Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Deported for selling tamales? In California? PETITION: Governor Brown, Sign the TRUST Act

For anyone who may be insterested in continuing to be aware of these injustices or maybe get more involved, at least an opportunity to be aware that these tragedies continue unabated throughout the country and wishing that more than a few would sign the petition. Our long range hope is that in spite of the Latin-American community bitter cynicism and hurt (It can be perceived in Ruben Navarrete's piece), President Obama and progressive legislators who still have a soul, are reelected. There is much hope and fear that absent that, i.e. Romney and regressive legislators are reelected, we are left with not much else than prayers to alliviate the suffering.

Ruben Navarrette Jr. piece on this incident which goes into many details on these issue.
Don't deport the 'tamale lady'
San Diego, California (CNN) -- Juana Reyes didn't think that selling chicken, pork and chili cheese tamales would buy her a one-way ticket out of the country. But it just might.
Reyes is a Sacramento, California, woman who the media is calling "the tamale lady." A 46-year-old single mother of two and illegal immigrant, Reyes faces deportation by the Obama administration.
So what's the problem? Aren't illegal immigrants supposed to be deported?
Sure. But there are rules to the game, and the administration keeps breaking them. This case undermines the claim that the immigration crackdown is targeting hardened criminals.
Reyes' trouble started on June 28 when she was arrested outside a Walmart by Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies and charged with trespassing and interfering with a business.
What exactly was the interference? Reyes is unemployed. She was selling tamales so she could buy food and clothes for her two children -- 10-year-old Cesar and 7-year-old Montserrat, both of whom were born in the United States.
Think about it. This woman wasn't holding a handmade sign that read: "Will work for food." She was working by making food and selling it.
PETITION: Governor Brown, Sign the TRUST ActDeported for selling tamales?

Juana Reyes, a mother of two, faces possible deportation after an arrest for trespassing.Juana Reyes was arrested last month for selling tamales without a permit in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Now she’s facing deportation back to Mexico, even though she’ 
s been in the country for 20 years and she’s the sole provider for her two US citizen kids.

Sounds like something that would happen in Sheriff Joe’s Arizona, right? Wrong! This happened right in California’s capital, Sacramento.
Juana was held in jail for 13 days, and her two kids, both US citizens, were put in foster care. Who knows what will happen to them if she’s deported?
California may not have a tough anti-immigrant law like Arizona or Alabama -- but for Juana and her family, we might as well.
Last year, in California alone, 75,000 immigrants like Juana were deported after being arrested for traffic offenses, selling food without permits or other trivial violations, through a federal immigration program called “Secure Communities.”
You and I both know that California is better than this. We should not be rounding up immigrants in traffic stops or for the “crime” of trying to make a better life for their kids. That’s why we’re working to pass the TRUST Act, which would keep the so-called “Secure Communities” program in California from putting hardworking moms and dads on the fast-track to deportation.
While extremists in Arizona have passed laws that make a suspect out of anyone who looks “foreign,” California is poised to take a different approach. If the TRUST Act becomes law, California would set a new bar as a state where immigrants stopped for a broken taillight or for selling tamales on the street won’t automatically be put into deportation.
The TRUST Act would maintain immigration holds for those convicted of a serious felony, but mothers and fathers who get picked up for minor reasons wouldn’t have to worry about ending up in immigration detention or deportation. Think of all those families who won’t have to live in constant fear of the police!
The TRUST Act has already passed the California legislature. Now, all eyes are on Gov. Jerry Brown.
Ask Governor Brown to sign the TRUST Act today.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Speak up to petition the SFBOS to Reintate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to his elected post, with full powers, benefits and any due back pay - Tuesday July 31, 2012
A still small group of Latin American community residents of San Francisco, friends and allies in other ethnic groups or communities, have committed to be at the meeting and during the Public Comment section speak in favor of and/or petition the Honorable Board of Supervisors To Reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to his elected post, with full powers, benefits and all due back pay ; for anyone else that would want to also speak up, she/he will not be alone. We feel it is important to let the SFBOS know our opinion and wishes for the outcome of this matter.

In the conversations amongst us, we have come to agree that the July 31st, meeting is surely The One not to miss. The outcome on hearings related to the charge of Official misconduct by the Sheriff is still wide open and anything may/can happen.

