Petition to 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. 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 Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, CIVIC
Petition to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Secrurity, President of the United States, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Urgent: Stop Deportation of Francisco Javier Gonzalez, husband & father of 3 U.S. citizens
We have less than two weeks to stop the deportation of Francisco Javier Gonzalez, the father and SOLE breadwinner for 3 U.S. citizen children and his U.S. citizen wife – who desperately need him to stay in the United States. Sign this petition to stop Francisco from being taken away from his family on October 3rd. Francisco Javier Gonzalez could be deported back to Mexico as soon as October 3, 2017. Francisco came to the United States when he was only 15 in February of 1997. He was alone in this country and worked hard to get an education, graduating from high school and continuing his education in college. Francisco was unable to graduate from college because at the time they required a valid state identification which Francisco was unable to obtain due to his lack of legal status in the United States. Despite this setback, he worked hard and succeeded in the United States. Francisco speaks perfect English and has NO CRIMINAL HISTORY IN THE US or any other country in the world. He obtained his education, works hard, pays his taxes and lives an exemplary life abiding by all US laws. Francisco has never been back to his native country Mexico since his last arrival in January of 2002. He has made the United States of America his home and is now a loving husband and father to three beautiful daughters in Florida. Sign this petition now to stop Francisco’s from being deported on October 3rd. Francisco met his wife in 2005 while both were working in a restaurant in Palm Beach, Florida. They fell in love and were married in 2006. Eleven years later, their love continues to grow. They have three amazing daughters together, ages 10, 7, and 5. The girls’ futures will be seriously compromised if he is removed. Were they to remain in the U.S. without their father, the girls would suffer extreme emotional and psychological damage from the breakup of their solid family dynamic and the absence of their hero—their father. Francisco has been and continues to be a key player in the success of his employer. He manages a prestigious restaurant in Palm Beach, FL. Through his hard work and dedication, the business has grown to three times its size from when Francisco took over. Francisco is loved and respected by everyone, he has made many friends and many of the usual customers have formed bonds and relationships with Francisco and his family. Francisco is a person of good moral character who deserves a chance to present his immigration case before Immigration Court with a council. He attends church every Sunday and is very involved in his community. He is the sole economic provider for his family. Sign the petition to respectfully request that Mr. Francisco Javier Gonzalez’s deportation be stopped, according to the new guidelines for prosecutorial discretion. Then, please take a few minutes to call: Vladimir Diaz, DHS/ICE Public Affairs Officer: (954) 236-4909. Honorable Representative Lois Frankel: Toll Free (866) 264-0957 Frankel’s Washington, DC Office – (202) 225-9890 Frankel’s Boca Raton, FL Office – (561) 998-9045/Fax: (561) 998-9048 Bill Nelson, FL Senator - (202) 224-5274 Say: "I am calling to ask that Francisco Javier Gonzalez deportation be stopped, and that he be granted discretion and a stay of deportation. His A number is 078-994-383. Thank you."
Petition to Chris Shananhan AFCC (Executive Director, Association of Family Conciliation Courts), Irish Government, Council of Europe, Comissioner for Human Rights, American Department of Justice, Peter Salem, Frances Fitzgerald, Leslye Hunter, Judge John L. Grandsaert, Nora Campos, Kevin F. O'Malley, Roisin O'Shea, Senator Mark Daly, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Kevin Mullin, Senator Jerry Hill, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Justice John Quirke, Nils Muižnieks, Joe McHugh, Brian Crowley, Matt Carthy, Nessa Childers, Lynn Boylan
Stop American Family Court Bias Against Irish Immigrant Mother
My name is Roisin Cassidy. I was a custodial mother of my two children for 15 years, currently aged 15 and 11. I've always been a devoted mother, and all I have ever wanted to do was to co parent my children. Nonetheless, their wealthy abusive father asked for sole custody and was successful, by means of a custody report that I believe to be inaccurate and biased, conducted by Dr. Ken B. Perlmutter. This report was signed into a court order by Judge Raymond Swope, San Mateo. I was not permitted to present my evidence in court. This is not a case of substance abuse, mental illness or parental deficiencies. After leaving an abusive marriage, my children and I were subjected to years of expensive litigation and harassment, as well as two custody evaluations by Ken Perlmutter PhD, Palo Alto. These custody evaluations placed me and the children under a microscope for years to the point where I had to account for every decision I made no matter how small and for each and every incident that occurred in our daily lives no matter how trivial. If I was five minutes late for a doctor's appointment, I had to explain why in detail. In his custody report Dr. Perlmutter made many untrue and outrageous statements and conclusions. One example is Dr. Perlmutter stated numerous times in his report that I suffer from intellectual deficits, even though he had no scientific evidence to support this and despite the fact that my IQ has measured at 128. Dr. Perlmutter even went so far as to tell my children in front of me that me their mother suffers from an intellectual deficit and that they would be better off being raised by their father Stephen Tyrrell and his partner Diane Smith Jordan. I was forced by court order to sit in silence while Perlmutter degraded me to my children. Dr. Perlmutter gloated and yelled at me while I had tears streaming down my face during his interrogations. The fact one of my complaints against the father to Perlmutter was that he often referred to me as retarded in front of our children was completely ignored and seen as appropriate parenting by Dr. Perlmutter. Recently, after five years of expensive litigation all instigated by the father Stephen Tyrrell, I simply ran out of money and could not continue to defend myself from the constant untrue accusations from the father and his legal team. My children and I had less than 48 hours to say good-bye, and they were uprooted from their Bay Area home and moved out of state. I have not seen my children since, and have only had limited sporadic phone contact. I was fined over $50,000 in court costs, I was accused of having a frivolous defense even though my evidence was not permitted by the court. Parents often lose their children to the parents who abused them, and mistreated them by means of legal and financial abuse. Ken Perlmutter is a member of the Association of Family Conciliation Courts, an organization of family law professionals that have recently come to Ireland via ARC mediation in Waterford, Ireland. The AFCC does not believe in holding their professionals accountable and do not investigate complaints against their members. I wish to enlighten Irish parents of the possible removal of due process when entering mediation with professionals associated with the AFCC. I am requesting that the AFCC change their rules to allow for me to file a complaint against and investigate what I believe to be a biased and inaccurate evaluation. I also request that shared parenting be restored.
