America needs immigration reform now.

Michigan United
Michigan United

Current Actions

  • Stand Up for Refugee Kids

     

    We've all seen the really terrible pictures of refugee children being kept in cages or warehouses, or being protested by armed vigilantes.  These children from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are fleeing horrible violence led by drug gangs.

    We need you to stand up for these kids who are caught in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.  Congress is considering changing the law that protects these children, and allowing the Border Patrol to deport them immediately, without a hearing before a judge.

    Many of these children qualify for protection as refugees.  They should be treated with compassion, re-united with their families, and given full protection under the law until they have their day in court.  We shouldn't be sending children back into harm's way.

    Tell Congress and the President: Protect refugee kids, don't send them back to danger.

  • Should Border Agents Teach Children to Use Immigrants for Target Practice?

     

    The first week of February, in 2014, shocking photos were released anonymously of Border Patrol agents teaching children how to handle weapons and use a cut-out of an immigrant for target practice.  You can view the whole set here.  The photos appear to be taken along the border wall in San Diego, where border agents coached even some very young children with paintball guns.

    This is shocking and disgusting.

    Immigrants shouldn't be used for target practice, and children shouldn't be taught to fire weapons at other human beings.  This sort of display dehumanizes immigrants and sends the message that some people's lives just don't matter.

    This isn't an abstract issue.  Since 2010, 20 immigrants have been killed by Border Patrol along the border.

    It's clear that Border Patrol is out of control.  This is just another episode in a long history of racial profiling, excessive force, and abuse of detained immigrants.

    Tell Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson that it's time to clean up Border Patrol.

    The managers responsible for this spectacle should be dismissed, and Border Patrol should take immediate steps to implement common-sense civil rights policies.

  • Stop Marco Gonzalez's Deportation
    Deportation for the Holidays:
    Survivor of Torture and Father of Five US Citizen Children Faces Imminent Deportation
    Marco Gonzalez fled Guatemala in 1993 after being tortured and press-ganged by guerilla fighters, and eventually made his way to Detroit.  He has five US Citizen children, ages 8 - 14, all of whom would be forced to stay in the United States on public assistance in the event of Mr. Gonzalez's deportation.  Mr. Gonzalez currently works as a pool-builder, and is fixing up two houses in Southwest Detroit.  He faces deportation on December 30th.
    Mr. Gonzalez's youth in Guatemala was harrowing.  During the civil war, he was repeatedly held by force by anti-government forces.  When he refused to fight with them, he was tortured and imprisoned in a cave for months.  Mr. Gonzalez eventually escaped, and was able to claim asylum in the US.  The insurgents are still active as criminal gangs in Mr. Gonzalez's home area, and often take violent revenge on returning refugees who did not support their cause during the war.
    Mr. Gonzalez has had a green card for almost two decades.  
    The proximate cause of his deportation is two bad checks he wrote in Florida in 1997 after his employer had refused to pay his wages for five months of work at a bakery.  Mr. Gonzalez's lawyer advised him to plead guilty because the charge was so minor, but did not inform him that doing so would cause him to lose is green card.  This practice was recently declared illegal by the US Supreme Court in the landmark Padilla case.
    ake action: Call on the Obama Administration and ICE to exercise prosecutorial discretion in this case and stop Mr. Gonzalez's deportation.

     

  • Meeting with Governor Snyder

     

    We want to meet with Governor Snyder so he can get back in touch with working families in Michigan. He needs to hear our stories and understand why $7.40 per hour is trapping people in poverty and one reason why our state economy has stagnated. 

    Your message will be most effective if you personalize it. Want to add some facts on raising minimum wage? Visit the Michigan League for Public Policy website for more information.

  • Support the Children's Crusade for Reform!

    Right now, 7 young Michigan United members and their families are in Washington D.C. pushing the House of Representatives to take action on immigration reform. They need your support!

    Tell your Representative that we need the House of Representatives to take action on immigration reform NOW.

  • Children's Crusade Email
  • Children's Crusade Email
  • Letter to Governor Snyder: Poverty and Wages

     

    Governor Snyder,

    We are glad you will be in Kalamazoo this week to help celebrate the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center’s 10th anniversary.  We think it represents a great accomplishment for our community and is worthy of celebration.

    However, there are many more equally important stories in Kalamazoo that warrant urgent attention. We would like to meet with you while you are in Kalamazoo on Wednesday to talk about poverty and fair wages.

    Specifically, Kalamazoo has one of the highest childhood poverty rates in Michigan. The percentage of people living in poverty in the city has increased from 24.3% in 1999 to 38.8% in 2010 (US Census American Community Survey).

    Even many of us who are fortunate enough to have full-time jobs cannot make ends meet when the minimum wage has stagnated at $7.40 an hour. We think that a full day’s work should pay well enough for us to be able to afford housing, food, and other life necessities, but that is not true right now and we need your help.

    We are parents who are working harder and harder, and getting less and less back for our children.

    We are elected representatives who see the devastating impact of poverty on our city and communities we love.

    We are people of faith who believe there is a moral imperative to pay fair wages.

    We are young workers who cannot find a middle class job after going into debt for our college education.

    We are retirees who have had to go back to work to pay medical bills.

    We are worried that Michigan's economy is leaving us, and many like us, behind.  One thing that would help all of us is an increase in Michigan's minimum wage, which is so low that full-time work leaves a family in poverty.

    Governor Snyder, when you’re in Kalamazoo celebrating the Innovation Center, will you also meet with us so we can have a considered talk about poverty and wages?

    Sincerely,

    Brenda Hahn, Parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church

    Don Cooney, Kalamazoo City Commissioner and Professor at Western Michigan University’s School of Social Work

    Stephanie Moore, Kalamazoo City Commissioner

    Darrin Camilleri, President of the Kalamazoo College Student Commission

    Nicholas Boyd, Small business owner and parishioner at Christ Temple Church

    Kathleen M. McGoff, retired AFSCME member

    Wendy Medrano, Western Michigan University student and community organizer

    Randy Iuliano, Southwest Michigan UAW CAP Council and UAW 2093 retiree

    Kevin Hobbs, President UAW Local 2093

    Mark Harris, Vice-President UAW Local 503

    Larry Provancher, retired Portage Public Schools teacher, former Kalamazoo County Commissioner, retired MEA member, and landlord

    Rebecca Hatley-Watkins, Parishioner at First United Methodist Church and low-wage worker

    Dessa Cosma-King, Mothering Justice

    Jose Aguilera, student at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and community organizer

    Maureen McConnell-Martin, Parishioner of St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish

    Meredith Loomis Quinlan, Michigan United Economic Justice Organizer

    Alison Geist, Director of the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement and Director of the Community and Global Health Concentration at Kalamazoo College

    Samantha Drake, UAW 2093 member and former restaurant worker

    Aimee Lopez-Linares, Western Michigan University student and restaurant worker

    Lisa Brock, Ph.D., Academic Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College

    Jane Dudley, Parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and Registered Nurse in Home Healthcare

    Rev. Mollie Clements, located at First United Methodist Church

    Sholanna Lewis, Administrative Assistant of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College

    Allison Colberg, Parishioner of The River Church and Michigan United Lead Organizer in West Michigan

    Rev. E. Allen Hayes, Kalamazoo

    Margie Stinson, Parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

    Want to add your name to the sign-ons? Fill out the form below. 