Since it was not completely clear how we could proceed to communicate our concerns related to the Official Misconduct charges against our Sheriff, Ms. Vivian Imperiale volunteered to contact the Office of the Clerk of the Board, Ms. Angela Calvillo, to get the official explanation to our questions.
She called and gave us her report on what she was informed. Our thanks to much respected and loved friend Viv.
In the Agenda for the July 31st Hearing, there will be two Public Comment sections and we feel it is important to differentiate each public comments section so we can direct our comments to specifically address in the appropriate section any concerns that we may have:
Agenda Item # 62, "Public Comment", should start around 3:30 p.m. - The Hearing itself starts at 2:00 p.m. in The Legislative Chamber, room 250, at SF City Hall, this is the regular 'General Public Comments'; It is here where any concern or interest on any given issue can be raised to the Board; including petition them to address or take action in any issue or concern that members of the public may have; 

Agenda Item # 71, [Establishing Process for Official Misconduct Hearing], has its own Public Comment section, but the comments should be to specifically (ONLY) address concerns or questions about the Process that the SFBOS will set up for the Hearing after the Board receives the Ethics Commission's recommendations. (As per City Charter, this matter should be handled by the Board within 30 days after the date that the EC's Recommendations are received by the Board.) The Ethics Commission will hold what should be their last Hearing on the matter on August 16th (We will be present at that Hearing too)

For anyone interested in a more detailed understanding of what may happen in a SFBOS meeting on Item # 71 and that in the words of its President "... But we, of course, are free to discuss it next week and amend it if we so desire" Opens all kinds of possibilities, and for anyone who may want to consider on aspects of the Process the SFBOS will set up which are in need of attention and that could be subjected to amendment and implementation, we feel that these should be raised and it is here where it can/could be done.

We include for your perusal, review or analysis, materials related to the case in the event that it can be useful to somebody, including short descriptions/arguments on some points which raise grave concerns for the ones interested in a fair and just process on a precedent-setting matter, which will have serious impact on City Government's policies, practices and any future legislation, or voters' initiative(s) that may need to be passed to address an extremely problematic section in the City Charter, primarily due to its lack of specificity in dealing with vital issues of City Life; specifically, the power granted to the Mayor to make rulings or directives over duly elected officials. The potential for abuse of the provisions in this charter are patently clear, and in the opinion of an ever-growing segment of the SF population, this is exactly what Mayor Lee is doing in this case, which is to use City Government's Agencies in pursuit of a political power grab agenda regardless of the damage it can inflict as a result, or the implications in regards to policy-making decisions it will certainly have.
(included below for anyone interested in getting just a general (partial) overview of our positions)

SF Board of Supervisors set to approve process to hear SF Sheriff R. Mirkarimi misconduct charges [1:40 min.]

Agenda Item # 71
Resolution File # 120808

The 31st is their last meeting before their Recess, August 7* ,14, 21, 28
* The Board is constrained by certain administrative deadlines in relation to the passing of the 2012-2013 budget and may decide to meet on August 7 solely to consider an override vote should the Mayor veto the annual budget.

The Ethics Commission's hearings are complete and on August 16TH, they will meet to deliberate, and if their recommendation is to sustain the Mayor's charges, they "...Shall transmit the full record of the hearings to the SFBOS" Which will have 30 days in which to handle this matter from the date it receives the full record from The Ethics Commission, which depending on such date, the hearing where the process they will set up on July 31st meeting would be followed / implemented, could be in one of these dates, September 4, 11, 18, 25 - In all likehood, the 4th and/or 11th would be chosen in order to be within the 30 days to make "... A final decision" (?)



I. ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT ..........................

A. Sheriff Mirkarimi Commits Domestic Violence ..........................
UNTRUE, Sheriff Mirkarimi was not charged with a domestic violence crime, the fact is that he was charged, tried and in a plea bargain, convicted of the minor criminal offense of "False Imprisonment". A misdemeanor, and sentenced. Case closed. To further subject Sheriff Mirkarimi to judgment and punishment on same case, gives the appearance of "double jeopardy"


