Beyond the Borders of Party Politicians: a solidarity statement with NIYA

•November 16, 2013 • Leave a Comment

obama_and_gutierrez2On November 4th, 2013, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who has built his political career on pushing immigration reform legislation, released a statement denouncing the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) and its leaders. The statement claims NIYA, an organization comprised and led by majority undocumented young people, has been manipulating undocumented youth and their families. The press release also links to a dossier that Gutierrez’ office created on one of NIYA’s leaders, Mohammad Abdollahi, with statements he has made on Facebook and Twitter that are critical of immigration reform and are “racist” to white people.

We, members of the Who You Callin’ Illegal collective, are emboldened and inspired by the direct actions NIYA members have engaged in to stop deportations. The unprecedented number of deportations over the past five years by President Obama are predicted to reach over two million people by 2014.

Who You Callin’ Illegal is a migrant justice, anti-deportation collective that is based in Seattle, Washington. Our values revolve around resisting criminalization, incarceration and struggles toward decolonization. We believe in the right to live, love and work unrestricted by state borders. We acknowledge that we live on stolen native lands in Coast Salish territories and we work toward building strong relationships between migrants and First Nations people. The US government, in the form of Homeland Security and ICE, has no legitimacy in determining our expulsion from these lands, especially because they have played a role in preserving the dictatorships in and destructions of our home countries.

We consist of people with varying reasons and histories for our migration here. We are each subject to the arbitrary labelling and documentation by the state. We encourage healthy debate within our group and in the broader movement toward a goal of justice and liberation, understanding that we can all have something to bring to the table toward these shared goals. This form of discussion, dialogue and debate is different from ones that are aimed at marginalizing radical voices and preserving the status quo. We insist on this distinction because we do not wish to allow our enemies to take away what is most precious to us — our ability to think critically, to learn from the past with humility and confidence, and our desire to collaborate across our experience to articulate common visions of justice and liberation.

The infiltration of detention centers to organize with incarcerated immigrants, and the #BringThemHome actions place deportation in the center of the immigration debate. These actions rightly ask, how can an administration that has deported more than 1 million people in a year, have anything constructive or decent to say about immigration reform? claudia_aura_fbHow can a proposal that invests in the expansion of Border Patrol through the placement of up to 40, 000 agents at the border, that proposes to further the racial profiling of youth of color, and the barring of undocumented people from Obamacare be seen as a “reform?” A collective refusal to be bamboozled by Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and insistence on taking action in support of the immediate struggles of migrants for freedom, from ICE, from unjust landlords and from employers, is exactly where our movement should be headed. Legislators and their peons who want to contain our struggles into a long drawn out charade between the Democrat and Republican are rightly disappointed and concerned.

NIYA has boldly resisted the false division of immigrants into good immigrant versus bad immigrant. The good immigrant is the deserving, innocent, worker bee immigrant who merits sympathy. The bad immigrant is one who does not deserve to stay because they have a criminal record. The horrors of migration, racism, poverty, sexism that brings out the worst in us are blamed on the individual person. Faced with deportation and incarceration, those who have criminal records are denied the space to heal and rehabilitate with love and support. This false division between good/bad immigrant also reinforces the idea that our presence in this country is a charity bestowed upon us by the powers that be, rather than a by product of colonization, capitalism and violence.  In our daily lives, it also causes shame and isolation around deportation, rather than unity and collective struggle for our families and loved ones..

NIYA has also served as an important resource for us in our fights against deportation. Their efforts to share their knowledge and experiences of struggle is a breath of fresh air. Supporting undocumented people and people facing deportation to fight their own fight, helps to build strong communities that have powerful possibilities beyond that of narrow reforms.

Who You Callin’ Illegal is  inviting NIYA organizers out on a tour to the Pacific Northwest. We hope everyone will be able to come and meet in person. The location dates are listed below.

Signed,

Who You Callin’ Illegal?

If you would like to sign on to this statement, please contact us at whoyoucallinillegal@gmail.com

OREGON EVENTS:

** WEDNESDAY 11/13 – Portland, Lewis & Clark College, Templeton Student Center Council Chamber, 3:30-5:00PM. Event hosted by the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies.

** THURSDAY 11/14 – Portland, University of Portland, Shiley Room 301, 5:00- 6:30PM. Event hosted by MEChA

** FRIDAY 11/15 – Portland, Rockwood Landing Apartments (19405 SE Yamhill St, Portland 97233), 6-7:30pm.  In Spanish Only. Event hosted by the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Oregon Dream Activists, and the Hella503 Collective.