  • Support HR 15

     

    We Need a Vote on Immigration Reform!

    We have the votes in the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform right now.

    But so far, Republicans have refused to give us that opportunity.

    HR 15 would provide an earned path to citizenship for the undocumented, keep families togehter, and protect workers.  It's a comprehensive bill that would mvoe our country forward.   Tell your representative that we've had enough waiting-- it's time to have a vote.

  • It's Time to Raise Michigan's Minimum Wage

     

    Take Action: Tell Governor Snyder and Michigan's Legislators

    that NOW is the time to raise the minimum wage!

    Michigan's current minimum wage is $7.40 an hour.  Full-time work for $7.40 will leave a Michigan family below the poverty.  

    That's not right: an honest day's work should earn a fair paycheck.  The economic recovery is passing too many Michigan families by-- meanwhile, the big corporations that exploit low wages are raking in record profits.

    It's time to raise the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour, and start Michigan's economic recovery from the bottom-up.

    Raising the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour would*:

    -Give 958,000 Michiganders a raise.  84% of these workers are adults, 82% work more than part-time, and 52% have some college education.

    -Benefit 390,000 children whose parents work for low wages

    -Create 9600 new full-time jobs and $1.1 billion in economic growth.  When low-wage workers get a raise, they spend it immediately in our local economy, creating jobs here.

    Take action: Tell your legislators and Governor Snyder that it's time to raise the wage!

  • Give Michigan a Raise

     

    Take Action: Tell Governor Snyder and Michigan's Legislators

    that NOW is the time to raise the minimum wage!

    Michigan's current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.  Full-time work for $7.25 will leave a Michigan family below the poverty.  

    That's not right: an honest day's work should earn a fair paycheck.  The economic recovery is passing too many Michigan families by-- meanwhile, the big corporations that exploit low wages are raking in record profits.

    It's time to raise the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour, and start Michigan's economic recovery from the bottom-up.

    Raising the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour would*:

    -Give 958,000 Michiganders a raise.  84% of these workers are adults, 82% work more than part-time, and 52% have some college education.

    -Benefit 390,000 children whose parents work for low wages

    -Create 9600 new full-time jobs and $1.1 billion in economic growth.  When low-wage workers get a raise, they spend it immediately in our local economy, creating jobs here.

    Take action: Tell your legislators and Governor Snyder that it's time to raise the wage!

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  • Get Your Rights Back: Reduce the 'Constitution-Free Zone'

     

    Find out more about the "Constition-Free Zone" and the 100 mile rule at the ACLU's website

    Take Action: Tell your Senators to Vote YES on Leahy Amendment 1410 and Reduce the "Constitution Free Zone"

    You're probably living in a "Constitution-Free Zone" right now, and don't even know it.  Within 100 miles of the border or oceans, Border Patrol can stop, question, and detain you without a good reason or probable cause.  More than 2/3 of the US population lives inside the zone-- where the Department of Homeland Security considers some civil rights optional.

    We have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to fix the "Constitution Free Zone" by amending the immigration bill currently in the Senate.  Senators Leahy and Murray have filed an amendment to reduce the zone to 25 miles for most of the country.

    We need you to take action TODAY-- click to email your Senator, and tell them to vote YES on Leahy Amendment 1410

    Spread the word-- link to this page with a great infographic!

  • House voted to deport youth and families!

    Yesterday, Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted to de-fund important reforms put in place by the Obama Administration.

    This would eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and "Prosecutorial Discretion" programs and would put hundreds of thousands of students and families without criminal histories into immediate danger of deportation.

    Some of these same Republicans have said publicly that they support immigration reform, but when given a chance to cast their votes on the future of immigrants, they voted to deport students and families.

    Among those who voted to end these programs and deport students and families are:

    • Rep. Fred Upton - Kalamazoo
    • Rep. Justin Amash - Grand Rapids
    • Rep. Bill Huizenga -Holland

    These congressmen cannot say they want reform one day and then vote to destroy families the next.

    Email them NOW and tell them that this is unacceptable, and you are watching.

  • Stop Attack on Michigan Homeowners

     

    Michigan's six-month Foreclosure Redemption Period is under attack by Republican Senator Darwin Booher. Senator Booher's destructive plan calls for cutting the six-month redemption period to just 60 days. This legislation would be a major blow to Michigan homeowners and communities. 

    For the past several years, the combination of Michigan’s Pre-Foreclosure Negotiation Law and longstanding 6-month Redemption Period have effectively prevented foreclosures when possible and, when prevention is impossible, have provided homeowners the time to find safe, affordable housing. 

    This effectiveness of these well-balanced and reasonable laws has been documented in an annual survey of HUD and MSHDA-certified foreclosure prevention counselors and legal aid attorneys working on the ground with Michigan homeowners at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. Shortening Michigan’s 6-month Redemption Period to 60 days would be devastating for homeowners, neighborhoods and communities. It will cause evictions and blight to skyrocket, hurting all of us in the process. 

    Send a letter to your state representatives urging them to stop this attack on Michigan homeowners and neighborhoods! You can customize the letter so that it represents your own, personal message.

  • Thank you!

     

    Cleanup Not Coverup

    We asked our elected representatives for their support, and we got it! Senator Stabenow, Senator Levin, and Congressman Upton sent a letter to the EPA urging them to do a full removal of the soil contaminated with toxic waste from the Allied Site.

    Let's give them a big thank you for their committment to this issue! You can customize the letter so that it contains your own, personal message. 

  • Stop Border Patrol & ICE at Schools and Places of Worship

     

    Border Patrol conducting a detention in the parking lot of St. Anne's Church during mass

    Protect Places of Worship and Schools from Immigration Enforcement

    Contact the Senate -- Vote YES on Amendments Blumenthal 13 and Coons 8

    Border Patrol and ICE have a bad habit: enforcement at or around places of worship or schools.  

    At St. Anne's Church in Detroit, the nation's oldest Catholic parish, Border Patrol agents detained and later released an immigrant in their parking lot during mass in 2011.  Also in Detroit, ICE agents in 2010 surrounded Hope of Detroit Academy, and targeted parents at Vistas Nuevas Head Start in 2012.

    These sorts of activities are absolutely unacceptable: Places of worship and schools should be safe spaces, where families are able to pray, learn, and build community without fear of immigration enforcement.  

    In fact, ICE and CBP recognize this principal and both have "Sensitive Community Locations" policies which limit this kind of enforcement.  However, these policies are not laws and have been violated repeatedly with no consequences for the agents involved.  

