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Petitioning NEW YORK TIMES, CNN, Associated Press, CBS, NBC, FOX News, Wall Street Journal, ABC, MSNBC, Washington Post, LA Times

Stop Calling Immigrant Prisons "Detention Centers"

My name is Sylvester Owino, and I was in “immigrant detention” for 9 years. My name is Carlos Hidalgo, and for a year and half I was incarcerated in “immigrant detention centers.” That is what the media, government, and for-profit prison companies who run these facilities call them, but in reality, these are immigrant prisons. These prisons incarcerate children, families, and members of our community.  People in immigrant prisons are not serving a sentence, but simply awaiting the outcome of our request to stay in the US. Those of us who have lived behind the locked gates and barbed wire know that the term “detention center” does not accurately describe the conditions and truth of what happens on the inside. We, who have survived these brutal places, are requesting that media organizations - The Associated Press, The New York Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and other influential media outlets, call these facilities what they are: immigrant prisons. Until we are honest about the fact that these are prisons, the inhumane conditions inside will continue to be covered up by the term “detention center,” and the corporations running the facilities will continue to make millions off of the suffering of the people inside.  If these are harmless “detention centers” … Why do they look like prisons, why are they run like prisons, and why are they owned by prison companies? We were incarcerated in facilities run by the two largest for-profit prison companies in the country. Carlos was in GEO Group’s Adelanto immigrant prison, and Sylvester in CCA’s Otay immigrant prison in San Diego, among other facilities. We both experienced countless human rights abuses. We worked for the for-profit prisons for $1 a day, cleaning and cooking. Carlos was put in solitary confinement for 6 days for organizing a hunger strike to protest inhumane treatment. Sylvester filed complaints on behalf of friends who were beaten by guards.   In Adelanto immigrant prison, 3 people have died in the last 7 months, and 6 people have attempted suicide since December 2016.  Dozens of us have gone on hunger strikes to try and change things. In order to end the abuse, we must first call them prisons and then close them. Starting with Adelanto. Sylvester & Carlos Supported by: o Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective, IEIYC o Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, ICIJ o Freedom for Immigrants

Sylvester Owino, Carlos Hidalgo, and #SchoolsNotPrisons
46,734 supporters
Closed
Petitioning CNN

Stop Reza Aslan's Hateful Show Against Hinduism

Dear CNN, We the undersigned demand that you not broadcast the show "Believer with Reza Aslan" that is to air on Sunday, 10 PM EST, which is running a segment on Hinduism. As per the preview available on your website, this segment indulges in out-of-context exotica on Hinduism by this so called scholar of religions. The show characterizes Hinduism as cannibalistic, which is a bizarre way of looking at the third largest religious community in the world. Hinduism is different from what is commonly understood as religion in the West. It needs a deeper understanding. One cannot use the religion framework that is in vogue in the academia to understand Hinduism. The Hindu spirituality encapsulates a unique knowledge system that transcends the material and the non-material. Hinduism gives complete freedom to its practitioners to pursue spiritual knowledge in a way that suits them. There is no religious authority that enforces any kind of law, any commandment, any fatwa. Hindus are governed by the law of the land as determined by a democratic polity. There is no system of shepherds, popes or mullah to tend the flock. This openness in Hinduism manifests in a plethora of practices - some of them could be seen as exotic - as per the discourse in the western parlance. Thus, necessitating a nuanced approach to understanding Hinduism in its totality first. Only then the specifics - as cited in the show - could be understood in its proper context. By decontextualizing the sect Mr. Aslan is showing, he is equating Hinduism with all other religions that are governed by a single book, which are commandments driven, which have religious bureaucracies, and have history of countless genocides committed in the Jihads and the Inquisitions. By such a portrayal of Hinduism, the showman is setting the stage for the most ghastly genocide of Hindus in America paralleled only by genocide of Native Americans, of Jews in Nazi Germany and Africans in Namibia, and so many others. The genocide against Native Americans were committed precisely because they were seen as "uncivilized" by the Europeans. Your showman is going to accomplish the same Sunday night with CNN as a platform. Sirs, the morning after, the Monday morning, when Hindu kids go to school in America, they will be bullied by their classmates as cannibals ! Some may even commit suicide. A few deranged of the society will get their guns and open fire in Hindu temples to eliminate the "cannibals" of the society. And in all these acts you as a news organization will share the responsibility. May we bring your attention to the book "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States" by Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, which documents how Native Americans were characterized by the settlers and precisely why the American genocide was committed against them. Sir, you are about to add another chapter to the book of American genocide.Stop the broadcast of Reza Aslan !

