US Human Rights Network joins local organizations to denounce impact of Secure Communities deportations on immigrant communities
Members of the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN) will march and rally with the Southern California Immigration Coalition and several other groups on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, 2011, to protest the Secure Communities Program (SCOMM) of the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 9 a.m. at La Placita on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.
The protestors will travel to the Los Angeles Federal Building and then on to the Men’s Central Jail where they will call on Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to put an end to sheriff’s department cooperation with the SCOMM program.
Under SCOMM, thousands of predominantly Latino immigrants who have been detained by local police agencies for minor infractions, detained in mostly private prisons, and have been deported from the United States. According to the organizers of the Human Rights Day/Dec. 10 march, “the Obama administration has deported more people than any other President in US History.”
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) will be among the USHRN member organizations participating in the Human Rights Day/Dec. 10 march. Based in the Oakland-San Francisco Bay-area, BAJI believes African Americans should be concerned about anti-immigrant policing not only because it fosters racial profiling but because it is also ineffective and misleading and it punishes those who are most vulnerable. “African Americans have a history of being economically exploited, marginalized and discriminated against,” says a flyer from the group. “The Secure Communities program is the perpetuation of racist policies that afflict African Americans.”
The USHRN has scheduled attendance at the Human Rights Day/Dec. 10 march during its national conference and member meeting that will be held Dec. 9 -11, 2011, at the Radisson LAX Hotel. The biannual meeting was originally scheduled for its headquarters of Atlanta but the group voted to move the conference out of Georgia due to passage of that state’s controversial anti-immigration bill HB 87, which is similar to Arizona’s SB 1070.
The USHRN feels it is important to not only support the principle of “immigrant rights are human rights” but to also show solidarity with local struggles. According to Gerald Lenoir, executive director of BAJI “ … [I]immigration is not the root cause of the economic problems facing African Americans; the primary challenges come from the combined forces of racism and an unjust economic system, which puts the interests of corporations and the super rich over all other people.” Opal Tometi, BAJI’s national organizer, states that “the anti-immigrant movement is just a guise to reverse the gains made by the civil rights movement.”
The primary goal of the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN), an Atlanta-based coalition of more than 300 organizations from around the country is to increase the visibility of the US human rights movement and link U.S.-based human rights activists with the global human rights movement. Its National Conference and Members Meeting will be held Dec. 9 – 11, 2011, at the Radisson LAX Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. For more information on the US Human Rights Network and its activities, please visit www.ushrnetwork.org
Manuel Criollo, 323.243.9304
Opal Tometi, 602.349.1073