    We have the opportunity to get these protections included as an amendment in the comprehensive immigration reform bill currently being considered in the Senate Judiciary Committee.   These amendments would give the policies the force of law and create much stronger accountability at the Department of Homeland Security.

    Please join us in protecting the sanctity of places of worship, schools, hospitals, and other sensitive locations, and vote YES on Blumenthal Amendment 8 and Coons Amendment 8.
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  • Dear Elected Representatives: Support the Removal of PCBs from the Allied Site in Kalamazoo!

     

    We are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do a full removal of all the PCBs and other toxic waste from the Allied site in the Edison and Milwood neighborhoods. The EPA's proposal to cap and monitor the poisonous material at the site, “in perpetuity,” is unacceptable. The site is located in the heart of Kalamazoo, above one of the city’s aquifers. A full removal is the only way to protect our water, our neighborhoods, and our future!

    We need our elected representatives, especially Representative Upton, Senator Levin, and Senator Stabenow, to help us put pressure on the EPA to complete a full removal of the toxic waste from our neighborhood. These elected representatives have been supportive of our effort in the past, and now we need their committment to stand with us as we demand a permanent solution to this pile of poison in our community. 

    A sample letter is provided, but feel free to edit the message to reflect your voice and concerns. 

  • If Michael is Deported, he could be jailed or killed.

    Michael Mendy is an artist from Senegal, living in Detroit.  He's been in the US since 1998.  His work has been featured in beautiful stage shows in theaters and galleries in Michigan and across the country.

    In 2010, Michael was shot during a robbery.  Instead of going after the robber, the police detained Michael and turned him over to ICE!

    Michael is not  'priority' for deportation-- he's not a criminal, and didn't just get here. 

    What's worse, Michael faces extreme danger in his home country of Senegal, where it is illegal to be gay.

    According to the State Department, LGBT people in Senegal face arrest, widespread discrimination, and acts of violence. 

    That's why Michael has been trying to claim asylum-- he knows that his life is at risk.  But paperwork errors have resulted in Michael's detention, and he is in imminent danger of deportation.  ICE claims that Michael moved without telling them-- even though they'd been visiting him at his home for weeks!

    Michael is just one of the thousands of immigrants who face deportaiton while Congress slowly moves on reform.  His story demonstrates why we need a moratorium on deportations NOW.  It makes no sense to keep deporting good people who contribute to our community, when in just a few months, they would probably be eligible for immigration reform.

    Please take action today.  Michael should be released immediately, and given the chance to apply for asylum.

    Raquel Garcia Andersen
    Immigration Rights Organizer
    Michigan United
    www.miunited.org

  • Keep Arlen With Her Kids!

    Arlen Villanueva-Ordonez is a single mother raising two children. She works full time, has paid taxes every year, and both she and her son have severe medical conditions that require specialized care. Her daughter is in college studying to be a radiologist. Arlen is a perfect example of someone who should not be deported, but yet she is still scheduled to be removed next month.

    We need to let ICE know that her community supports her! Please help a dedicated mother stay with her children. 

    Feel free to use our letter template, or even better, personalize your own.

  • Just Say No to Border Patrol


    Click to see this viral video of drivers refusing to answer Border Patrol's questions at checkpoints inside the US

    Did you know that the Border Patrol has 70 internal checkpoints that stop motorists inside the US?  These checkpoints are as far as 70 miles from the border, in Texas, Arizona, and even New York and Maine.  This is an infringement on our civil rights, and a waste of money.  Congress even wants to INCREASE spending on practices like these before they allow immigration reform.  That's unacceptable!

    Just "say no" to Border Patrol-- watch this video.  You DON'T have to answer their questions at internal checkpoints. 

    Check out more info from the ACLU on your rights here.

    Below, tell the Senate Gang of 8 to "Just Say No" to Border Patrol-- we don't need more checkpoints and enforcement before immigration reform.

  • Tell Pres. Obama & the Senate: No Bounties for Immigrant Families

    Last week, Families for Freedom and the New York University Law School released a new report showing that US Border Patrol is giving their agents rewards for arresting immigrants.

    The officers get cash bonuses, extra vacation time, and even gift cards to Home Depot as a reward for how many immigrants they arrest.

    That sounds like a bounty on immigrant families to me.

    This system gives Border Patrol officers a good reason to arrest as many people as possible, regardless of actual threats to public safety.  The report shows exactly that-- lots of immigrants being detained and arrested for no reason.

    That's disgusting, and it's wrong.

    We need to send a message to the Senate "Gang of 8" and President Obama -- more out-of-control immigration enforcement isn't going to make anyone safer.  Our civil rights shouldn't be sacrificed for Washington DC politics.

    Send a message HERE today.

  • Keep Up the Momentum: Immigration Reform Now!

    Momentum is on our side: an immigration reform bill has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee!  But now we need the full Senate and the House of Representatives to take action.

    The time is now to act for immigration reform that will:

        -Secure a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers, families, and students who call America home

        -Protect the rights of immigrant and American workers

        -Keep families together by reducing the family reunification backlog and granting deported immigrants the 'right to reunite' with their families in the US

    Your Congressman, Senator, and President need to hear from you how important this moment is. We have the chance to secure a historic victory for human rights. Use the search tool below to find your district and send a letter to our leaders reminding them how you feel. Use our suggested letter or write your own from the heart.

    Thanks!

  • We Need Immigration Reform Now!

    The current immigration system separates hundreds of thousands of families through policies that have not been updated in 20 years.

    It is long past time for a just, humane, comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes the broken system and takes meaningful and needed action to address it.

    Your Congressman, Senator, and President need to hear from you how important this moment is. We have the chance to secure a path to citizenship for over 11 million of our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. Use the search tool below to find your district and send a letter to our leaders reminding them how you feel. Use our suggested letter or write your own from the heart.

  • Drivers Licenses for DREAM Students!


                               DREAM Student Adonis Flores leads a press conference on the first day students could apply for DREAM Relief.

    On August 15, 2012, thousands of DREAMers (undocumented students) across America and the state of Michigan began the application process to obtain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or DREAM Relief. This will allow undocumented students in the State of Michigan to get work permits, and stop the threat of deportation for two years. These students have gone through extensive criminal background checks, have graduated from high school and are trying to get a higher education in order to become more productive members of society.

    Though it may not be a permanent solution to our broken immigration system, it is a step in the right direction.

    However, the Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, has decided to deny driver licences and state IDs to students that get their work permit through Deferred Action, even though she currently issues licenses to all other immigrants who have deferred action!

    What good is a work permit if you cannot drive yourself to work?

    Tell the Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, that DREAMers who have been approved for Deferred Action and have received their work permit SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET THEIR DRIVER LICENSE AND STATE ID. We also demand that Ruth Johnson and Governor Snyder commit to meet with community and youth leadership to discuss a solution to this pressing issue.

  • Tell ICE to stay away from our schools!

        

    ICE Targeting Parents Dropping Their Kids Off for School in Southwest Detroit...Again!?

