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News for Amigos de Casa San José: October 22, 2018

Dear Casa San José Amigos,

Welcome back to our email newsletter!


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*Help counteract the false and corrosive narrative that is being spread about “sanctuary” cities and policies:  as the election approaches, we are seeing more political ads, conservative TV shows and misleading rhetoric saying that “sanctuary” policies and localities are illegal, cause rampant criminality, protect killer gangs and murderers, etc.  These are outrageous falsehoods.

The truth is that cities and counties with these policies – whether called sanctuary, welcoming, freedom, safe, etc. – simply allow local police to choose, which is their right, not to honor federal immigration enforcement requests to hold a person for longer than his or her sentence to enable ICE to seize them.  Compliance in fact has been seen to violate a person’s 4th amendment rights and has cost local agencies thousands in legal fees. The evidence is clear that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. Having sanctuary policies has no effect on crime rates. And local law enforcement officers where sanctuary policies are in place support limiting cooperation with ICE because those policies help them to protect their local populations by maintaining trust and cooperation.

What you can do: use the correct information to respond to people who have heard otherwise, write a letter to the editor, and use your vote and your voice against efforts to defund sanctuary localities that are underway in the PA Legislature.  For a clear and helpful primer on this whole topic, see this article.

*In a related situation, it was revealed by ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer that Pennsylvania State Troopers have been actively collaborating with ICE, increasing deportations and fear across the state. Casa San José has been working with PICC and its partners to get the Governor’s office and the State Police to limit State Police communication with ICE.  You can help keep PA State Police independent of ICE: Add your name to PICC’s petition urging Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Police to do this.  (Find your state legislative districts here to include in the petition.)

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*The new Public Charge Rule, with the devastating changes proposed by the Department of Homeland Security, has been posted, and is open for public comment starting yesterday, and available for only 60 days.  This rule change will penalize immigrants for using the few benefits that are available to them or their (often American citizen) children, denying them any future eligibility for US citizenship.  Please send in a comment, which is easy to do online.  You can do it through the link provided by “Protecting Immigrant Families”  OR directly through the official US Government site at regulations.gov , where you  paste this: USCIS-2010-0012 – into the search box, click on Search, and then click on “Comment Now.”


How you can help:

Interested in learning more about the Department of Homeland Security’s Public Charge proposal? Come to Casa San Jose at 2116 Broadway in Beechview tomorrow –  Thursday, Oct. 25 – at 7pm to hear the latest information, and to learn how you can host a comment party to make your opinion heard!  Questions and concerns? Contact Laura@casasanjose.org or 412.736.7167.

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On Friday, Nov. 2, last day of Dia De Los Muertos, we honor 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodríguez, at 5120 Penn Ave. from 7- 11 pm. José was shot and killed by Border Patrol agents as he walked home in Nogales, Mexico after allegedly kicking a pebble over the border wall.  Later that month, Casa San Jose will bring group from Pittsburgh to the SOA Watch Border Encuentro in Nogales AZ, to support refugees and migrants, and to protest US policies in Latin America that create the conditions for displacement and violence.  Please join us in remembering Jose – if you can, bring flowers for his altar and say his name.  There will be dinner and dancing, with proceeds going to support the trip.


What we’re doing:

Welcome to Laura Perkins, our new Emergency Response Organizer!  In addition to immediately responding to ICE raids and their consequences, Laura will be setting up community meetings, accompanying people to ICE check-ins, working on our current Get Out the Vote efforts, and generally responding to many of our urgent organizing needs. She comes to us from her work at Peace Brigades International in Honduras.

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Laura will be the primary responder to our 24-hour Emergency Phone (412-736-7167) where anyone can call us to report sightings of ICE raids, or if they know of someone being detained.  We respond with many kinds of support: immediate legal help, assistance to families left without a parent, communication to others when phones are confiscated, vigilance that legal rights are honored, help arranging bail, translation and accompaniment.

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In order to strengthen the capacity of immigrant leaders to advocate for their communities, we will have a U.S. Civics and Advocacy Training, sponsored by the PA Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, at our office on Saturday, October 27 at 9am.  Participants will learn about US governmental structure, how the legislative process works locally, in PA, and federally, and how to meet with representatives.

Starting Saturday, October 20, we will be holding biweekly immigration law clinics for our community in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Law School.  And our upcoming Community Meeting, on October 24, will cover “How to Manage Your Personal Finances.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-22 at 2.57.34 PMRegistering voters in New Castle

We thank all of the people that have  been working tirelessly on registering people to vote. We were able to register almost 100 new Latino voters!  We aren’t stopping here, and will continue our community organizing to Get Out The Vote with phone and text banking, providing rides to the polls, and assisting new voters get ID cards. If you are interested in volunteering or if you need help finding your polling place, please reach out to us!

Puentes hikei

THANK YOU to Wells Fargo for supporting our youth program Puentes Hacía el Futuro (Bridges to the Future)!  Puentes is our out-of-school program for Latino youth ages 8-17, offering homework help, cultural activities, field trips, and much more! Last Saturday they went to Jennings Environmental Education Center near Slippery Rock, where they hiked with a guide who taught them to make a campfire, cook lunch over it (including s’mores), and be safe in the woods.

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At the annual ¡Viva Clemente! event last week, sponsored by our partner the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), 150 people celebrated Hispanic Heritage month and the legacy of Roberto Clemente.  In addition to enjoying Flamenco, Brazilian drumming, and the best lechón this side of New Jersey, the event raised $12,000 for LCLAA’s fund to assist local families impacted by ICE detentions, El Fondo Solidario de Pittsburgh.

Jeimy and Leo C, Duquesne Student and Casa San Jose Volunteer, recently tabled at the Social Justice Internship Fair at Duquesne University.

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Learn more:

“Nearly 250 children still separated from their parents, ACLU report says”, Arelis Hernandez, Washington Post, Oct. 18.

“Rapidly Expanding 287(g) Program Suffers from Lack of Transparency”, Claudia Flores, Center for American Progress, Oct. 9.   [287(g) agreements allow state and local law enforcement personnel to be deputized to enforce federal immigration laws.  There are now 78 law enforcement agencies in 20 states participating in this program which are greatly multiplying President Trump’s deportation force.]

“Migrant children in search of justice:  a 2-year-old’s day in immigration court,” Vivian Yee and Miriam Jordan, New York Times, Oct. 8.

“Greyhound is still failing to protect passengers from Border Patrol abuse”, Chris Rickerd, ACLU, Sept. 28.   Sign the ACLU petition here.


Thank you for joining us!

(To unsubscribe, please email srvalerie@casasanjose.org with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.)

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