B. Sheriff Mirkarimi Threatens To Use His Power As A Public Official Against His Wife In Family Court
-- Charge made without 'facts in evidence' with which to support it, but which instead was made on "The most reasonable 'interpretation' of Sheriff Mirkarimi’s statement to Ms. Lopez is that Sheriff Mirkarimi was threatening to use the powers and stature conferred by his official positions as Supervisor and incoming Sheriff to obtain advantage."
-- An absolute and gross misinterpretation and apparent criminal (Related to inflicted damage) ignorance of the facts on the part of Mayor Lee, which are:
-- Ms. Eliana Lopez as an Latin American immigrant and recently granted the immigrant status of Legal Alien, was consciously aware than in divorce cases where a USA citizen father and an immigrant mother are involved, the odds on the father being granted legal custody of USA-born children, are overwhelmingly lopsided in favor of a USA citizen. As an immigrant mother, her fears were more than justified. (Ms. Lopez testified under oath in front of the Ethics Commission on July 19th 2012 in regards to these very issues)
-- Due to his Latin American family ties and his position as Supervisor, Ross Mirkarimi was regularly confronted with the inhuman injustices being committed under the power that Ms. Lopez was referring to, he was made aware also via small delegations of Latin American activists who would petition him, and to the other supervisors whom they did perceive as receptive to these very issues, or known for supporting them, as Supervisor Mirkarimi was always ready and prepared to help us stop the inhuman treatment that immigrants mothers were subjected to, such as taking their children away. Sheriff Mirkarimi admitted he was in agreement with his wife in the power advantage that he, as a USA Citizen had, when compared to the relatively recent arrival as immigrant of the mother of his son. A fact of life in the Latin American Community.
-- As further evidence which absolutes refutes the erroneous Mayor's claims on "The most reasonable interpretation of...", within a reasonable amount of time, and if it pleases the Honorable Board of Supervisors, we could present to the Full Board, documents, first-hand witnesses accounts and, pending the wishes and concerns of immigrant women who are survivors of domestic violence and of the mistreatment inflicted on them when victimized and/or neglected by authorities and anti-domestic violence organizations, we could be honored with the presence of two or three survivors who come forward to testify before the Board.There are many more of this type of cases and by far more horrendous which are happening today in the USA. Both Ms. Eliana Lopez and her husband Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, are, and have been, keenly aware of the fact that his USA Citizen status, gave Sheriff Mirkarimi a built-in unfair advantage in power in regards to child custody issues.

We submit that this is, by far, a more reasonable interpretation supported by actual evidence offered as explanation to the alleged threat the Mayor erroneously claims the Sheriff made to his wife.

C. Sheriff Mirkarimi Participates In Attempts To Persuade A Witness To Lie And Destroy Evidence During The Ensuing Police Investigation ......10
-- The main witness, Ms. Ivory Madison, refused to testify under oath and the Ethics Commission ruled not to compel her testimony.
-- Ethics Commissioner Paul Renne, a career litigator, did chastise the Mayor's lawyer, Mr. Keith, for introducing Ms. Madison's affidavit "as prejudicial and unsupported hearsay evidence that should have never been introduced, something that even the city's attorneys admitted and apologized for"
-- Both Ms. Eliana Lopez and Ms. Linetta Peralta Haynes have categorically refuted Ms. Ivory Madison's hearsay allegations in her affidavit.


D. On January 8, 2012, Sheriff Mirkarimi Makes Public Statements That Conflict With The Sheriff’s Duty To Enforce Domestic Violence
Laws ..........................
-- Another gross misrepresentation of the facts in evidence, to wit:
-- In all honesty, the Sheriff spoke on what he understood to be an agreement between he and his wife, Ms. Eliana Lopez, of seeking counseling to resolve their marital difficulties. This is the genesis of the Sheriff's public statement, to corroborate that this is in fact the case, we offer Mayor Ed Lee's exhibit # 50, where in an email/text exchange between Ms. Eliana Lopez and Ms. Ivory Madison which took place on January 2nd, 2012, irrefutably corroborates the Sheriff's public statement, and also absolutely refutes the Mayor's claims.
-- Furthermore, the District Attorney did not bring domestic violence charges against the Sheriff, a domestic violence crime was not committed, hence, there are no facts in evidence which support the Mayor's allegations which led us to find them without merit.


E. On March 12, 2012, Sheriff Mirkarimi Agrees To A Plea Deal
Admitting Criminal Wrongdoing And A Criminal Sentence
Incompatible With His Duties ..........................
-- Sheriff Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to a minor criminal offense. A misdemeanor.
-- In regards to the Mayor's conclussion of incompatibility with the Sheriff's duties, we submit that the Mayor's subjective interpretation of extremelly vague language, when added to his growing lack of credibility due to factual lies on record, and two concrete allegations of Usurpation of Legislative Power (Perjury), madates that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors review and evaluate the charges against the language in the City Charter's description of this subject found on this section.


