New Cuéntame Video: #StopTheICEMonster

From our friends at Cuéntame.

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STOP THE ICE MONSTER.
LIMIT THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN ICE AND CALIFORNIA LAW ENFORCEMENT

California has the opportunity to set the example for an immigration reform that puts immigrants first!

CALL GOV. BROWN. (916) 445-2841
TELL HIM: SIGN THE TRUST ACT

Help Stop the Abuse of Immigrant Workers at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix (VIDEO)

This just in from our friends at Cuéntame.

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Watch this, especially the last few minutes when the Hyatt workers talk about the people they served at the hotel.

Many workers at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix immigrated to America for the chance of a better life. However, the workers’ standards of living stand in stark contrast to those of the principals at PCCP, the California-based real estate investment firm that owns the hotel. The predominately Latina housekeepers endure grueling cleaning quotas of 30 rooms a day.

Workers that have dedicated 20 to 30 years of their life to Hyatt make less than $25,000 a year and have little prospect of a secure retirement. As a result, many workers rely on state welfare programs.

Tell PCCP to stop the abuse of its hotel’s immigrant workforce at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix!

CLICK ENVELOPE TO SEND EMAIL TO PCCP!

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The One Cuéntame Video You Have to See: The Diary of Stephanie Pucheta

Watch.

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Just watch.


For more information, go to Deport The Hate.

Cuéntame on Immigration Bill: “Proceed with Caution”

Originally published at Cuéntame.

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The ‘Gang of Eight’ Immigration bill contains the toughest and costliest border enforcement measures in U.S. History.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Cuéntame, released the following statement after the release of the “Gang of Eight” bi-partisan supported immigration bill.

“Cuéntame has long said that comprehensive immigration reform must be passed to address the broken system in the United States, but we’re warning our members across the country and legislators to ‘proceed with caution’,” said Axel Caballero, Founder and Director of Cuéntame.

“This bill contains the toughest border immigration enforcement measures in the history of the U.S and it’s clear to us that the militarization of the border was the top priority for passage any immigration reform. It’s a dangerous approach. The militarization of the border is the wrong medicine to fix our broken immigration system; not only are border crossings at a historic low but also when human right abuses of immigrants are at an all time high,” continued Caballero.

The heightened enforcement along the border perpetuates the criminalization of immigration and does not address the causes for immigration at its very roots. Upon further reading, the legislation continues to fuel the military and internal security complex and emphasizes benchmarks and triggers that continue to exacerbate flagrant human rights abuses. “It’s costly on humanitarian terms and on monetary terms, this does not fix the problem. This is the problem,”added Caballero. It is estimated that the border measures will end up costing taxpayers upward of $7 billion to an already record amount being spent on immigration enforcement.

While Cuéntame does welcome the five-year residency for immigrant youth, Caballero stresses the bill lacks important immigrant rights elements that will truly reform immigration policy.

“While we have many concerns with the current piece of legislation we also know that our strength lies in voicing our concerns, which are shared by our supporters across the country. We believe that in the debate to follow we will do so effectively and that Washington will listen in order to protect our community and reunite families who’ve been torn apart unnecessarily. We look forward to strengthening this legislation so that it addresses our concerns and helps build a future where immigration to the U.S. is afforded to everyone.”

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Cuéntame has become one of the most active and powerful Latino platforms with a strong online an on-the-ground network of partner and supporters. Our focus is to create media content, documentary series, imagery and personal stories to mobilize our community into action and create long-lasting impact. Cuéntame means, “count me in” or “tell me your story”, and that is precisely what we do. We have produced over 500 videos, more than a dozen documentary campaigns – with an audience reach of over 1 million Latinos and growing every day. Our social media presence is one of the most robust within the Latino community with over 107K on Facebook alone. This has allowed us to engage our community around meaningful topics and debates that focus from immigration and immigrant rights to Latino workers, students and media representation.

