NEWS & UPDATES
Membership Meeting Program Now Available
The agenda for the RWG National Membership Meeting includes a Speak Out action, plenary sessions, a keynote address, caucus space, and workshops on some of the following topics:
Click here to view the program and session descriptions.
Face the Truth Campaign Updates
Alamance County Pattern and Practice Investigation and Changes to 287(g) and Secure Communities
In 2010, Rights Working Group staff worked with the ACLU of North Carolina and other local members to compile 287(g)-related complaints and submit them to the Department of Justice. In September, DOJ released findings of its investigation of the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO). Read more about the DOJ’s findings on racial profiling in Alamance County, which included findings that ACSO engages in a pattern of discriminatory conduct targeting Latinos. In response to the findings, the Department of Homeland Security has terminated ACSO’s participation in the 287(g) Program and has restricted ACSO’s access to the Secure Communities Program.
Senate Holds Hearing on Hate Crimes
In September, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights held a hearing entitled “Hate Crimes and the Threat of Domestic Extremism,” in response to the attacks this summer at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Witness testimony is available online. Through the outreach efforts of many RWG members, including SAALT, Sikh Coalition, Muslim Advocates, and many others, over 400 people attended the hearing and heard powerful testimony about how individuals, families and communities can grow in the aftermath of hate crimes. As expressed in a coalition letter, civil and human rights groups are now calling for President Obama to take up the subject of hate crimes in a presidential summit. Read RWG’s Statement for the Record submitted for the hearing.
Court Clears the Way for Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” Law to go into Effect
Also in September, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton signed a formal order that lifted the injunction that had blocked implementation of section 2(B) of Arizona’s SB 1070. This racial profiling provision requires police to demand papers and investigate the immigration status of anyone they stop and have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is undocumented.
Rights Working Group members--the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian American Justice Center and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund--who are challenging the law on civil rights grounds, then petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to issue another injunction to block implementation of the law. But in late September, the federal appeals court denied this motion for an injunction to stop Arizona from implementing or using 2(B), the racial profiling provision of SB1070. RWG encourages Arizona residents who are stopped by law enforcement to document any discriminatory behavior by law enforcement officers that could support further civil rights litigation seeking to overturn this discriminatory law.
RWG Joins Coalition of 72 Other Organizations in Calling for the End to 287(g), the Discriminatory Federal Immigration Enforcement Program
RWG, joined 72 other immigrant and civil rights groups and individuals, in September calling for an end to the discriminatory federal immigration enforcement program, known as 287(g). This notorious and widely discredited program, in which state and local law enforcement agencies are deputized to perform federal immigration functions, has been proven to result in racial profiling, particularly involving Latinos. To see the letter to Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Morton, click here.
Policy Associate RWG is seeking a Policy Associate to join our dynamic multi-disciplinary collaborative team of nine to provide critical policy support. View the job announcement.
RWG Proactive Team Leads Strategy Sessions in Rhode Island
Last month, RWG’s field team led two strategy sessions in Providence, RI with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Racial Profiling, a diverse coalition working to pass anti-racial profiling legislation in the state. RWG members, the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM, pictured above) and Olneyville Neighborhood Association (ONA) participated in the sessions. Read more on the Proactive Team.
“Privacy, Surveillance, and Racial Profiling” Membership Call Audio Available
This RWG membership call addressed the effects of government surveillance on communities of color. The call featured Princeton Professor Imani Perry, Deborah Peterson Small, Executive Director of Break the Chains: Communities of Color and the War on Drugs, and by FN, an affected community member from Desis Rising Up and Moving (recording of FN not available). Click here to listen to the recording of the call.
Proactive Team Call on Messaging for Racial Profiling Legislation
In early October, RWG hosted a proactive team call that focused on ways to approach messaging to state legislators to move racial profiling legislation forward. Speakers included: Suman Raghunathan, Progressive States Network; Candis Tolliver, New York Civil Liberties Union; and Terry Keleher, Applied Research Center. In addition, Connie Utada, state legislative director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, discussed profiling of LGBTQ community members and how anti-racial profiling advocates can build connections to end all forms of law enforcement profiling.
Do you have stories of racial profiling to share?
In the course of our organizing, policy, and communications work, it is often important to share stories of the different ways that racial profiling affects communities across the country. The Faces of Racial Profiling story collection project will showcase examples of racial profiling from around the country in different contexts, including: stop-and-frisk, driving while black or brown, immigration enforcement, border security, surveillance, and national security. Do you have a documentation project, clients with strong stories, or members who are willing to share their stories of racial profiling? Contact Sian OFaolain if you are interested in learning more about this collaboration.
Operation Streamline: Costs and Consequences by Grassroots Leadership
Families Unlocking Futures: Solutions to the Crisis in Juvenile Justice by Justice for Families
Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive. Unsafe. Unnecessary by Justice Strategies
Dollars and Detainees: The Growth of For-Profit Detention by The Sentencing Project
Report on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 by The Constitution Project’s Liberty and Security Committee
Operation Streamline: Unproven Benefits Outweighed by Cost to Taxpayers by National Immigration Forum
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Oct. 5 - 7: Criminal Justice Network for Youth Midwest Regional Conference in Lake Lawn Resort Delevan, WI.
Oct. 18: America Courage Awards hosted by the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, DC.
Nov. 12 – 13: 2012 RWG Membership Meeting co-hosted by Rights Working Group and OneAmerica in Seattle, WA.
Nov. 15 – 17: Facing Race 2012 hosted by the Applied Research Center in Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 15 - 17: 2012 NNAAC Leadership Institute hosted by the National Network of Arab American Communities in Philadelphia, PA.
Dec. 9 – 11: Southern Human Rights Organizers Conference in Charleston, SC.
Dec. 10: Liberty and Justice for All 2012 Statewide Immigrant Advocacy & Organizing Conference hosted by the California Immigrant Policy Center in San Francisco, CA.