Hindu Mahasabha of America Inc.
21,458 supporters
Petitioning CNN, Donald Trump, Bill Cassidy, U.S. Senate, Clay Higgins, U.S. House of Representatives, Cedric Richmond, Anderson Cooper, Department of Homeland Security

Reunite A Couple Separated By Broken Immigration System

I. The Story Our nation's oppressive immigration system currently separates my lover, and I. Ivan came to the U.S. legally as a child with his family and grew up here in Louisiana. Our relationship dates back to when we were in high school. In 2012, Ivan, 17 at the time, departed back to Mexico to go to college for engineering. After a few years, he tried to return to the U.S. legally on many occasions; however, he was denied a visa every time. After exhausting his legal options, Ivan decided to cross the border. Consequently, he was caught, deported, and barred for only five years (with an option for a waiver). So he and I decided to make the best of the situation. After talking to lawyers to move forward, we learned the deportation secretly triggered another, far worse penalty called, The Permanent Bar. The bar states that he cannot legally return for ten years with no option for a waiver because he is being punished for unlawful presence he accrued as a minor growing up here in the states. His childhood upbringing in the U.S. was out of his control, and it is asinine for him to be banished ten years for it after committing one misdemeanor offense (setting foot on some dirt). The law does state no period in which an alien is under 18 years of age shall be taken into account for unlawful presence; however, the U.S does it anyway to apply this particular bar. The lawyers have stated not even marriage (the best option) would ensure an immediate return with The Permanent Bar involved. It is unjust, unorthodox, and inhumane.  II. What We Hope to Gain: One thing we hope to gain from this petition is sensible, humane immigration reform from Congress to eliminate and rethink these draconian immigration bars.  Americans should not have to be forced into exile or have to endure separation from their parents, children, spouses, and friends for so many years to decades. Such a punishment would be fitting for a violent offender or drug trafficker, but not for immigrants of good moral character. Congress should provide a reasonable solution to deported immigrants for humanitarian purposes so that millions of Americans are not grieving over the absence of their loved ones for a decade.  III. The Stakes We are just 22 years old. If nothing is done to help, we will be at least 32 years old by the time he can legally return. I love Ivan unconditionally. He has many friends and family here in Louisiana that miss him. He deserves to be a U.S. citizen, and we deserve to be together in the nation we both know as our home where we can live happily, build a future, get married, and carry out our long-term goals together. Life is too short and untimely to be torn apart from loved ones.That is why I urge our elected officials to fix the draconian one size fits all immigration laws, so he and others can return to be with loved ones. Signing and sharing this petition would be greatly appreciated as it may eventually change our lives.  #LetIvanComeHome #LoveAlwaysWins

Shaun Nunez
5,842 supporters
Closed
Petitioning U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President of the United States, Donald Trump, John Cornyn, Thad Cochran, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Richard Shelby, Lamar Alexander, Susan Collins, Lisa...

#SAVEH2B: Save Small & Seasonal Businesses!