** SATURDAY 11/16 – Portland, Reed College, Vollum College Center, 3:00-4:30PM. Event hosted by the Multicultural Resource Center. [https://www.facebook.com/events/1427886834093562]

** SUNDAY 11/17 – Portland, Iglesia de Santa Cruz, Holy Cross Catholic Church (5227 N Bowdoin)  1-2:30pm. In Spanish Only. Event hosted by Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Oregon Dream Activists, and the Hella503 Collective.

WASHINGTON EVENTS:

[ English PDF / English B&W PDF / English JPEG / English B&W JPEG / Spanish PDF / Spanish B&W PDF / Spanish JPEG / Spanish B&W JPEG ]

** SUNDAY 11/17 – Tacoma, Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Church (1115 S 56th St, Tac.), 9:30AM & 11:15AM (church service), 1:30-3PM (strategizing event) [https://www.facebook.com/events/177327579135728]

** MONDAY 11/18 – Olympia, Evergreen College (2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Oly.), Longhouse 1007A Noon-2PM

** WED. 11/20 – Seattle, Seattle Central Community College (Broadway & Pine) Rm MAC210, Noon – 2PM

** WED. 11/20 – Seattle, UW Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, Unity Room (3931 Brooklyn Ave NE), 630-830PM [ PDF / JPEG ] [ https://www.facebook.com/events/619267948137398 ]

** THURSDAY 11/21 – Seattle, Casa Latina (317 17th Ave S, Sea.), 530-730PM [ PDF / JPEG] [https://www.facebook.com/events/1433020563586735]

** FRIDAY 11/22 – Yakima, KDNA Station Building (121 Sunnyside Ave, Granger, WA 98932), 6-8PM

———-

Other Responses to Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s Press Release:

** DreamActivist.com’s Response to Luis Gutierrez’s Shameful Attack on Undocumented Families (11/5/13): http://www.dreamactivist.org/response-to-luis-guiterrezs-shameful-attack-on-undocumented-families/

** Prerna Lal’s Manipulation (11/5/13): http://prernalal.com/2013/11/manipulation/

** Rebeldes’ #Dream30 Leaders and Supporters Slam Gutierrez’s Accusations (11/5/13): http://www.latinorebels.com/2013/11/05/dream30-leaders-and-supporters-slam-gutierrezs-accusations/

** Tony Choi’s My Open Letter To Congressman Luis Gutierrez (11/6/13): http://www.buzzfeed.com/tonychoim/my-open-letter-to-congressman-luis-gutierrez-g96r

Book Launch for Undoing Border Imperialism

•November 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As if we needed another reason to get rid of borders!!! Maybe a US tour could happen after? 😀

There will be a Canadian book launch tour for Undoing Border Imperialism through Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and British Colombia with Harsha Walia and local panelists. We can’t wait to get a copy!!

undoing border imperialism

More info below or check it out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/402726243186942/

* Monday November 18: TORONTO. Featuring LEE MARACLE, HARSHA WALIA, and jail call from MIGRANT HUNGER STRIKERS in Lindsay detention. Event is 7 pm at Friend’s House, 60 Lowther Street (north of St.George Station), Mississauga New Credit and Haudenesaunee territory. Wheelchair accessible. ASL provided. Please contact lesley.j.wood@gmail.com before November 6th if you’ll need childcare. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/543784849029575/

* Tuesday November 19: OTTAWA, Featuring CHRIS DIXON, HARSHA WALIA, and BRIDGET TOLLEY and COLLEEN CARDINAL (Families of Sisters in Spirit). Doors are at 7 pm, Event start time at 7:30 pm sharp. Octopus Books, 251 Bank St, 2nd floor (25Onecommunity), unceded Algonquin territory. Presented by Octopus Books, OPIRG-GRIPO and NOII-Ottawa, sponsored by Public Service Alliance of Canada-National Capital Region (PSAC). Details:https://www.facebook.com/events/405255972935213/

* Thursday November 21: KINGSTON at 6:30pm in the Wilson Room at the Central Library, 130 Johnson St, Haudenesaunee & Anishinaabe territory. Presentation by HARSHA WALIA. Supported by Queen’s Cultural Studies Dept, Queen’s Society of Graduate and Professional Students & Novel Idea. Please contact janekirby2@gmail.com 48hrs in advance if you require childcare.

* Friday November 22: MONTREAL. Featuring ADIL CHARKAOUI, MOSTAFA HENAWAY, ROBYN MAYNARD, and HARSHA WALIA. Event at 5 pm, 7th floor of the Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve West), Concordia University, Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk territories https://www.facebook.com/events/355777991234112/.

