turkey this next week!
Cathi also spoke on KPFA radio's Letters and Politics show on April 12, and along with Angela Chan of the Asian Law Caucus, addressed Operation Cross Check, S-Comm, the California TRUST Act, the privatization of detention, and other topics. Listen to the audio here.
Laura Rivas, coordinator of our HURRICANE human rights program, will present a workshop on "Immigration, Race, and Human Rights" with Gerald Lenoir (BAJI director) to a group of middle school students at United for Success Academy in East Oakland during Violence Prevention Week later this month. Also, check out this interview where Laura was invited to comment on the case of Jesus Navarro & health as a human right on Linea Abierta with Radio Bilingue's host Chelis Lopez. Laura can also be heard here on KPFA's recent Sunday Show with Philipi Maldari.
Happy 1st birthday to member The Curious Ostrich... "The Curious Ostrich brings attention to how xenophobia and the United State’s immigration system and policies affect the health of immigrants and non-immigrants. Stay informed and engaged. Keep your head up!" Very useful site -- check them out here!
Food for Justice... Don't forget to get your copy of Recipes on the Move: Sustaining the Movement for Immigrant Rights. This wonderful collection of global recipes, featuring the migrant communities and groups organizing for justice, is on sale through our website.