F. Sheriff Mirkarimi’s Conduct From December 31, 2011 Through
March 19, 2012 Falls Below The Standard Expected Of A Holder Of
Public Office ..........................
-- Same as in E.
California Lawyers Guild Statement on the Suspension of SF Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and Ethics Commission Proceedings

The Mirkarimi case the in the criterion of leaders of The United Parents Committee

Resolution in Support of Justice for Eliana Lopez, Ross Mirkarimi, and Theo Mirkarimi by the Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club

El Comité de Padres Unidos Calls on Public to Support Sheriff Mirkarimi and His Wife

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Massive detentions & deportations "low-priority" in one FL center

As much as 55 families are affected by massive detentions & deportations of "low-priority" immigrants, in one Florida detention center "Broward"

On 7/27/2012 10:58 AM, DREAM ACTIVIST ORG

  Why Won’t Senators Rubio and Nelson Support Immigrant Families? July 26, 2012
  10 Things You May Not Know About Deferred Action July 23, 2012
  10 Urgent Deportation Cases That Need Your Help – Detained for 8+ Months at Broward July 23, 2012
  Max, 9 years old, Needs Your Help to Stop His Dad’s Deportation July 11, 2012

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 Hi Hispanic/Latinos A-D  Over the course of the last month we've had organizers from across the country come together here in Florida to find the stories behind the statistics. And so far we've been able to find 55 of these families, all suffering family separation and deportation, despite not being a priority. You've already heard about a few of them, remember Enrique? the detainee who was urinating blood. Well, good news, because of your work we were able to secure Enrique's release yesterday! The other 54 cases we have are just like his case, all low-priority and eligible for the same discretion he was given.

On August 6th we are hosting a large gathering of youth, families and allies from across the region to call for a facility wide review of the Broward Detention Center, and to ask that all low-priority deportations there be deferred just like that of Enrique. In order to make a big impact though we need your donations to get people out; a $35 donation will sponsor 1 rider, 2 riders for $70 and 10 riders for $350! [

We already have students confirmed from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and even Indiana! With your support we can have an even larger impact. This action is going to be crucial because, staring this week, many of the families we are working with are going to start a hunger-strike and so we need to show our support on the outside. Can you sponsor a rider for $35 and help us reach our goal of 100 riders, that's $3,500?! [ ]

Ending low-priority deportations at Broward would help detainees like Luis Villanueva. Luis, a day laborer was detained on November 14th for no reason. He was standing outside of a Home Depot looking for work when a police officer showed up and told him to 'get in the car before I hit you with my stick.' Despite being a low-priority deportation not only has Luis been detained for 9 months but he's also set to be deported any day now! Sponsor a rider to the August 6th rally so we can fight for others just like Luis, we need just 100 donations of $35 or more to reach our goal. Will you help us? [

Each story from this detention center is just like the previous one, detained for no reason or really basic racial profiling and held for a long-period of time. We know we can stop these deportations, but we need your help to do it. If you can't sponsor a rider maybe you know someone who can? [ ]
Thanks for your support, 


P.S. Be sure to also check-out our organizing shop [ ] , all sales go towards making this action possible!

All the work we do is volunteer run, consider making a donation [ ]  to support us. 

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Monday, July 23, 2012

RE Mikarimi case: What I request of my SF Supervisor David Campos

San Francisco California, July 23, 2012

To: David Campos
From: Aurora Grajeda
Cc: Eric Mar, David Chiu, Christina Oleague, John Avalos, Mark Farrell, Carmen Chu, Jane Kim, Sean Elsbernd, Scott Wiener, Malia Cohen, Office of the City Attorney.

Good morning Supervisor Campos,

This email is a follow up to my approaching you to share my deep and urgent concerns on aspects of the Sheriff Mirkarimi's case, when you informed me of your inability to speak about it, but in terms of sharing my concerns to you, you also informed me that not only you'd listen to me, but urged me to do so, and that this goes for anyone else. Thank you.

As you may have noticed, a Cc of this email goes to each one of all of the other members of the Board of Supervisors and City Attorney Dennis Herrera's Office, there are many reasons for my doing so, but the most relevant are that in the event that you choose to honor my request and for it to be effective, it needs the support from the other Supervisors. It is intended to be Board's business and instead of repeating it to each one of them, I think we all will agree that it is better to do it all at once, in the open and be open about it to all. To that effect, this email will be made public.