    October 16th at approximately 7:30 AM, ICE stopped two families in Southwest Detroit near a middle school and a Head Start Center-- a practice specifically barred by their own policies. What's worse, this isn't the first time this has happened-- ICE has a history of targeting parents at schools in Southwest Detroit.


    Hector was dropping his son off at Cesar Chavez Middle School in the morning, and was stopped by an ICE agent outside the school.  He was detained in full view of other parents and students arriving for class.  Around the same time, Jorge and Ana were stopped less than a block away from Manuel Reyes Vistas Nuevas Head Start Center by another squad of ICE agents.

    They were on their way to drop off their children at the Center and a nearby elementary school.  They were told to drop off their children, and then to return home to be detained.  The parents were able to take shelter in the elementary school until State Representative Tlaib arrived and confronted the agents to prevent further action from being taken.

    After the crisis in 2011 at Hope Elementary School, where multiple families were held under siege, we thought that ICE got the message about not terrorizing our families outside of schools and churches. Until now. That understanding has clearly been broken. And we cannot stand by while this continues to happen to our friends and neighbors.

    Please take this opportunity to send a strong message to your member of Congress, the White House, or the leadership of ICE that these actions are unacceptable, and that our community deserves better.

  • Immigration Reform Must be Congress' 1st Priority

    Remember, Reunite, Reform
    Tell Congress that Immigration Reform Must be the FIRST Issue of 2013

    Espanol abajo


    No matter who wins the election, we're going to have to keep fighting for immigration reform and legalization for all.  That's why we're launching a new campaign to lift up the stories of families who've been broken by our immigration system and make the strongest call yet for justice: Remember, Reunite, Reform.

    REMEMBER - Remember the family members who are separated, or at risk of being torn apart; the workers who suffer, and the students who are being held back from their full potential.  On the left, Rogelia holds a vigil for her husband, a local business owner and father of US Citizen children, who was deported after 13 years in the US.

    REUNITE - Call on Congress and the President to bring these families back together!  In the midde, the Ascencio family fought hard to free their father from detention and stop his deportation.

    REFORM - Demand that our leaders make immigration reform and legalization for all the FIRST issue of 2013.  Brenda, on the right, organized to win Deferred Action for DREAM students, a major victory for reform.

    Take action today-- send a message below to Congress and the President.

    Attend a Remember, Reunite, Reform EVENT :

    Pray-In for Broken Families, Wednesday, November 7, 10:00 AM, ICE Headquarter, Detroit

    Capitol Rally: Let Dreamers Drive and Keep Families Together! 12:00 PM, Capitol Lansing (transportation available from Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Ann Arbor)

    Vigil for Immigration Reform, Office of Congressman Fred Upton, Kalamazoo, November 7th, 6:00 PM

  • Save the Todaj Family

    Save the Todaj Family from Deportation to Albania!

    Lindita Todaj fled persecution in Albania in 2001, seeking asylum in the United States.

    After 11 tortorous years of immigration proceedings, she now faces deportation as soon as next week back to Albania,
    a country where she has no relations or support, and would almost certainly face poverty and privation.

    Lindita would face these challenges alone-- her husband Kanto, died in the United States in 2010, after a months-long struggle
    with a deadly form of cancer.  His death left the family with emotional and financial challenges.

    During the past 11 years, Farmington Hills, Michigan, has become Lindita's home where she is working and raising
    her three children, all US citizens: 4 year old Pjeter, 6 year old Francesca, and 7 year old Angjela. 
    The family has attended two local churches, Our Lady of Albanians Catholic Church in Southfield
    and Cornerstone Baptist Church in Farmington Hills.

    These children have never been to Albania, do not speak fluent Albanian, and would face an uncertain future
    if they were forced to leave Farmington Hills with their mother.  With Kanto's death, the whole family would
    be left in dire straits.

    ICE could, if they wanted to, allow Lindita a legal way to stay in the US, and continue working and raising her
    US-born children.

    Please take action today and ask ICE to use their power and save this family from deportation!

  • Demand Respect for Civil Rights Along the Border

    We've all heard the stories-- in the North, and the South, Border Patrol is out of control.

      The beating death of Anastasio Rojas at the hands of Border Patrol agents. 

       A former Border Patrol agent blowing the whistle on abuse and neglect, covered by PBS' investigation in the "Need to Know" documentary.

       The death of US Citizen Alex Martinez, in his own home, by Border Patrol agents in Washington State.

       Agents harassing food pantries, churches, and targeting people based on their race or religion, not their behavior.

    The Border Patrol is undermining our civil rights and our national security.  When the Border Patrol targets people based on their race or religion instead of their behavior, they're wasting their time and our tax dollars.  When Border Patrol spends their time at a social service agency instead of at the border, we're all less safe.

    Take action today-- Tell Congress and Customs and Border Protection that it's time for Border Patrol to play by the rules.

       

  • I Support Kalamazoo County Housing Justice

     This petition will be presented to Kalamazoo County Commissioners and candidates to show that the people of Kalamazoo County support the Michigan Organizing Project's housing justice platform and demand that the Commission act on it. Please fill out all of the information on this petition so that you can be confirmed as a resident of your district.

  • Support Relief for DREAM Students

    Dear Friends,

    Big news.  The President announced that he would stop the deportations of young people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act.  Many might even be eligible for work permits.

    I just graudated from Cesar Chavez High School as salutatorian.  The announcement gives me, and hundreds of thousands of other undocumented youth, a lot of hope for the future.  I could be a big step closer to achieving my dream of becoming a physicist. 

    This isn't full justice - it's a temporary stop to our deportations, and doesn't include our parents.  But we should still celebrate a big win.

    We have to make sure that this change is properly implemented.  We've heard big announcements before - often resulting in little action.

    Help now: click to thank President Obama for taking this important step, urge him to properly and fully implement the change immediately, and demand that Congress support relief for DREAM students as well.  Already they're talking about trying to roll this win back.

  • Demand justice for Cayla Roberts!

    Cayla Roberts was born in China.  After the death of her biological mother, Cayla was sold by her biological father to human traffickers who smuggled her into the United States when she was 14 years old.  She was arrested before she was forced into the sex industry.

     

    Cayla was placed with a foster family and was able to finish both high school and community college with honors and a 4.0 GPA. She received scholarships and attended WesternMichiganUniversity and graduated with a Bachelors and a 3.97 GPA. She then married her sweetheart from her church who is a US Air Force veteran. Unable to legally work, she has devoted herself to volunteer work and studies.  Through her adopted and chosen family and her faith, Cayla has overcome horrendous obstacles and beaten the odds and become an exemplary vision of seeking the American dream. 

     

    After ten years of refusing to exercise its power positively, the United States government is forcing Cayla to leave the country. If Cayla is deported back to China, she will be at risk. The smugglers – called “snakeheads” – who brought her to the United States see her as someone who will have to pay them back for their investment…but in this case by selling her body. Cayla’s biological father told her that if she were to return to China, he would give her two choices:  He could kill her, or she could kill herself. 

