New HUD policy would separate immigrant families living together in their own homes

HUD Secretary Ben Carson continues to set and seek policies geared to make life more difficult for United States society's most vulnerable residents #p2

Programa de licencias de conducir para indocumentados en Connecticut ofrece enormes beneficios | Connecticut’s undocumented driver licensing program provides many benefits

Connecticut drive-only license
License image courtesy of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles

Connecticut está disfrutando un éxito enorme con su programa de licencias para conducir para residentes indocumentados. Beneficia a residentes, la policía – que ya no pierden tiempo con las complejidades de procesar violaciones automovilísticos cuando el chofer no tiene licencia, las autoescuelas y también ha producido ingresos para el estado. Es un modelo ejemplar para otros estados. Ver el reporte (en inglés) de WGBH.

Connecticut is enjoying great success with its drive-only license program for undocumented immigrants. It benefits residents, police, state coffers and driving schools – and it’s a great model for other states to take note of. Read the WGBH article. read more

US depends on immigrants – pledge to join the boycott to protect their rights

Cosecha ss
Source: Cosecha youtube video

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Powerful coverage of a study on how students and teachers are being affected by the 2016 election hate rhetoric

Trump hates equally
Source: imgflip.com

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports on the results of a casual survey administered online by Teaching Tolerance about the current presidential election. About 2000 teachers responded and submitted 5000 comments.

Students who identify with Trump’s hate rhetoric are using it to justify bullying behaviour, persecution of certain students and threats … while immigrant and ethnic minority students across the country are voicing fear, expressing thoughts of suicide and having meltdowns in class.

Some of the stories are heartbreaking. In Tennessee, a kindergarten teacher says a Latino child—told by classmates that he will be deported and trapped behind a wall—asks every day, “Is the wall here yet?”

Some teachers have felt obliged to abandon their customary neutrality on political issues in the classroom and take a stand, despite awareness that doing so may put their jobs in jeapordy.

A Renton, Washington, high school teacher said, “For the first time in my career, I state bluntly what is appropriate conduct for a candidate for this country’s highest office.” She spelled it out for students: “If it can get you suspended from high school, you shouldn’t be espousing it as a candidate.” Another Washington teacher wrote, “This is probably the first time I haven’t been unbiased about it. My students need to know that some of what they are witnessing is not okay.”

In schools where student partisanship leans heavily to one side, educators find themselves needing to speak up for students whose political values are in the minority. “The rhetoric has set up a school community that is hostile to conservatives and the Republican Party,” a Michigan high school teacher said. “It makes it difficult if not impossible to not take sides in my classroom because I can’t be silent in the face of this kind of rhetoric, lest I lose my students’ respect or trust.”

No one can fault an educator who stands up for values like respect, dignity and honesty—values that have long been central to character education and anti-bullying programs. But this year has pushed some educators to go further and take risks. “I have thrown caution into the wind and have spoken out against certain candidates which I have NEVER done,” wrote a Michigan high school teacher, “but I feel it’s my duty to speak out against ignorance!”

These are high-stakes decisions. Several wrote about parents registering complaints when they raised issues of values, fact-checking and critical thinking. But, as one Indianapolis high school teacher put it, “I am a point where I’m going to take a stand even if it costs me my position.”

In Washington state, one high school teacher admitted, “I am teaching off the hook before anyone ‘catches’ me and puts me in a Common Core box; we are reading Howard Zinn, Anne Frank, Haig Bosmajian, Jane Yolen, Ayn Rand, George Orwell and survivors’ testimonies from the Holocaust and the genocides around the world. … I am making it as real and as connected to my students as I can. I feel like I am teaching for our lives.” read more

Seton Hall Law files immigrant abuse suit against Feds

Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Social Justice and Lowenstein Sandler, PC, filed suit today in federal court, alleging that federal law enforcement officials violated the ten victims’ constitutional privacy and due process rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments by entering their homes without consent or a judicial warrant during pre-dawn “raids”.

. . . immigration agents forced their way into each plaintiff’s home in the early hours of the morning without a judicial warrant or the occupants’ consent. Most of the plaintiffs were awakened by loud pounding on their doors and answered the door, fearing an emergency. ICE agents subsequently either lied about their identity or purpose to gain entry, or simply shoved their way into the home. During each raid the agents swept through the house and, displaying guns, rounded up all the residents for questioning. In some cases they ordered children out of their beds, shouted obscenities, shoved guns into residents’ chests, and forbade detained individuals from calling their lawyers. In at least half the raids, the officers purported to be searching for a person who did not even live at the address raided.

The complaint asserts that these practices are not isolated violations, but are examples of a clear modus operandi typical of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) program called “Operation Return to Sender”. Under this program, the complaint alleges, ICE agents have been ordered to meet dramatically increased immigrant arrest quotas using grossly outdated address information and without having been trained on lawful procedures.

. . . According to the complaint, the constitutional violations did not cease once agents had entered the homes. For example, plaintiff Maria Argueta, a legal resident, was arrested in her home at 4:30 in the morning and detained for 24 hours without food or water; the agents lied to get into her home then refused to even to look at her immigration papers proving her status. read more