Petition to An immigration judge, People's Support
Jose was brought to the U.S. as a child. Help him get a visa to stay.
My boyfriend Jose was brought to United States by his undocumented father when he was 13 years old. He’s a remarkable person and a great student, despite living in an abusive household with his dad. Jose’s father wanted him to work full-time for no pay rather than attend school. Jose wanted an education, so his father kicked him out at age 17. After getting kicked out of his abusive home, Jose worked to support himself while continuing to go to school. His ultimate goal was to attend college and become a dentist. Those dreams are now in danger of being permanently derailed. We were driving to an Easter Sunday gathering when Jose was pulled over for a traffic violation. He was arrested when he couldn’t produce a license. He now faces deportation proceedings. We are now working to get him out of police custody and desperately want him to remain in the U.S. We’re trying to get a U-visa (for victims/survivors of family violence) for Jose. Jose is NOT a criminal. He’s a hard-working young man who’s made the very best of difficult family circumstances -- and continued to fight to make a life and a better future for himself. He deserves safety and a chance to go to college and contribute to this country -- not jail and deportation. Please sign the petition and help us get a U-visa for Jose today.
Petition to US Congress, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, California State House, California State Senate, President of the United States, California Governor
US Congress, Department of Homeland Security: Legalize stateless persons in the United States
The United States is home to estimated 4,000 stateless persons who live in limbo and have their human rights violated, and a lot of restrictions imposed on them since they are citizens of nowhere. There are two very important documents that protect stateless persons, UN 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and UN 1961 Convention Related to the Reduction of Statelessness, and U.S. is not a signatory member of any of those. Statelessness is crime against humanity and we have to do everything in our power to protect and prevent statelessness from happening. Most people take passports for granted but stateless persons who consider “unwanted”, “unrecognized” in our society. We tend to believe that statelessness does not exist in our country because all media shifted their attention to undocumented immigrants without covering statelessness issue. Domestically, we also promote statelessness by allowing US citizens to renounce their citizenship on voluntary basis even though they do not have any other citizenship or permanent residency from other nation. This should not be happening. This is not protection against statelessness but promotion of statelessness on voluntary basis. This video was shot by UNHCR highlighting the issue of statelessness in the United States. I want to share my story with you as exactly how it had happened to me. On December 29, 2011 it will be one year since I got stuck in US territory of American Samoa and no actions were taken so far. Just imagine yourself in the situation when you travel on vacation somewhere and were not allowed to return back to your home forever. Imagine not having citizenship and not being protected by any government; no consulate or embassy to run to and seek help or assistance because you are “nobody”.
Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State
Help save Ehsan, the interpreter in Afghanistan who helped US troops
Thanks to a previous Change.org petition, I was able to help Janis Shinwari, my interpreter while I served as a base intelligence officer in Afghanistan, secure a visa to resettle in the US after he was stuck for years in bureaucratic red tape. Now I need your help again to save my other interpreter, Ehsan. While serving in Iraq in 2008, I learned that the help of local Afghan nationals like Janis and Ehsan was critical to our effort. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. It wasn’t until after my service, when I learned that Janis’ life was in danger as he was placed on a Taliban kill list because of his work to help US troops, that I truly understand how much these brave individuals put on the line. Every day, many of these interpreters live in fear that they or their families will be harmed in retaliation for their efforts -- a very real and deadly threat. Like Janis, Ehsan is an amazing man. During our time together, Ehsan helped my unit and I interdict over 7 tons (millions of dollars worth) of drugs used by the Taliban to fund their attacks. The Taliban know this and as a result placed him on their kill list. Without our help, he could die. Luckily, the US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are set to expire in the coming months unless Congress takes action to renew them. When my previous campaign took off, Janis’ application started moving faster and now Janis has his visa to safety. I don't think I've ever heard him as happy as when he finally received his visa. Ehsan, my other interpreter, heard all about our efforts to help Janis and contacted me begging that I do for him what I did for Janis. Ehsan submitted his application to the US Embassy in Kabul in June 2012 but he’s still waiting for his visa. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Ehsan leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. Together, we can help make that happen.
Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State
Save my Afghan interpreter
When I served as an Embedded Combat Adviser in Afghanistan, my interpreter, Janis Shinwari, saved my life. Now I need you to help me save Janis’ life. In 2008, Janis and I were caught in the middle of a firefight. He took swift action when a combatant shot at me. But beyond that specific incident, Janis served a critical role for me and all of the other troops serving in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. However, because they are so visible in their communities, many interpreters have become targets for violence. Janis knows for a fact that the Taliban has added his name to a kill list and he is in constant danger. For the moment, he is living safely on an army base, but he needs to leave the country immediately to ensure his safety and that of his family. The US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters like Janis are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are weeks away from expiring unless Congress takes action to renew them. Janis began his application for a US Visa in 2011. Today, he is still waiting for the US Embassy in Kabul to issue him the visa he has earned. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Janis leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. I know first hand how critical interpreters like Janis are to our troops serving overseas. It’s time that the US do the right thing and help Janis escape the dangerous situation he’s in because of the work that he did for our country. Please join me in calling on the US Embassy in Kabul and the State Department to help save Janis life by issuing his visa immediately.
Petition to Shaker Heights City Council
Make Shaker Heights a Sanctuary City
As a group of Shaker Heights residents from diverse backgrounds, we are asking our City Council to join San Francisco, Cincinnati, Columbus, and dozens of other municipalities across the country by declaring Shaker Heights a Sanctuary City. The full text of this resolution can be found below. If you currently reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio, please join us in supporting this resolution by signing this petition and sharing it with your friends and neighbors. *** A resolution to ensure Shaker Heights remains a welcoming and inclusive city for all immigrants to live, work, or visit by declaring Shaker Heights a Sanctuary City; and requesting the Administration of Shaker Heights adopt policies that further the City’s role as a Sanctuary City. Whereas on Wednesday January 25, 2017, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order, announcing a massive expansion of interior immigration enforcement directing Department of Homeland Security personnel to arrest, apprehend, and initiate enforcement actions against “any alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe” has violated immigration laws; Whereas on Friday January 29, 2017, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order temporarily banning entry into the United States for migrants and legal residents of the United States from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen, and for migrants and refugees from across the globe; Whereas these Executive Orders are anathema to our shared values as a nation of immigrants; Whereas in Shaker Heights, as in the United States, our success depends on making sure that all residents feel safe and welcome; Whereas Shaker Heights always has been and continues to be a welcoming city to everyone, including immigrants; Whereas the Shaker Heights City School District has a long and proud history of valuing and supporting diversity in its students and its teachings, committing to graduating students with a knowledge of a global and multicultural society; and Whereas this Council and the citizens of Shaker Heights understand that by recognizing the contributions all of us make to create a vibrant culture and a growing economy, we make our city, and our country, more prosperous and inclusive; now, therefore, be it Resolved, by the Shaker Heights City Council of Ohio, that: 1. the City of Shaker Heights declares itself to be a sanctuary city; 2. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall not stop, question, interrogate, investigate, or arrest an individual based solely on actual or suspected immigration or citizenship status; 3. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall not inquire about the immigration status of an individual, including a crime victim, a witness, or a person who calls or approaches the police seeking assistance, unless necessary to investigate criminal activity by that individual; 4. personnel of the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall not inquire about or request proof of immigration status or citizenship when providing services or benefits, except where the receipt of such services or benefits are contingent upon one’s immigration or citizenship status or where inquiries are otherwise lawfully required by federal, state, or local laws; 5. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall limit the information collected from individuals concerning immigration or citizenship status to that necessary to perform department duties and shall prohibit the use or disclosure of such information in any manner that violates federal, state, or local law; 6. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department may not use city or department monies, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or national origin; 7. individuals in the custody of the Police Department of Shaker Heights shall be subject to the same booking, processing, release, and transfer procedures, policies, and practices of the department, regardless of actual or suspected citizenship or immigration status; 8. the Police Department of the City of Shaker Heights shall not perform the functions of a federal immigration officer or otherwise engage in the enforcement of federal immigration law; 9. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall refuse any request from a state or federal agency that is not accompanied by a judicial warrant to determine a resident’s or visitor’s immigration status solely for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws; and 10. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall refuse any requests that that are extensions of any federal immigration police enforcement actions and shall not enter into any agreements to carry out federal enforcement actions, but leave such actions to federal authorities.