     

    Does it make sense to separate this woman from her adopted family, from the community that welcomes her and from her adopted country where she has built a successful life?

     

    TAKE ACTION!  Tell ICE and Homeland Security to keep Cayla safe in the United States and with her family.



  • Keep Jorge Armando Garcia with his family!


    Jorge Armando Garcia came to the United States 24 years ago at age 10 with his parents and no papers.  Since arriving here, he hasn’t left, he graduated from high school in Illinois, has always worked to support himself, has filed tax returns, and has never committed any crimes.

     

    Ten years ago Jorge married Cindy, a US citizen, and together they have a daughter, Soleil (10 years old) and a son, Jorge, Jr. (7 years old) and Cindy’s oldest, Kyle (18).  Both younger kids and Cindy have asthma.  The kids attend Carr Elementary School and the family volunteers for community events and goes to Christ the Good Shepherd.  Cindy and Jorge have both worked to support their family. 

     

    Last summer, the family moved to Lincoln Park after the short sale of their home in Dearborn, which was caused by their ordeal's extraordinary legal costs. 

     

    In the next couple of weeks, Jorge could be deported because of the choice his parents made.

     

    The Garcia family isn’t asking for money or charity. They are only asking to save their father and husband from being deported and to KEEP THEIR FAMILY TOGETHER… The four US citizen members of the Garcia family are paying the price for Jorge’s illegal entry into the US when he was ten years old

     

    TAKE ACTION!  Tell ICE and Homeland Security to keep this family together! 


  • Keep 14 year old Helen safe in the U.S.A

    Nearly five years ago Helen Salguero was 10 years old, living in poverty and under the constant threat of violence in El Salvador. Not able to afford food, her parents made the difficult decision to migrate to the United States so they could give her a better future.
     

    Upon arrival to the U.S Helen was stopped at the Southern border, separated from her family, and placed into a private detention facility for 85 days. She was eventually released to her parents, where the Salguero family are strong members of their community in Lincoln Park, MI. Her father is a leader of a local workers rights group, her mother is leader at All Saints Catholic Church, and Helen plays the flute in the band at Lincoln Park Middle School.
     
    Despite having no other violations besides her entry, Helen has not been granted prosecutorial discretion, and is about to be deported back to El Salvador. If this happens, her family will have to make the even more difficult decision to go back with her into the same circumstances they previously left.
     
    Please help us stop the deportation of Helen Pacheco. She shouldn't have to live her life in fear of being separated from her family.

    TAKE ACTION!  Tell ICE and Homeland Security to keep Helen safe in the United States and with her family.


  • The Organizing Staff Demands Churros

    Our access to churros is under attack!

    Ryan forces us to make turn-out calls, and we're SO HUNGRY,.

    Take action today to ensure that the organizing staff gets fed.

    What do we want?

    CHURROS.

    When do we want them?

    Ahorrita!

    Who stole this child's churro?  Ryan? 

  • Keep Gustavo With His Family

    Gustavo Vargas is a pillar of his community.  He has lived in the United States for more than 20 years, and has four children, all of whom are US Citizens-- Giselle (13), Yareli (9), Gustavo Jr. (6), Allan (10 months) .   Gustavo owns his own home in Detroit and pays his taxes.  He's even a small-business owner-- he has three employees working at his flooring installation service.  He has committed no crimes, other than immigration violations.

    Gustavo is undocumented and faces imminent deportation after being stopped last week by immigration agents in Pontiac.

    Gustavo is contributing to our economy and his community.  If he is deported, his US citizen children will face an uncertain future.

    Gustavo is exactly the kind of person that the Administration has said they don't want to separate from their family.

    Take action today-- tell ICE and Homeland Security to keep this family together.

    Traducción:

    Gustavo es un orgullo para su comunidad. Gustavo, quien ha vivido en los Estados Unidos por cerca de 20 años, tiene cuatro hijas con ciudadanía Americana---Giselle (13), Yareli (9), Gustavo Jr. (6) y Allan (10 meses de nacido).  El es dueño de su propio hogar, el cual se encuentra en Detroit, y también paga sus impuestos anuales. Aun mejor, Gustavo es el dueño de un negocio familiar, en el cual emplea a tres trabajadores en su compañía de instalación de carpetas. El no ha cometido ningún crimen, aparte de estar en el país sin documentos legales.

     

    Actualmente, Gustavo es indocumentado y enfrenta deportación después de haber sido detenido por oficiales de inmigración en la ciudad de Pontiac.

     

    Gustavo contribuye a la economía y ha su comunidad. So es deportado, sus hijos con ciudadanía Americana enfrentaran un futuro incierto.  

     

    Gustavo es exactamente el tipo de persona que Administración ha dicho que no quiere separar de su familia.

     

    ¡TOMA acción hoy mismo!--- dile a ICE y a Homeland Security que no separen ha esta familia.

  • Support the Family Unity Waiver

    Sign Below To Support the Family Unity Waiver

    The Administration has proposed an important change to our immigration regulations that would allow many thousands of immigrant families to stay together.  Please take action today to support this change and improve it.

    Who would be impacted?  Here's one Michigander's story:

    Francisco Ascencio has lived in Detroit for half of his life - since he was 15.  He has three beautiful children who were born in Detroit, ages 9, 6 and 3.  Francisco is also married to a US citizen, Lydia.  He is an excellent father and husband.  He is active at his children's elementary school and at St. Francis of Assisi, his family's church.  After a minor traffic stop, Francisco was separated from his family and held in immigration detention for seven weeks and faced almost certain deportation.  His children were crying, their grades suffered and Lydia could not support the family by herself.  After a community campaign, Francisco was released and his removal was deferred for a year.

    You may ask yourself, "He's married to a US citizen, why hasn't he filed for his papers?"  The reason is that the immigration process now includes possible exile from the United States (known as the 3- and 10-year bars) for people who have resided in the US illegally, even if they're married to US citizens.  Even those who are eventually approved for a waiver of the bars must risk a separation of a year or more, remaining outside the US, while the waiver is processed.

    Families of US citizens and legal residents - like Francisco and Lydia - have been forced into a dilemma:  either be separated from their family members for months or years OR remain together and never try to fix their immigration status. 

    The new proposed rule would allow many families, like the Ascencios, to stay together in the US while they go through the process, and receive and answer from the government without ever leaving the country.  It can mean the difference between months and years separated from your family, and a quick trip to the consulate.

    Signing below will add your name in support of this "model comment" for the proposed rule change:

    (You can also comment directly on DHS' site here)

  • Caught on Camera: Show Me Your Papers!


    Click for video: Border Patrol interrogates Jose, a US Citizen, for "suspicious behavior"

    Border Patrol Is Out of Control:

    Take Action Against Racial Profiling!


    Border Patrol: On guard against terrorists and smugglers...or hassling Latinos at your local Walgreens.  Whatever it takes to protect the homeland. 

