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immigrant rights

World Refugee Day Music, March & Rally in Austin

World Refugee Day March & Rally in Austin, TX 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNg-YItXrKU

 

Music from World Refugee Day March Rally in Austin, TX 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUMb7gtCPqg

 

This video contains live Son Jarocho music from June 20th 2011; which was World Refugee Day, and it also marked a lengthy discussion at the Texas Capitol on Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 9, both immigration bills left pending in committee.

Outside the Capitol building, civil rights and immigration rights groups marched in opposition of those two bills and in opposition of an immigrant detention center being built outside San Antonio. The march was organized by Texans United for Families, but the immigration bills have stirred up plenty of controversy.

Other organizations joined the march including PODER, Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, American Gateways, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Detention Watch Network, Grassroots Leadership, Texas Civil Rights Project, Texas Jail Project, Texans United for Families, San Antonio Immigrant Youth Movement, Save Our Youth, Southwest Workers Union, Wilco Justice Alliance and Workers Defense Project.
To learn more about the movement and the detention center to be built outside San Antonio in Karnes, check out the Grassroots Leadership website (http://www.grassrootsleadership.org/).

This video is a ZGraphix production.
Produced for Austin Indymedia by Jeff Zavala.
http://zgraphix.org
http://austin.indymedia.org

Click here for more photos and full-size videos.

Anti-SB9 Rally in Austin Texas Hosted by R.I.T.A (Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytn_u4wHP0Y

Video Production by Jeff Zavala.
A ZGraphix/Austin Indymedia production.
 http://zgraphix.org

Click here for more coverage and photos and videos.

Tell ICE: No New Immigrant Detention Center in Karnes Co., Texas!

Sign the petition to stop the construction of the new private prison for immigrants in Texas!

OVERVIEW

The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has contracted with a private prison company with a history of abuse to build a new immigration detention center in Karnes County, Texas. The center is meant to hold asylum-seekers and other low-level immigration detainees.

Today, more than 33,000 people languish in the U.S.'s vast and troubled immigration detention system, with more than 10,000 immigrant detention beds located in Texas alone.   Despite a mandate for detention reform, ICE has contracted with the GEO Group, a for-profit prison company with a long track record of abuse and mismanagement at their Texas prisons and detention centers, to build this "civil" detention center.

The GEO Group has had a number of contracts in Texas terminated in recent years after serious allegations of abuse and neglect.

New, abusive for-profit detention centers are not the answer! Sign the petition to tell Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to stop construction of the new detention center in Karnes County, Texas, and to prioritize release and alternatives to detention programs for asylum-seekers and other immigrants.

Texans United For Families-Cesar Chavez Rally Austin 2011

 

No New Detention Centers in Texas!

Greetings,

I write to express my firm opposition to plans by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to contract for a new private immigration detention center in Karnes County, Texas.

 



ICE has stated that the Karnes County detention center will detain asylum-seekers and immigrants at the lowest level of immigration custody. Private prison contractor GEO Group will build and operate the facility under contract with Karnes County.

 



I am disappointed that ICE is using its mandate for detention reform to construct new detention facilities for people who should be released on bond or into alternatives programs. Instead of building new immigration detention centers, the administration should prioritize release of immigrants pending hearings, and the use of more humane and more cost effective alternatives to detention programs.

 



I am also troubled that the process in selecting the site and contractor for the facility has consistently lacked transparency and input from communities in Texas. Community members first found out about the facility’s construction after the GEO Group issued a press release in December 2010. The County Judge Alger Kendall told residents during a Karnes County Commissioners’ Court hearing that “The federal government said this was not to be discussed by anyone,” a statement that hardly reflects a commitment to effective oversight and transparency when making a decision where people’s lives are at stake.

 



Furthermore, the GEO Group, the private prison company contracted to build and operate the facility, has a long track record of abuse and mismanagement at their Texas prisons and detention centers. While ICE has denied knowledge of problems at GEO’s facilities, the company’s problems have been repeatedly highlighted in public news reports. The GEO Group has had a number of contracts in Texas terminated in recent years after serious allegations of abuse and neglect.

 



In February, a coalition of 15 Texas-based civil and immigrant rights organizations sent you a letter calling on you to immediately end the contract to build the new Karnes County detention center and to investigate options that would prioritize alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and those immigrants that pose no security threat. 

I urgently add my voice to that call.

[Your name]
 

Vigil on Cinco de Mayo for Human Rights

A vigil was held at the Texas Capitol

as the Texas Legislature Prepares to Vote on Anti-Immigrant HB 12

 

 

As the Texas House of Representatives prepares to debate Arizona copycat law HB 12, people around the state and the U.S. are standing up in opposition.

A diverse coalition gathered for a vigil on Cinco de Mayo, 2011 at the Texas State capitol to let their voices of opposition be heard.

Vigils have popped up in cities around Texas where people will gather to commemorate both Cinco de Mayo and the National Day of Prayer.  RITA members are leading these vigils in the spirit of honoring the on-going struggle for civil rights in the U.S. They are standing up with one voice to say that Arizona-style legislation has no place in Texas because Texas can do better.