PLEASE ASK CONGRESS TO #SAVEH2B AND SUPPORT IMMEDIATE CAP RELIEF!  American Small and Seasonal businesses are currently approaching their busiest season of the year and they will not be receiving their seasonal guest workers. Without these legal, temporary employees American businesses and workers are in jeaprody.  The H-2B Visa nonimmigrant program allows employers to hire foreign workers to come to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis. H-2B workers are not considered immigrants. In order to qualify for an H-2B Visa, an employer must prove that there are not sufficient U.S. Workers who are capable of performing temporary services or labor. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM AMERICANS.FACT: American workers are guaranteed first chance at every job later filled by an H-2B temporary laborer. By law, every open position must be properly advertised in the community and requires employers to hire any able and willing American workers to fill open positions. The fact is that H-2B temporary workers actually support American jobs and the U.S. economy. The H-2B program provides an opportunity for seasonal businesses to operate at a greater capacity, thereby retaining their full-time American workers and contributing more to their local economies. Additionally, temporary foreign seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. According to the American Enterprise Institute study on Immigration and American Jobs, every H-2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs on average. MYTH: EMPLOYERS DON’T EVEN TRY TO HIRE AMERICAN WORKERS TO FILL THESE TEMPORARY HARD LABOR JOBS.FACT: Employers work extremely hard to hire American workers because 1) it is dramatically cheaper to do so, and 2) the law requires that employers demonstrate that every effort has been made to hire Americans before they can start the process of trying to hire a temporary foreign laborer. Again, the fact is that the vast majority of American workers are not interested in temporary seasonal manual labor jobs. Geography is a big obstacle for many employers; for example, many resort communities don’t have a sufficient local labor pool. And, in many cases, these types of seasonal jobs may not be appropriate for high school students due to the hours or labor laws that prohibit the use of heavy machinery by minors. MYTH: PAYING HIGHER WAGES WILL ENTICE AMERICAN WORKERS AND SOLVE THE SEASONAL TEMPORARY LABOR SHORTAGE.FACT: Hourly pay for these types of jobs have gone up significantly over the last few years because employers who use the H-2B program are required to pay their H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premiumwage dictated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These temporary manual labor jobs often pay considerably more than the minimum wage, but American workers still won’t take the positions. Sadly, in many cases, employers who obey the law and use the H-2B program are often competing against businesses that choose to illegally hire undocumented immigrants and pay those workers considerably less. If wages were raised even higher, seasonal employers who use the program would not be able to sustain their businesses or their American workers. MYTH: THE H-2B PROGRAM REPRESSES WAGES FOR AMERICAN WORKERS BY PROVIDING A CHEAPER LABOR SOURCE.FACT: Hiring H-2B workers is a much move expensive and risky option. In addition to the fact employers are required to pay H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premium wage that is often well above the federal minimum wage, complying with the H-2B program is extremely costly, complicated and wrought with uncertainty due to an overly restrictive cap and a constantly changing regulatory environment. Employers turn to the H-2B program as a last resort, after extensive efforts to recruit American workers. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS AND EXACERBATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA.FACT: According the U.S. Department of Homeland Security visa overstay in the H-2B program are rare. Workers who do overstay their visas are barred from using the program ever again. The fact is that the vast majority of H-2B workers and their employers are meticulous about compliance. Not following the strict program rules means the end of a well-paying seasonal jobs that allows these workers to provide for their families and still maintain their homes in their native countries – a risk these workers are not willing to take since they generally return to the same employer year after year. Additionally, when approving H-2B visas, the U.S. Consulate confirms workers’ ties to their home countries. Further, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires employers to promptly report any H-2B workers who do not report for work or who complete their work earlier in the season than anticipated. MYTH: THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION IS UNNECESSARY.FACT: The H-2B program’s annual 66,000 cap (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is not adequate to meet the demands of a growing economy. The cap for the first half of the fiscal 2017 was reached on January 10. The second-half cap was reached on March 13, leaving many seasonal employers shut out of the program with no access to legal seasonal laborers. Without the returning worker exemption passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law by the President, many companies will have to close their businesses, lay off American workers or turn away customers.This provision is essential to the survival of small and seasonal businesses across the country and should be made permanent. An H-2B returning worker exemption is a narrow solution to a seasonal workforce shortage that focuses on workers who are valuable to their seasonal employers and who have never violated the terms of their past visas or other U.S. laws. These workers do not pose a security risk and they are not taking away jobs from Americans. For more information please visit: https://www.SaveH2b.orghttps://www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com https://youtu.be/UTYVEirlu3o   To contribute further, please contact your Congressmen/women and tweet using the hashtag: #SAVEH2B

SAVE H-2B
5,594 supporters