    Jose Gonzalez is a US Citizen.  He was born in McAllen, Texas.  The closest he's come to even leaving the United States is the great view of Canda he has from his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

    Last week, Jose decided to stop at the Walgreen's pharmacy.  For no reason at all, Border Patrol agents pulled a u-turn and staked out his car in the parking lot.  Afterwards, they followed him for several miles, pulled him over, and interrogated him about his citizenship.

    Jose showed them a valid driver’s license, and repeatedly explained to them that he is a US citizen. They refused to believe him, and instead kept interrogating him.

    Border Patrol: “Where were you born?”
    Jose: “McCallen, Texas.”
    Border Patrol: "When did you come in to the country?  Did you get a visa?"
    Seriously?
    Jose was quick on his feet, and caught most of the stop on video. Take a moment to listen to the Border Patrol as they explain Jose's suspicious behavior...talking on his cell phone. 
    That doesn't sounds like law enforcement. That's racial profiling.
    Is this how Border Patrol is supposed to be keeping us safe from smugglers, terrorists, and human traffickers- by racially profiling people at the pharmacy?  It’s wrong. It’s a violation of our civil liberties, not to mention a complete waste of our tax dollars.
    That's not what America is supposed to be about. Join us and hold the Border Patrol accountable. Tell Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that Border Patrol can't get away with racial profiling anymore.
    This isn't an isolated incident.  The New York Civil Liberties Union just released a report detailing systematic profiling on New York's public transit.  Civil rights groups all across the country have seen the same thing.

  • Justice Derailed: Racial Profiling and Abuse by Border Patrol


    Have you seen the new report just released by the New York University School of Law, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Families for Freedom?  “Justice Derailed” is pretty shocking, and adds to the mountain of evidence that shows Border Patrol is out of control.

    The report released on Wednesday dramatically confirms that Border Patrol agents engaged in pervasive racial profiling during sweeps of domestic train and bus lines in upstate New York.  The majority of these sweeps occurred far away from the Canadian border, on domestic bus and rail lines that stayed entirely within the US. 

    Despite the supposed purpose of protecting the Canadian border, 73% of those detained were from Latin America.  89% of those arrested by Border Patrol were reported as of “medium,” “dark” or “black” complexion.   

    The experience of Professor Torres Saillant, a US citizen who teaches at Syracuse University, was typical.  He described being questioned numerous times on domestic Greyhound  buses in New York.  Professor Saillant reported that Border Patrol agents instructed him that he needed to “carry his papers,” and would single out only the Latino passengers on the bus for questioning.

    Advocates have spotted these same problems, and worse, all across the country

    .  It’s pretty clear that this isn’t about keeping our country safe, but is really about pumping up Border Patrol’s arrest record.

    No one in America should be targeted or harassed by the government just because of the color of their skin.

     After years of public pressure, the Administration may have changed this policy, and ended sweeps along the Northern Border, just ahead of the report’s release.  If it’s confirmed that the sweeps are over, then we should congratulate the Administration on taking a step in the right direction. 

    But it’s clear that Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations need a major overhaul—whether it’s repeated sexually humiliating searches of Muslims at the border, harassment of Latinos at churches and food pantries, or pervasive racial profiling—this agency needs to respect basic human rights.

    Send a message to Congress and the President today— Border Patrol is out of control, and it’s time for change.

     

  • Albanian Mother of Two US Children Facing Deportation

    Hane Begu moved from Albania to Michigan 10 years ago fleeing the dangerous political situation in her home country.  She is married to a US citizen, Bill, and has two beautiful children.  Her claim for asylum was denied, and she is now facing deportation.

    Armed ICE agents came to her home without a warrant while the children were trying on their Halloween costumes several weeks ago.  She has been in detention in Battle Creek ever since, where an ICE officer has repeatedly denied one of her attorneys access.

    Hane has no criminal record, and has been faithfully paying her taxes for a decade.  Since Bill was laid off from his job as a paramedic, Hane has become the sole breadwinner for her family.

    The Obama administration announced a new policy in August to suspend deportation proceedings against undocumented immigrants with no criminal record-- immigrants like Hane.  Yet, she is still being prosecuted.

    Tell ICE that Hane, and thousands like her in our detention system, deserve to be released to their families-- not deported.

    Please take action by entering your zip code on the box below.


  • Justice for Trader Joe's Packing Workers

    Abused, Cheated and Exploited.  Fighting Back.

    When Dora worked at the Livonia packing plant, she packed tomatoes, peppers, and other produce all day.  She didn't mind the hard work-- she minded that the managers wouldn't let her use the bathroom.  She was pregnant and had morning sickness, and was forced to vomit into a trash can right on the packing floor.  The managers yelled at her, and the other workers too-- "They treated us like animals," she said, "After a while, they made you think it was normal to be treated like less than a human being."

    Then the accident happened.  Ammonia started leaking from the plants massive cooling system, causing the factory to fill with toxic fumes.  Some workers tried to leave, but they were locked into the cafeteria.  The managers opened some windows, and forced everyone back on to the packing line.  Workers became dizzy, nauseous, and some even passed out.  Still the managers kept the line going.  The sick packing workers even had to pay for their own ambulance and medical treatment. 

    Oh, and the food?  It was sold to the public.

    Workers have also documented:

    -Failure to pay workers their full wages, including one woman who was not paid for 200 hours of work;

    -Forcing injured workers to remain on the packing line, including one woman who was bleeding from her leg after being hit by a forklift;

    -Constant verbal harassment and threats during work;

    -Being forced to disguise low-quality product as "gourmet."

    The owner of the plant, Mastronardi Fruit Packing, has a long history of abusing their workers.  Managers have refused to negotiate with workers or make improvements, so a coalition of current and former workers have filed a class action class suit to demand wages that were stolen and better working conditions.

    Trader Joe's has made a good business by advertising itself as an ethical corporation.  But how does this responsible image square with the treatment of the workers who actually produce Trader Joe's food?

    Please ask Trader Joe's to do the right thing and ensure that the workers who supply their food are treated with justice, dignity, and decency.  If their suppliers don't shape up, Trader Joe's should cut their contract.

  • Where is the prosecutorial discretion?

    Help keep the Asencio family together!


    Francisco Ascencio is a loviong, caring father and his family's bread winner. Francisco has been living in the US since he was 15.

    Since Francisco's detention, his wife Lidia has been forced to be a single mother and apply for food stamps.  Shockingly, his 6 year-old daughter Maria has began to have seizures.  His 9 year-old son, Javier, has not been able to sleep at night. His grades in school have dropped because he cannot concentrate.  Deportation would bring irreparable damage to this family, all of whom are United States Citizens.

    Seven weeks ago Francisco ended up in the hands of ICE after a traffic violation. Ten years ago he missed a court date when he was only 19.  He has never been in any kind of troupble.  He is an active father at Hope of Detroit Academy where his children attend school. He is clearly not a threat to the community, he is an asset. Still, ICE has denied him a bond.

    The Obama administration announced a new policy in August that was supposed to halt the deportations of immigrants like Francisco.  Instead of breaking up families, the administration promised it was going to target criminals


    ICE is ignoring using prosecutorial relief for Francisco. Please join the Ascencio family in the fight to win back their dad. Tell ICE to take the new policy seriously and use discretion.

