Former PODER co-Founder Calls for Day of Action in Arizona for Immigration Rights

A couple of months ago we featured an interview with Sylvia Herrera who is co-founder of Austin based PODER  People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources. She talked to us about what was going in Arizona and the fight being waged against an out of control sheriff named Joe Arpaio. She explained that Arpaio had embraced a new controversial program called 287 G which essentially grants local law enforcement the power to act as Immigration agents. Many felt that Arpaio was abusing this agreement as disturbing report after disturbing report has come out about people being unfairly profiled, detained and man handled both on the streets and in jails by Arpaio’s deputies. Things got so out of hand that Arpaio’s agreement to do 287G on the streets were terminated, but he was and is still allowed to work utilize it in jail.

In this clip Sylvia Herrera explains what the 287 G program, How Joe Arpaio has been abusive and the role the Obama administration has been playing in all this along with their immigration policies.

In this next clip we ask Sylvia Herrera how is it in a city like Phoenix which has a large minority population that a guy as reactionary as Sheriff Joe Arpaio is able to operate in such a tyrannical fashion. She explains to us at Southern Shift the political landscape, whether or not voting works, the success stories they’ve had  and other tactics being used to deal with Arpaio.

In pt3 of our interview, Sylvia Herrera talks about the upcoming day of action that is scheduled to take place in Phoenix on January 16th 2010. people from all over the country are expected to come including large delegations from Texas.  Herrera talks about the significance of rthis day of action and what to expect. Thus far icons like Zach De La Roca and Doleras Huerta are expected to be on hand.

In pt4 of our interview, Sylia Herrera talks about how immigration is more than just Brown faces coming in from Mxico. We talk about the plight of Haitians and South East Asians and how all forces are networking and building on common ground around the immigration reform.

 Below is a call to action that comes courtesy of our friends over at La Nueva Raza

ARIZONA: Urgent Call to Action! January 16th 2009 in Phoenix Arizona 

Dear Friends,

The time has come to once again take the streets and stand up against hate! Twice in the past year we have stood up with resounding response and results. After our two previous five thousand plus people actions: First, investigations from the US Justice Department and FBI were started. Second, congressional hearings were hosted and the entire nation now knows of Joe Arpaio and his constant abuse of human rights. We have all succeeded in bringing to the forefront the atrocities that the 287g and ICE Access programs bring to our communities, now we must unite to stop their abuse.

At this time we are making an urgent national call for all peoples concerned and engaged in changing the course of hate in this country to join us January 16th 2010 in Phoenix Arizona. It is time, just like Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement took the streets of Montgomery Alabama that at that time was the epicenter of hate; we must do the same in Phoenix. This date is significant because it marks one year of the Obama administration that has resulted in the continuation and expansion of the anti-immigrant Bush policies. It is also the weekend we celebrate Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement struggles of the 60’s. Once again we are at a crossroads when people from our communities are being used and treated unequally.

Unfortunately fear and injustice remain prevalent in Maricopa County, not much has changed as Joe Arpaio and his Sheriff Deputies continue to terrorize the streets of Maricopa County and continues his physical abuse in the jails with the 287(g) agreement. Racial profiling by city, county and state law enforcement is rampant. The state of Arizona continues to racially profile under the guise of implementing anti-migratory worker and smuggling laws.

Knowing justice is on our side we must unite and face terror with valiant actions toward eliminating inequalities and hate from our midst.
Zach de La Rocha, Linda Ronstadt and Dolores Hureta have conformed to join us and march with us. All we are missing is YOU!!!

For more information call (602) 314-5870 or email carlos

If you need housing please fill out the housing request form and return it to sandramania53. Please forward to any organizations or groups that you think would like to join us.

From MLK’s own words-

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He, who accepts evil without protesting against it, is really cooperating with it.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

1 Comment

  1. Carl McGinnis said,

    January 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Americans need to know what the government is doing in there name. And withbillions of our tax dollars.

    This post comes from Carl McGinnis, a citizen of the United States, who has seen the horrors of immigrant detention after ICE detained his legal immigrant friend, He. He tells us that it is not just about undocumented immigrants but even people who follow the rules get burned in our archaic and inhumane immigration system].
    I am a citizen of the United States and I have a friend that is from Paris, France here on a student visa with a double Masters Degree and working on his PhD in International Finance. He has been here since 2005. His visa is valid until March of 2010, his passport is valid until 2014, and his I-20 is current. He is not what people call an ‘illegal immigrant.’ In 2007, he fell in love and in Dec. 2008 married a U.S. citizen that just happens to be addicted to prescription medications. He knew nothing about this. But he was arrested due to her mistakes. The reality is that his American wife was taking advantage of him and when his money was gone so was she. Janet Napolitano just wants to deport him rather than correct the problem, and make the American accountable. This is wrong. We should have some sort of protection built into the system. Judge Rex Ford would not listen to reason without the wife in court and all witnesses were not given time to testify. This is not what I thought American Justice was all about. I was wrong. It is all a game our Government plays with our lives.
    He was placed in detention and scheduled for deportation. He has been in the detention center in Pompano Beach Florida for 5 months now. This couple has lost all there savings on lawyers, she lost her job, and they are in the process of losing their home. All this was caused because ICE has the wrong person in jail.
    I have written many letters to Janet Napolitano, Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Ginny Brown-Waite and even President Obama. But no one will listen. What is illegal in this case is the way DHS is treating this guy, who is 51 and has never had a traffic violation. While in the detention center, He has been beaten by another inmate and suffered cracked ribs and bruised body, denied him food and proper medical treatment. He is diabetic and they will not give him the proper food or medical attention. The phone system is very poor and hardly works. I suspect that they plan it that way so the detainees cannot contact their lawyers and family. I fear he will be next on the long list of persons that have died while in detention. I beg for someone to go and listen to his story. They do not allow any form of media in because they don’t want anyone to know what they are doing.
    Until you go to one of these detention centers and see with your own eyes, you will not believe what America is doing. I was shocked, on my first visit and after almost 6 months of seeing what happens and how they have to live, I am still in shock. It is all about the money. My friend has never cost America anything until they locked him up. He is in a private prison owned by a company called GEO based near Miami, Florida. They are paid very well by our tax dollars, but the treatment is unbelievable. I wonder how many politicians have stock in this company. They are doing quite well even in a bad economy.
    Six months ago I had no idea that we treated immigrants in this way, especially when they are here legally and have done nothing wrong. I knew nothing about ICE and how they operate illegally. I was under the impression that DHS was here only to protect us from terrorists. And I had no idea of the millions of our tax dollars were being wasted to imprison people that could be out of detention and have their family support them until a decision is made in immigration court. I do not understand why we have to pay our hard earned tax dollars to house and feed persons that are not dangerous.
    When they have to lock up a man who has done nothing wrong, make him spend thousands in fees, ICE is giving way too much importance to them selves. How can we turn such educated people away simply to boost the ego of ICE officers and add another number to the Janet Napolitano deportation list, so that the Obama Administration can look like it is doing its job of ‘cracking down on criminals?’
    Something has to change soon. I feel it is my duty as an American to let as many people as possible know the truth. I visit the detention center every Saturday and spend the rest of the week writing letters. This New Year, lets do something worthwhile. Let’s go back to protecting the country rather than making up stories to justify the expansion of a national security complex. Let’s end businesses profiting from immigrant detention and restore our image as a nation of immigrants. May God please forgivr Americafor what it is doing.

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