* Monday November 25: ANTIGONISH. Feminists Undoing Border Imperialism with HARSHA WALIA. Event at 7 pm, Dennis Hall, St. Francis Xavier University, Mi’kmaq territories. Organized by Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association, UnSilence the Violence at StFX, Women’s and Gender Studies, Development Studies, Coady International Institute. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/542728885813655/

* Tuesday November 26: ANTIGONISH. Anti-Oppressive Feminisms and Solidarities with HARSHA WALIA. Event at noon, People’s Place Library, Mi’kmaq territories. Organized by Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association, UnSilence the Violence at StFX, Women’s and Gender Studies, Development Studies, Coady International Institute. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/542728885813655/

* Wednesday November 27: HALIFAX. Anti-Oppressive Feminisms and Solidarities with HARSHA WALIA. Event at 2:30 pm, Dalhousie University Students’ Union Building Rm. 303, Mi’kmaq territories. Event Sponsors: The Radical Imagination Project, DSU Equity and Accessibility Office, MSVU Cultural Studies Program, MSVU Canadian Studies Program. Details:https://www.facebook.com/events/176473825888258

* Wednesday November 27: HALIFAX. Movements Undoing Border Imperialism with HARSHA WALIA. Event at 6 pm, Dalhousie University Students’ Union Building Rm. 303, Mi’kmaq territories. Event Sponsors: The Radical Imagination Project, DSU Equity and Accessibility Office, MSVU Cultural Studies Program, MSVU Canadian Studies Program. Details:https://www.facebook.com/events/359778217491850

* Saturday December 7: SURREY. Speakers from Punjabi/South Asian community. Event at 2 pm, Room 418, Surrey Central Library (10350 University Drive), right next to Surrey Central Skytrain Station, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. For more info contact gurpreet_71@hotmail.com

* Sunday December 15: VANCOUVER/BURNABY at 1 pm. As part of “Bring the NOIIse: Celebrating 10 years of No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories”. Bonsor Community Center, 6550 Bonsor Avenue.Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/654064921282986/

* Additional events: If you would like to host a launch please send a message to the Facebook page’s inbox.

Books will be available for sale at these events (cash-only). The author and local contributors will be available for a book-signing following the event.

————————–

“Undoing Border Imperialism is an exciting new book that situates immigrant rights movements within a transnational analysis of capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, state building, and racialized empire. By providing the alternative conceptual frameworks of border imperialism and decolonization, this work offers relevant insights for all grassroots and social movement organizers on effective strategies to overcome the barriers and borders within our movements in order to cultivate fierce, loving, and sustainable communities of resistance striving toward liberation.” (AK Press/IAS 2013)

Visit and like:
https://www.facebook.com/undoingborderimperialism

For more information on the book, including ordering information:
http://www.akpress.org/undoing-border-imperialism.html

ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Harsha Walia has played a central role in building some of North America’s most innovative, diverse, and effective new movements. That this brilliant organizer and theorist has found time to share her wisdom in this book is a tremendous gift to us
all.”
—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

“Walia is an outstanding organizer who has done a lot of thinking and can write—not a common combination. Besides being brilliantly conceived and presented, this book is the first extended work on immigration that refuses to make First Nations
sovereignty invisible.”
—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Indians of the Americas and Blood on the Border

“One of the most rewarding things about this book is its capaciousness—astute insights that emerge out of careful organizing linked to the voices of a generation of strugglers, trying to find their own analysis to build their own movements to make this world our own. This is both a manual and a memoir, a guide to the world and a guide to the organizer’s heart.”
—Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World

“This book belongs in every wannabe revolutionary’s war backpack. This book is a breath of fresh air and offers an urgently needed movement-based praxis. Undoing Border Imperialism is too hot to be sitting on bookshelves; it will help make the revolution.”
—Ashanti Alston, Black Panther elder and former political prisoner

Press Release: Undocumented Youth Speak Out for Migrant Justice

•November 6, 2013 • 2 Comments

Seattle Color ES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Claire Flanagan / claire@pcasc.net


Undocumented Youth Speak Out for Migrant Justice


Seattle, WA – Members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance and DreamActivist.org will be speaking about the use of direct action by undocumented migrants on Wednesday, November 20th, 6:30PM – 8:30PM at the University of Washington Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, Unity Room (3931 Brooklyn Ave NE) and Thursday, November 21st, 5:30PM – 7:30PM at Casa Latina (317 17th Ave South).  These events are part of a West Coast speaking tour. Both organizations were recently featured on the June 21st episode of This American Life ( HYPERLINK “http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/498/the-one-thing-youre-not-supposed-to-do“). They will be discussing how our broken immigration system has personally impacted them, and their efforts to organize and work for immigrants’ rights. The main speakers have experience helping organize detention center infiltrations and one speaker was a member of the “Dream 9” who was detained after attempting to cross the border demanding to be let in on humanitarian grounds. Biographies of the speakers are below.