  • Border Patrol is Out of Control: Even at Our Churches?

    Take Action Today to Stop Border Patrol Abuse

    Parishoners at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Southwest Detroit were shocked to find at least four patrol cars from the Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations in their parking lot during mass on July 25th.

    The officers had detained and were interrogating a man who was driving through the neighborhood.  They stayed for nearly an hour, and eventually released the man.

    Faith leaders gathered today to send a message to Border Patrol: immigration agents don't belong at church, or any other sacred space.

    Take action today: demand that the National Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection meet with the community, and address the civil rights crisis at his agencies.

    This is part of a pattern of abuse by Border Patrol in Detroit.  Latino Family Services, a food pantry and community center down the street from St. Anne's, has reported numerous incidents of harassment of their staff and clients.  AIR has documented dozens of cases racial profiling of immigrants and American-born Latinos.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations - Michigan (CAIR) just released a new report with more shocking news: innocent Muslims, who are never charged with any crime, are repeatedly subjected to interrogation every single time they cross the border.  Agents often surround the Muslims with guns drawn, conduct "sexually humiliating searches," and ask them inappropriate questions about their religion.  This happens to the same people, over and over again. 

    That's not law enforcement.  That's profiling and harassment.

    CAIR and the Alliance for Immigrants Rights are joining together to demand that Customs and Border Protection's leadership meet with the community and end the abuse.

    Please tell your representatives, the President, and Customs and Border Protection, that you stand with immigrants, people of color, and the Muslim community.

  • 19 Years Doesn't Make You American? Stop Lilli Gonzalez's Deportation!

    19Years Doesn't Make You American?

    Help Stop Lilli Gonzalez's Deportation!

    Update: ICE to Release Lilli on Thursday! 

    Lilli Gonzalez Solano is an American.  She was brought to the United States from Mexico at the age of 1 by her parents and has been living in US for 19 years.  She has never left the country since.

    Lilli speaks English perfectly, graduated from high school in Fennville, Michigan in 2009, and has been working at a restaurant to save up money for college.  She wants to study art and design.  Lilli has five US citizen siblings here.  She knows absolutely no one in Mexico.

    A month ago, Lilli was put into the custody of ICE due to minor traffic violations.  The only mark on her record is driving without a license-- because of her undocumented status, she is unable to apply for one.  Lilli is clearly not a threat to anyone-- yet, the immigration judge has denied her a bond.  So she sits in the Battle Creek detention center, waiting for her deportation date to come.

    Deporting Lilli Gonzalez to a country she does not remember will break apart her family and bring shame to a country built by immigrants. After living in Michigan for 19 years, she is an American by every measure-- except for a piece of paper.

    We thought that President Obama's announcement that his administration would no longer pursue the deportations of "low-priority" immigrants, especially those like Lilli who would be eligible for the DREAM Act, would bring some sanity to our senseless immigration system.

    Instead, ICE is ignoring this instruction and is trying to deport Lilli, and many like her, as soon as possible.

    We need you to stand up and demand that ICE take the new policy seriously and stop Lilli's deportation.

    Are the President's promises to the community real, or just more politics?

  • Support the Stay of Deportations of Families and Students

    Thursday, senior White House officials announced a potentially important new program that could help thousands of immigrant workers, families, and students currently facing deportation.

    It's not comprehensive immigration reform, but it's a good start.

    Here's how it is supposed to work.

    A committee will review the files of the 300,000 immigrants currently facing deprotation on a case-by-case basis.

    The committee will look for "low priority" cases and consider issuing a "stay" of deportation for these immigrants.

    "Low priority" cases might include those who have not been convicted of a crime, those who have not re-entered the country without permission after being deported, and those who have not recently crossed the border.

    The administration is still determining what positive criteria for relief will be, but most likely to be considered are DREAM-Act eligible students and minors, pregnant or nursing mothers, the elderly or disabled, and veterans and members of the military.

    A "stay" does not mean that these immigrants would get status, but rather, would have their deportations put on hold.  Immigrants might be able to apply for a work permit during this time.

    This process would not provide any relief for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are not currently in deportation procedings.

    This system could mean limited relief for thousands of immigrant workers, families, and students who are facing unjust deportations.  Here at AIR, several of the cases we are working on would be eligible for a stay.

    We need to keep pressing the Administration to ensure that this new measure is implemented properly and swiftly, and we need to keep pressing Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform-- the only long-term solution to our broken immigration system.

    We know the anti-immigrants will attack even this limited reform.   They're already smearing it as the "Obama Amnesty."

    Please send President Obama and your Congressmen a message supporting this step, and calling on them to keep up the momentum.

  • End the White Wash: Justice at Hope of Detroit Academy

    ICE Whitewashes Truth About Abuse 

    ICE investigation finds nothing wrong with surrounding elementary school, illegal searches.

    On March 31st, half a dozen ICE vehicles surrounded Hope of Detroit Academy, trapping some parents inside, and targeting others after they dropped their children off for school.  The community fought back-- organizing rallies and town halls.  Congressmen Conyers and Clarke even held a community forum at the school to demand answers.

    The community demanded accountability for a pattern of abuse.  Detroit ICE has abused immigrants in detention, refusing pregnant women their medication and forcing a son to watch his mother be strip-searched.  They have conducted illegal raids without any warrants.  Surrounding an elementary school was the last straw.

    Now three months later, ICE has released their investigation.  You know what they found?

    Nothing.

    Who could have guessed that ICE's investigation of itself would fail to find any problems?

    This isn't good enough.

    We're escalating our campaign to demand justice for the families at Hope of Detroit and all those victims of abuse by ICE.

    Please contact Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and your Senators.  We need them to hold Detroit ICE accountable: No more abuse.

  • Keep E-Verify Off the Table.

    E-Verify Stalls in House for Now

    Support for Bill Crumbles Due to Public Pressure

    This week, immigrants rights supporters in Michigan had a big victory:

    House Bills 4024 and 4026 failed to move forward in the Michigan House Commerce Committee.

    4024 and 4026 would have forced some small businesses, and government agencies and contractors, to

    use the federal E-Verify system.  This would have thrown many immigrants out of work, including

    naturalized US Citizens and Green Card holders.  These bills were another attack on immigrant workers,

    families, and students, trying to blame *them* for Michigan's tough economic times.

    Support for the bills crumbled, with opposition from both Democrats and Republicans.

    Regular people came from all across Michigan to oppose E-Verify in Lansing this week.

    We sent more than 2000 emails to members of the committee, and made hundreds of calls.

    Our allies came through, and labor and business worked together to beat the bills.

    The bills have been informally tabled until the fall according to the Committee Chairman Representative Wayne

    Schmidt, so we have to stay vigilant.  But for now, this is a big win.

    Please take a moment to thank Representative Schmidt for holding the bills back, and ask him to do the right thing--

    let them disappear altogether.