Texans United For Families presente: 1 de mayo en San Antonio

 

Fotos de Austin Indymedia

 

Más de 200 personas marcharon por el centro de la ciudad de San Antonio en 1 de mayo. La marcha, organizada por el Southwest Workers Union de San Antonio, comenzó y terminó en la Main Plaza. Miembros de los Tejanos Unidas Para Las Lamilias de Austin (TUFF, Texans United For Families) marcharon a mostrar su solidaridad y conectarse con otros en su campaña para poner fin a la deportación y la detención de los inmigrantes.

Pulse aquí para audio completo.

UT Senior Fights Deportation - RE-POST FROM THE DAILY TEXAN

 Editors' note: The is a re-post from the Daily Texan.  Raul's story is happening to many others who go through our Travis County jail, which has the policy of "Secure Communities" in place where ICE checks the immigration  status of everyone who is in the jail.

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2011/04/29/senior-fights-against-deportation-after-arrest

Cesar E. Chavez Social Justice March and Rally “¡Si Se Puede!” March Feed, Teach, House, and Employ!

 

 

 

Hundreds of people marched, rallied and prayed in honor and memory of Cesar Chavez in Austin last Saturday, as Republican have filed HB 505, which would end the commemoration of Cesar Chavez Day in Texas.  The advocates of human rights and justice made their voices heard that their history and culture will not be defeated.
 
It was organized by PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources)and a large coalition of Austin social justice groups.  The purpose of the march was stated: "Cesar E. Chavez is one of the most important leaders of the 20th century. His legacy of workers rights, civil rights, environmental justice, equality for all, peace, non-violence, children and women’s rights, deserves national recognition.  Cesar Chavez inspired millions of people across the country of all races and nationalities to engage in social & economic justice for farm workers.  His life work to empower the poor & disenfranchised is a model for all."
 
"He worked for workers' rights, the peoples' rights, civil rights, the environment.  And today we're going to pray for the hearts for those who want to take Cesar E. Chavez Day out of the history books, those who want to take away the Cesar E. Chavez state holiday We want to make sure we spread our spiritual message to them, that we will not be forgotten and we are here.", said Susana Almanza, director of PODER.
 
The march began with an indigenous prayer and ceremony.
 
"It's not just a  war on children and our schools, it's a spiritual war as well.  We want to be here in solidarity with you all, to pray.  The way we fight this war is with light and love.  With that in mind, we want to open our hearts to each and every one of you, so we can have a good walk, a good march and a good prayer and so that we can make change.", Iris Rodriguez of La Nueva Raza and one of the Danza Mexicas leading the march.
 
 
The rally and march were sponsored by: 
PODER, Southwest Key, Theatre Action Project, Urban Roots, La Nueva Raza, St. Edward's Ballet Folklorico, Alma de Mujer, UT MEChA, Fair Food Austin, Young Scholars for Justice, ATX National Hip Hop Political Convention, Grassroots Leadership, ACLU of Central TX, Austin Voices for Education and Youth, El Jardin Alegre Local Living Center & Gardens, Capoeira da Rua, and Resistencia Bookstore, MACC

 Carmen Llanes of PODER and Texans United for Families Speaking out Against Immigrant Detention

Day of Action For Immigration: Texas Can Do Better

 

 http://blip.tv/file/4811140/

Protesting more than 60 "anti-immigrant" bills filed in the Texas Legislature this session, thousands marched from Waterloo Park to the steps of the state Capitol Tuesday.

"We expect two or three thousand people from all over Texas," said Victor Ibarra prior to the event.

Ibarra was among a group from Houston, just one of many cities with protestors bused in from across the state. A separate group also marched from The University of Texas . The marches culminated in a rally outside the Capitol at 1 p.m.

During this session, the marchers said a handful of "extemist" legislators have filed needlessly discriminating legislation aimed at the Hispanic population.

"Texas has a lot of variety of nationalities," said Ibarra. "Those proposed laws don't go with those situations."Critics say many of those bills hurt, even target Hispanics, legal or otherwise. Lawmakers like Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, have maintained their stance though.

"We have probably the laxest immigration law in the world, because we're not following our federal laws," said Berman, who also said he has filed ten anti-immigration bills, including one to make English the official language of Texas. "We're giving them free education, free health care, we're giving them in-state tuition."From Arizona-style immigration enforcement to forcing schools to report undocumented students, people at the rally fear the future, saying Texas is just making it too tough to live here.

"We want to follow the law - U.S. law," said Ibarra.

Produced by Jeffry Zavala.
This is a zgraphix production.
http://zgraphix.org

 

Texas Groups Oppose new GEO Group Immigration Detention Center in Karnes City

 

Texas Groups Oppose new GEO Group Immigration Detention Center in Karnes City
 
Civil Rights Groups Call on Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Karnes County to Reject Private Detention Center

Dignity Not Detention National Day of Action in Austin

 

Human rights groups around the country participated in a National Day of Action yesterday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration Customs and Enforcement's (ICE) 2009 detention reform announcement. Activists called for an end to the human rights abuses in detention centers, the restoration of due process in the enforcement of immigration laws, and the implementation of cost saving alternatives.

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