The event is being organized by Who You Callin’ Illegal, MEChA – Seattle Central Community College, MEChA – Evergreen College, Evergreen Political Information Center (EPIC), Washington Incarceration Stops Here (WISH), and the Tahoma Unitarian Universality Congregation.

Dulce Guerrero was born in Mexico and migrated to the state of Georgia along with her family at the age of two. Growing up she knew that the threat of deportation and family separation was real, but never imagined that it would hit so close to home. In January 2011, Dulce became involved in immigrant’s rights after a traffic violation landed her mother in jail. She is currently an Undocumented youth organizer and the Secure Your Own Community trainer for NIYA. From organizing walk outs, to stopping deportations and participating in civil disobedience Dulce has become active in defending the community which she has been a part of for the last 18 years.

Luis Leon was born in Veracruz, Mexico. At 5 years old, his family moved to North Carolina where he lived until finishing high school in 2011. Not able to afford college due to his immigration status, Luis’ family decided that he would go back to México on his own and continue his educational career there. After he received the news that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was passed, he resolved to come back to the US  and return to his home. In July of 2013 Luis got the opportunity to be part of the Dream 9.  This group of undocumented youths, who had been deported because of their immigration status, attempted to cross the US border demanding to be let in on humanitarian grounds. Along with the rest of the Dream 9, he was detained and spent 15 days in Eloy Detention center. Through the organizing of NIYA and other organizations, he and the rest of the Dream 9 were released and allowed to return to their homes in the United States.

– END–

Undocumented Youth event - Casa

Undocumented Youth event - UW

Update on the Undocumented, Unafraid Speaking Tour

•November 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment
IMG_1290
The Sin Papeles, Sin Miedo! / Undocumented, Unafraid! west coast speaking tour, featuring members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), is entering its second week! (More info on the speakers here.)
Week one was spent in Arizona. Two great events in Flagstaff were organized, with over 100 people attending one of them! Next up was Tucson with a couple more events organized and time to connect with Dream30 families and learn about local direct actions.
The tour has continued to Southern California for the second week to hit up Los Angeles and Irvine. They’ll be speaking in classrooms, on the radio, and at the UCLA Labor Center early this week. To read about their upcoming events in California, Oregon, and Washington check out the list below!  Adelante!

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### Southern California Events ###

** THURSDAY 11/7 – LOS ANGELES – 1:30-3:10pm – California State University Los Angeles ET 129 – Event hosted by SURGE

** THURSDAY 11/7 – IRVINE – 7:00-9:00pm – University of California Irvine at Balboa Island A –  Event hosted by UC Irvine Worker-Student Alliance

 

### Bay Area (California) Events ###

** SATURDAY 11/9 – Berkeley, La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave Berkeley, CA 94705), 8:30-10:30PM [https://www.facebook.com/events/1384702711769123]

** SUNDAY 11/10 – Oakland, Bay Area Public School (2141 Broadway, Oakland, CA), 5-7PM [https://www.facebook.com/events/226972720801009]

** TUESDAY 11/12 – Hayward, CalState EastBay Diversity Center (25800 Carlos Bee Blvd), Noon – 1:30PM


### Oregon Events ###

** WEDNESDAY 11/13 – Portland, Lewis & Clark College, Templeton Student Center Council Chamber, 3:30-5:00PM. Event hosted by the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies.

** THURSDAY 11/14 – Portland, University of Portland, Shiley Room 301, 5:00- 6:30PM. Event hosted by MEChA

** FRIDAY 11/15 – Portland, Rockwood Landing Apartments (19405 SE Yamhill St, Portland 97233), 6-7:30pm.  In Spanish Only. Event hosted by the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Oregon Dream Activists, and the Hella503 Collective.

** SATURDAY 11/16 – Portland, Reed College, Vollum College Center, 3:00-4:30PM. Event hosted by the Multicultural Resource Center. [https://www.facebook.com/events/1427886834093562]

** SUNDAY 11/17 – Portland, Iglesia de Santa Cruz, Holy Cross Catholic Church (5227 N Bowdoin)  1-2:30pm. In Spanish Only. Event hosted by Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Oregon Dream Activists, and the Hella503 Collective.