  • Vote NO on E-Verify

    Radical anti-immigrant legislators are trying to pass legislation that would throw millions of immigrants and US Citizens out of work: E-Verify.

    E-verify is a deeply flawed program that was never intended to be mandatory, or nationwide. 

    The system is supposed to check new hires through a federal database to make sure that a worker is "authorized" to work in the US.

    The database is FULL of errors - between 17% and 42% of immigrants who ARE authorized to work receive false negative reports.  This includes US citizens.

    It can take weeks to correct your record with the Social Security Administration-- if your employer even tells you about the problem.  In most cases, workers are fired without explanation, and have no way to fix their record and get back on the job.  

    E-Verify will cause thousands of immigrants to lose their jobs, putting incredible strain on their families AND the social safety net during the toughest times in years.

    The end result?  Families go hungry, and bad-actor employers will turn to the underground labor market, further exploiting immigrant workers.

    Take action today-- let your congressman know that Michigan isn't the next Arizona.  Our families, workers, and economy, can't afford E-Verify.

  • Stop E-Verify (HB 4024 & HB 4026)

    The anti-immigrants are at it again -- this time, they're trying to take away the ability of immigrants to work in Michigan.  

    In fact, the anti-immigrant lobby is so extreme, that their legislation will cause thousands of immigrants AND Americans to lose their jobs through a system called E-Verify.

    House Bills 4024 and 4026 will require employers to use the E-Verify system when hiring workers through a temporary staffing agency, or to work on a government contract.

    E-Verify is supposed to check new hires through a federal database to make sure that a worker is "authorized" to work in the US.

    The database is FULL of errors - between 17% and 42% of immigrants who ARE authorized to work receive false negative reports.  This includes US citizens!

    It can take weeks to correct your record with the Social Security Administration-- if your employer even tells you about the problem.  In most cases, workers are fired without explanation, and have no way to fix their record and get back on the job.  

    E-Verify will cause thousands of immigrants and Americans to lose their jobs, putting incredible strain on their families AND the social safety net during the toughest times in years.

    The end result?  Families go hungry, and bad-actor employers will turn to the underground labor market, further exploiting immigrant workers.

    Take action today-- let the Michigan House Commerice Committee know that Michigan isn't the next Arizona.  Our families, workers, and economy, can't afford E-Verify.

    Please take action today and contact the members of the Michigan House Commerce committee.

  • Relief. Reform. Respect.

    Tell President Obama:

    Don't Raise Campaign Cash From a Broken Promise

    Check out the screen shots below of the Obama Campaign's latest immigration reform strategy: fundraising!

    We woke up this morning, and checked our email.  Imagine our surprise to find an ad asking us to join an unlikely duo in their support for immigration reform:

    President Barack Obama and the owner of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch.

    We clicked the link, and were asked to make a donation to the Obama Campaign.

    We're glad to see that President Obama (and Rupert Murdoch..?) support immigration reform.  

    But raising money from this broken campaign promise is absolutely inappropriate, and insulting to the families that are being broken apart by President Obama's policies.

    President Obama has consistently refused to use his executive power to grant relief to the families of US citizens and DREAM youth facing deportation.  He has instead dumped resources into enforcement, and is on track to deport a record-number of non-criminal immigrants.  The Administration has aggresively promoted programs like 287g that give local law enforcement immigration powers, and refused to allow communities to opt-out of Secure Communities.

    ICE and Border Patrol are out of control -- surrounding elementary schools, denying pregnant women medical treatment in detention, and conducting warrant-less illegal searches of immigrants' homes.

    This is not a record to be proud of.  

    It is tasteless and exploitive for the Obama Campaign to raise money off of the suffering of immigrant families, while the President refuses to take any steps to bring those families relief.

    Please send the President a message asking him to take our demands for reform seriously, and take down the ads.

    Our families need relief -- not campaign slogans.



  • Immigration Relief for Libyan Students

     3000 Libyan students in the US are at risk of losing their immigration status.

    The funds used to pay their tuition are currently frozen by the State Department.  Without the ability to pay tuition and enroll in classes, these students will lose their immigration status very soon.

    Clearly it would be inhumane to require all of these students to return to Libya, where a civil war is being fought.

    Please take action to express your concern to your representatives.

  • Congressman Clarke: Thank You for Supporting Immigrants Rights

    Friends,

    Please help us thank Congressman Hansen Clarke for taking stand against abuse by Detroit ICE today.

    During an important hearing held by the House Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Clarke held ICE's feet to the fire, and demanded answers about abusive practices and possible racial profiling in Detroit.  Congressman Clarke specifically mentioned AIR and our civil rights work.

    As a result of YOUR organizing, our allies in Congress are working to hold ICE accountable.  The message is loud and clear: surrounding elementary schools, warrant-less searches, and abuse of immigrants in detention is simply unnacceptable.

    Take a moment to thank Congressman Clarke for standing up for immigrants' rights during committee today.  When our allies support us, the anti-immigrant movement *will* push back.  We have to be just as loud.

    Thank you,

    The AIR Team

  • I Support The 14th Amendment

     Radical legislators all across the country are attacking a cornerstone of our Constitution and Civil Rights law-- the 14th Amendment.

    They're trying to overturn this critical Constitutional protection to deny children born to immigrant parents the right to US Citizenship.

    This is a broad attack against immigrant communities and their children.  

    Most alarming, as they advance their hateful campaign against immigrants, these politicians are targeting *kids*.

    We know that our Constitution should protect diversity and work for inclusion, not divide us against each other.

    But here in Michigan, a group of legislators has introduced a resolution -encouraging- Congress to join the attack against our Constitution and immigrant children.

    We know this resolution doesn't represent our state-- take action today and let the legislature know that Michigan believes in civil rights for all.

    Please contact one of HR 30's main co-sponsors, Democrat Lesia Liss of Warren, Michigan today.  

    Our goal is to encourage Representative Liss to do the right thing and drop her co-sponsorship of the hateful HR 30.

  • Stop HB 4305 -- Michigan's New "Show me your papers" law.

    Michigan Is Not Arizona

    Tell Governor Snyder to Veto HB 4305, Michigan's Arizona Bill

    On Wednesday, anti-immigrant politicians introduced in Michigan introduced House Bill 4305.

    Modeled on Arizona's radical SB 1070, this "show me your papers" law would give police the power to stop, question and arrest people because they "look undocumented."

    This is practically an invitation for racial profiling, and jeopardizes the civil rights of all Michiganders.

    What's worse, citizens are allowed to sue police departments if they don't think that the law is being enforced aggresively enough.

    That's right-- angry anti-immigrants will have the right to decide how police should spend their time through lawsuits

    Michigan has serious problems to solve, and we need our leaders to take these issues seriously, not scapegoat immigrants.

    Take action today: send an email to Governor Snyder and let him know that Michigan is not the next Arizona.

    If we can convince Governor Snyder to declare his opposition to the bill early on, we can prevent it from going very far in the legislature.