Immediately below, please find two propositions that I expose for you review. Hoping that if you find some merit on what I propose, you'll seek a legal opinion from City Attorney for you and the SFBOS to proceed accordingly:
I do propose that the items of the Sheriff Mirkarimi's salary and his back pay, are irrelevant to the case heard in the San Francisco Ethics Commission's hearings in that matter, due to that these items were not before them and thus, are outside the scope of their considerations for their recommendation to the Board, ergo, do not fall under the Supervisors' restrictions on the Sheriff Mirkarimi's case and accordingly, any Supervisor is free to initiate, discuss and pass legislation regarding these two items, and consequently right a wrong, and it is under these grounds that I do hereby respectfully and formally ask of my Supervisor, David Campos, that to at his earliest, introduce and pass, a motion or a resolution to the effect of overriding and reversing Mayor Ed Lee standing directive to withhold salary from Sheriff Mirkarimi, and to instruct that he be awarded back pay hence,
I do further propose, that in view of the fact that it is longstanding practice and tradition to reassign any city officer to administrative duties with full pay while under investigation of official wrong doing and, in view of the fact that the we in the City and County of San Francisco do not treat our employees the way Sheriff Mirkarimi - in an exceptional departure from past and present norms - has been treated and, in view of the fact that the breaking of this longstanding practice and tradition has irrefutably - but hopefully not irreparably - caused great harm and pain to the family of an elected official whose marriage was going through difficult times and, in view of the fact that the couple's wishes and intentions were, and are, to seek marriage counseling to work out their problems and start their healing as a family and, in view of the fact that the lack of family income or other financial resources have curtailed essentially to zero the number of options they could afford to adopt and start their healing and, in view of the fact that neither city agencies, nor the anti-domestic violence organizations involved in the case, even offered material support much less provide it to the - in their understanding - victim, Eliana Lopez and, in view of the fact that as result, Eliana Lopez became a de facto single mother without any financial support whatsoever and thus, had to leave the country to her native Venezuela where there was family support circles and the possibilities of gainful employment to support herself and her 3 year old son and in her opinion, conditions for positive results were better in Venezuela than in San Francisco and, when viewing all of the just enunciated facts, it obscenely offends every sensibility that I have as a human being and as an immigrant to San Francisco, because this city of immigrants that I so much love and cherish, does not treat its immigrants the shameful way in which Eliana Lopez was treated and, in view of the fact that Family Court on July 20, 2012 lifted the stay away order on Sheriff Mirkarimi and thus, the family is in a better position to reunite and have a chance to heal; just as any other family.
I believe we will be in agreement that a precarious state of affairs in domestic finances, is one of the stressors that factors very high in marriages falling apart, this is the current state of affairs for the Mirkarimi family, while at the same time separated by thousands of miles and still working to continue their healing. And since love between the couple is not an issue and neither is lack of desire to heal as a family; an infusion of monetary resources would go a long way in helping them achieve their goals. Funds which should have been available to them from the very beginning by virtue of the City and County of San Francisco's long standing practices which are applied without exceptions, except this time where they have been withheld; should be made immediately available to them. I can not identify any valid reason on why these funds should not be awarded, there is nothing to gain in withholding them, unless, the objective is to impose stress, pain, suffering and curtail the couples' options for healing, all for reasons that I can't even begin to imagine other than to harm the marriage and family; I totally reject that notion.

As I informed you, I'll be present at the July 24, 2012 Board Meetingto lend support. Though last minute, I'll be asking my friends if anyone can and would also like to attend as support, or to make requests to their own Supervisor for passage of a motion or a resolution, either at the July 24, 2012 Board Meeting, or the week after that, or the one after. At their discretion.

Dear Supervisor Campos, it is not only a good thing to do, but the correct thing to do. The mirkarimi family can surely put to good use a helping hand.

Thank you for your attention and consideration to this matter.
Loving regards,

Aurora Grajeda
Mission District
SFCA 072312

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Friday, July 20, 2012

BREAKING ALERT: Family Court lifts restrictions on Ross & Eliana Mirkarimi

ALERT: Ross & Eliana are together again, they are on their way to Hecho en California with Marcos Gutierrez, they are on the way to the station, you can listen to them (Spa&Eng) with Marcos at 1010AM in about 10 minutes.
If you are too far away to listen on radio, you can stream it by phone by calling at 832.551.5087 or you can stream it by going to (Left column)
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