### Washington Events ###

English PDF / English B&W PDF English JPEG / English B&W JPEG / Spanish PDF / Spanish B&W PDF Spanish JPEG / Spanish B&W JPEG ]

** SUNDAY 11/17 – Tacoma, Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Church (1115 S 56th St, Tac.), 9:30AM & 11:15AM (church service), 1:30-3PM (strategizing event) [https://www.facebook.com/events/177327579135728]

** MONDAY 11/18 – Olympia, Evergreen College (2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Oly.), Longhouse 1007A Noon-2PM

** WED. 11/20 – Seattle, Seattle Central Community College (Broadway & Pine) Rm MAC210, Noon – 2PM
** WED. 11/20 – Seattle, UW Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, Unity Room (3931 Brooklyn Ave NE), 630-830PM [ PDF / JPEG ] [ https://www.facebook.com/events/619267948137398 ]

** THURSDAY 11/21 – Seattle, Casa Latina (317 17th Ave S, Sea.), 530-730PM [ PDF / JPEG ] [https://www.facebook.com/events/1433020563586735]

** FRIDAY 11/22 – Yakima, KDNA Station Building (121 Sunnyside Ave, Granger, WA 98932), 6-8PM

Sponsoring Washington Organizations: Who You Callin’ Illegal, Tahoma Unitarian Universalist Congregation, MEChA – Evergreen, Evergreen Political Information Center (EPIC), MEChA – Seattle Central Community College, Washington Incarceration Stops Here (WISH), the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies – UW, the UW Diversity Research Institute, UW Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UW Law, Societies and Justice Department, UW American Ethnic Studies, the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.

Seattle Color ES

DETAINED FOR RECOVERING? TELL ICE TO FREE GRANDMA AGGIE!

•October 8, 2013 • 2 Comments


Sign her petition here!

Grandma Aggie has lived in the US with a green card for nearly 50 years!

On Aggie’s latest visit to the immigration office to renew her green card, she was detained after sharing her story of recovery from alcoholism.

Two years of sobriety and active membership in a twelve step recovery program do not make Grandma Aggie a priority for deportation!

Sign the petition and Make a call to Free Grandma Aggie!

Call Washington ICE @ (253) 779-6000

Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100

Sample Script: 
“Hi, I’m calling to ask for the immediate release of Agnes Reese (A# 013-903-014) who is detained at Northwest Detention Center. She has lived in the US with a green card for nearly 50 years and has no criminal record. Why is Agnes still detained?”

Aggie

Don’t Deport Rigo!

•June 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Don't Deport Rigo!

No to the Jail to Deportation pipeline!

•May 1, 2013 • 1 Comment

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/135946356594247/

Tell the King County Council to lift ALL ICE holds!

Monday, May 13th @1PM Meet at 3rd and James.

At about 1:15PM we will head up together to the 12th floor where the King County Council meets.

King County Adult Jail and Juvenile Detention Center VOLUNTARILY detains immigrants for ICE for deportation with / without conviction.

In 2012, 986 people were detained and deported through the KC Jail.

fb: Facebook.com/WhoYouCallinIllegal
web: whoyoucallinillegal.org
phone: 206-971-9100

ICEHoldsFlierMay1-page-001ICEHoldsFlierMay1-page-002

Text of flyer reads:

Why Say No to ICE Holds?

** The jail sends people to ICE for deportation after their sentence is served.

> The goal of the Criminal Justice System is not rehabilitative. It is to punish and to make money. Deportation is an extension of this logic.

** Honoring ICE detainer requests significantly extends jail stays

> Average jail stay for people subject to ICE detainer request was about 1 month longer.
> For those charged with a felony offense, the stay was about 2 months longer

** ICE detainers target people without serious criminal
charges and histories

> 50% of people subjected to ICE detainers have only a misdemeanor
> 13% of people subject to ICE detainer were not charged with a crime before transfer to ICE for deportation

** King County is not repaid for the cost of detaining
immigrants.

> In 2011: KC Jail spent $3 million to detain immigrants for ICE. This amount was not reimbursed. Not honoring ICE detainer requests would save local government $1.8 million/year

** Racial Profiling of Latin@ people

> ~ 30% of people who were detained by ICE upon release
from jail are Latin@
> The KC Juvenile Detention Center collaborates with ICE
on transferring immigrant YOUTH for deportation.