Cuéntame Releases New 30-Minute “Immigrants for Sale” Video About Private Prison Industry

As more and more details are being reported about GEO Group’s private prison and immigrant detention business, Cuéntame has now produced an extended 30-minute video of its’ original viral “Immigrants for Sale” production. For more information about this story, which has gotten very little attention from the U.S. mainstream media, you can visit the official “Immigrants for Sale” site.

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Here is the extended video, which is now on Hulu.

VIDEO Update from Cuéntame: Mother Faces Deportation for Having Barking Dogs

This just in from our friends at Cuéntame, who added this update about Bakersfield woman who is facing deportation because of her barking dogs.

Call Now: (202) 732-3000

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Sample script:

“I am calling in support of Ruth Montaño, Case No. A205 763 399 and ask that her deportation case be dropped. She is a low priority deportation, she has no criminal record. She has 3 U.S. citizen children.”

Once you are done calling, you can tweet to have your friends call as well.

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By Jennie Pasquarella, ACLU of Southern California and Axel Caballero, Cuéntame 

Where would you expect to find half-a-dozen patrol cars on New Year’s Eve?  In Bakersfield, California, ranked in the highest ten percent of the most violent cities in America, you’d hope they’d be responding to incidents of violence and preventing murder, rape, and other violent crime.  At the very least, you’d expect them to be patrolling for drunk drivers.

Not so.  At least not when it comes to prioritizing such matters as “barking dogs.”  On December 31, 2012, the Kern County Sheriff’s Department deployed six police cars and numerous officers at the behest of a white resident who called for help from, well, the sounds of two small barking dogs.  Her neighbor, Ruth Montaño, a Latina farm-worker, and her three American children owned the dogs.

As Ruth poignantly describes in her own words, when she and her children returned to their trailer around 10pm that night from the grocery store, officers approached her and began shouting and cursing at her.  They said they were responding to a neighbor’s complaint that her two small dogs were being noisy.  Her dogs, a Chihuahua and a Shih Tzu, were enclosed in a fenced-in area outside her trailer.  But when Ruth asked the officers what the dogs had done, they refused to answer.  When she offered to put the dogs inside, they ignored her.

Instead, the officers questioned her about how long she had been in the United States and insulted her for not speaking English well.  They called her and her children garbage and threatened to arrest her.  When she pled with them to tell her why they were interrogating her, they again refused to say, growing even more hostile and agitated, and aggressively placing her under arrest.  As they walked her over to the patrol car, her children cried and pled for them not to take their mommy.  One officer violently bashed Ruth’s head into the side of the patrol car, before forcing her into the vehicle.

The dogs, meanwhile, remained outside, untouched.  Barking.

The officers claim that they arrested Ruth for “having animals making excessive noise” and for resisting arrest. But, under Kern County law, “having animals making excessive noise” is neither an arrestable offense, nor is it within the authority of the Sheriff’s Department to investigate – rather it is an issue for Animal Control.

Ruth believes she was arrested for one sole reason: racism.  We think she’s right.  If not, what’s one other plausible explanation for what happened to her?  Anti-immigrant sentiment runs high in places like Bakersfield, and law enforcement officers often target Latino residents.  Officers know that all they have to do is make an arrest – whether lawful or not – to turn any suspected “illegal immigrant” from today’s contributing resident into tomorrow’s deportee.

This is because under the federal government’s disastrous Secure Communities (“S-Comm”) program every person who is arrested is immediately screened and identified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) for possible deportation, regardless of their charges.

Dragnet federal immigration enforcement programs, like S-Comm, increasingly are to blame for abusive and unlawful police conduct that target Latinos, violate their civil rights, and undermine public safety.  The program encourages police to take action based on race, language, and perceived immigration status – knowing that any arrest could lead to deportation – rather than doing their jobs to ferret out threats to public safety.

Stories like Ruth’s only reinforce the urgent need for California to finally adopt the TRUST Act, a bill that would ensure that the police can no longer detain for ICE people like Ruth who have done no harm to our communities.  And it demonstrates the need for Congress to pass common-sense immigration reform to ensure that residents like Ruth are put on a road to citizenship, not a highway to family separation.

Ruth still faces deportation.  Do your part and tell ICE to take her out of deportation proceedings.  Call (202) 732-3000. Her case number is A205 763 399.

VIDEO from Cuéntame: “If You Don’t Speak Up, They Will Speak For You!”

Don’t let anti-immigrant rhetoric drive the immigration debate. Nativist, racist, and fear-mongering hate groups are working hard to drive their narrative on immigration. For years now, anti-immigrant groups have successfully infused their message into the national immigration debate. Influencing local politicians and national figures – with the same talking points: “More punishment”, “Militarize the border”, “Massive deportations”, “More Enforcement.” This has resulted in dangerous policies that have led to flagrant violation of human rights.

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It is time we put basic immigrant, human rights back in the forefront of our national values and priorities! Let Congress and the President know that to reform immigration they must prioritize “Immigrant rights before enforcement.” Add your name and message – make sure your voice is heard! VISIT CUÉNTAME TODAY.

You really want these people leading the debate on immigration reform? If not, VISIT CUÉNTAME TODAY.

Cuéntame VIDEO: “300 Undocumented Workers Showed Up to The Senate With a Message”

This just in from our friends at Cuéntame.

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Video from today’s immigration hearing in Washington, DC.

#ICEFail: We Need Reform, Not Raids

Even as the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that deferred action recipients are now considered to have a “lawful presence” in the United States, recent events in Arizona and in other parts of the country have sent a mixed message.

The homes of Arizona DREAMers continued to get raided in 2013, from Erika Andiola to Edi Arma. Additionally, ICE agents raided the wrong home of a legal resident in Oklahoma and have been sued in a classic case of “driving while brown.”

Is ICE a rogue agency? Many think so, and the department’s budget numbers confirm that “the identification and removal of ‘criminal aliens’ remains the priority. There is a shift away from the 287(g) program and the Fugitive Operations Program, and toward Secure Communities, which is expected to be mandatory and activated in all jurisdictions across the country by the end of FY2013.”

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As the country begins to look at comprehensive immigration reform, the current enforcement role of ICE needs to be addressed. The homes of “low priority” individuals are still being raided, ICE continues to violate the rights of legal residents, and racial profiling is commonplace. The Obama administration pushes immigration reform in public, while ICE agents deport people at a record rate. A recent post by PolicyMic sums the issue succinctly, “Immigration Reform: Obama Talks Change, But Deported Half a Million People Last Year.”

This needs to stop.

Starting this week, Latino Rebels and Cuéntame will be using #ICEFail to share the real stories that are happening every day in America. If you want to share your story, you can tweet it to #ICEFail, @latinorebels or @mycuentame. You can also post your stories and tips to the Latino Rebels Facebook page or the Cuéntame Facebook page.

We need reform, not more raids. Staying silent is no longer an option.

From CUÉNTAME: Wells Fargo Dumps Private Prison Stock

This just in from our friends at Cuéntame.

"A major victory for all these efforts, but much still needs to get accomplished. A big boost for the movement, we are proud at Cuéntame Immigrants for Sale to be part of it." —Axel Caballero Cuéntame Founder |Director

WELLS FARGO DUMPS PRIVATE PRISON STOCK

In a major boost to the efforts to the National Private Prison Divestment Campaign, its partners and allies including Cuéntame, new SEC filings reveal that, as of September 30, 2012, Wells Fargo and Company and its subsidiaries divested nearly 75% of its aggregate holdings in the Geo Group, the nation’s second largest private prison company.

According to an SEC filing recently made public, Wells Fargo and Company and its subsidiaries had aggregate holdings of 3,061,851 shares, or 4.98% of Geo Group’s common stock as of September 30, down from the 9,185,823 shares or 19.56% of Geo Group’s common stock reported as in the December 31, 2011 SEC filing of the same required report. (Wells Fargo and Geo Group SEC filings can be found under the SEC tab at http://wfdetentions.wordpress.com/lobbyist/)

According to its current annual report, Geo Group, the nation’s second largest private prison company, depends on the incarceration of immigrants to meet its revenue goals. The company is a major contributor to federal political campaigns and lobbying efforts impacting budgets of the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice.