IN THE NEWS

Father’s Day Bond Drive To End Family Separation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 12, 2018

 

CONTACT:

Alejandra Rosero, Dolores Street Community Services, 415-282-6209 x 117. alejandra@dscs.org

Judah Lakin, Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund, 216-408-5212. jblakin@gmail.com

 

SAN FRANCISCO--As national outrage grows in response to the separation of families at the border and inhumane conditions in detention centers, communities throughout the country are also fighting to keep local immigrant parents from being torn from their children. This week, leading up to Father’s Day, Dolores Street Community Services is teaming up with the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund to raise money for fathers who have been torn from their children and are in immigration detention because they cannot afford to post bond.

One such example is José: a father, who for the past eight months, has been unable to care for his daughter, who currently lives with her mom. Jose moved to the U.S. when he was 15 years old--more than two decades ago. However, skyrocketing rent forced him to choose between paying his rent and providing child support to his daughter. He chose to pay child support and had no choice but to move into his car.

 

After someone reported to police that he was living in his vehicle, he was taken into custody, where he was then transferred to a detention center where he remains. He was granted a $20,000 bond but raising that amount is personally out of his reach.

 

“All Jose wants is to provide the best life to the person he loves the most, his daughter,” said Alejandra Rosero, his pro bono attorney at the San Francisco-based Dolores Street Community Services. “Jose’s case illustrates how deeply broken our system is: if Jose is released from detention, he will have a real chance to win his case and remain with his family. But if he cannot raise the funds to pay his bond, his daughter will very likely lose the chance to grow up without her father.”

 

Jose is not alone. Hundreds of other parents in the Bay Area have been ripped away from their children as they fight their deportation, depriving their children of a caregiver and quite often a breadwinner. According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in just the first six months of 2017, over 12,000 immigrant parents were deported nationwide, forcing them to be separated from their children. In San Francisco, nearly 300 parents were forcibly detained and removed from their dependent children.

 

If a detained person cannot pay their bond, they may spend years in detention awaiting the conclusion of their proceedings. Immigrants who secure bond during their case and find legal representation are about eight times more likely to win their cases than those who remain incarcerated and unrepresented.

 

“As a society, we should be outraged that individuals like Jose regularly spend months, and sometimes years, in detention simply because they cannot afford to post bond,” said Judah Lakin, co-founder of the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund. “No one should spend a single day in detention simply because they are indigent. We started the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund to challenge a system that criminalizes, incarcerates, and disrupts the lives of our neighbors and fellow community members. And, we hope to use this Father’s Day to continue that mission, raising money to help individuals like Jose, get out of detention and get back to their lives, caring for themselves and their children.”

 

Help José and hundreds of other fathers like him. Your donation will help parents get a fair hearing before an immigration judge and keep parents and their children together. #FamiliesBelongTogether #StopFamilySeparation #FreeOurFathers

 

To make a donation visit our webpage at: www.bayareaimmigrationbondfund.org/

OR send checks made out to: Freedom For Immigrants                                                                 

 

Memo: Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund/Fathers

1322 Webster St., Suite 300

Oakland, CA 94612    


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The Interfaith Movement has played a big role in organizing rallies and providing support for detained undocumented immigrants. At present, it is highlighting [Dolores Street client] Raul Lopez, a Guatemalan national who has lived in the United States for decades and has been separated from his wife and four children for more than a year.


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At a March 13 telebriefing organized by Ethnic Media Services of San Francisco, Sally Kinoshita of the Immigration Legal Resource Center said it is possible that DACA recipients have options under immigration law that could help some people get access to green cards. “According to a recent study, the estimates are that about 20 to 25 percent of the undocumented population is eligible for one of the existing immigration options,” Kinoshita said.


Mission Local, ICE Raid False Alarms Throw SF Mission Community Into Panic
(Jan. 24, 2018)

 . .  .John O’Connell High School locked its doors and posted security outside, according to a source.

But the rumors turned out to be false alarms. Members of the San Francisco Rapid Response Network, a coalition of advocacy organizations, visited the sites and verified that immigration agents were not making arrests. The 24-hour hotline for suspected raids in San Francisco is 415-200-1548.  

. . . “If you’re unsure then call the hotline to verify, and they will verify,” [Ana Herrera of Dolores Street] said. “That’s what we’re here to do. Don’t spread rumors just because you hear it from someone second hand.”


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Contact: Ana Herrera, Dolores St. Community Services: 415-857-1935

The FREE SF Coalition -- including Asian Law Caucus, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, CARECEN-SF, Causa Justa::Just Cause, Community United Against Violence, CA Immigrant Policy Center, Dolores Street Community Services, Faith in Action Bay Area, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Legal Services for Children, Pangea Legal Services, SEIU USWW, and WRSF Labor Center -- issued the following statement today:

ICE's recent threats fit into a long pattern of manipulation, fear-mongering, and retaliation.  

But no amount of bluster and intimidation can obscure the fundamental truth that immigrants are a vital part of our families and communities. 

Cities and states that recognize our common humanity and refuse to help the administration deport millions of our neighbors are on the right side of history. 

Now is the time for all people of conscience to step up and speak out. Together, we must resist and reject the Trump administration's political repression and vulgar racism. 

We will use every tool at our disposal to protect every person who calls California home from federal abuses of power. 

Community organizations have created a series of rapid response hotlines in Northern California. The SF hotline number is 415-200-1548


Teenage Client Freed After ACLU Wins Relief for Immigrant Minors Jailed Without Due Process
(Nov. 30, 2017)

Dolores Street, along with Legal Services for Children and the ACLU secured release from detention for detained juveniles in special hearings pursuant to the ACLU-NC’s case, Saravia v. Sessions (Due Process for Immigrant Youth.


"Kelly Wells, an immigration attorney with Dolores Street Community Services, took on Rafael’s deportation case. But she said she ended up spending a lot of her time pushing jail officials to provide proper medical care." . . .

"Ongoing reports of inadequate care for immigrant detainees in California jails and private prisons prompted several state lawmakers to try to overhaul the state’s role in ICE detention."


"There's a massive pile of deportation cases, and a severe shortage of judges. That leaves some vulnerable people stuck behind bars. . . . 

Because Magaly escaped domestic violence back home, she had a strong case for asylum in the US, says Alejandra Rosero, her immigration attorney, who works for Dolores Street Community Services in San Francisco. But because of Magaly's fake visa, detention center officials refused to release her—and that was just the beginning."


NBC Bay Area, Immigration Advocates File Police Accountability Complaint Following SFPD Deportation Threat
(Jun. 9, 2017)

"Civil rights advocates are calling for swift sanctions against a San Francisco police officer after an NBC Bay Area hidden camera investigation showed the officer threatening to deport a group of minorities.

Friday, the FREE SF Coalition called for Police Chief William Scott to discipline officer Joshua Fry alleging the officer violated San Francisco’s Sanctuary City policy.

'We are deeply disturbed by the recent undercover video that captured an SFPD officer threatening a group of Latino and Asian people with deportation,' the group said in a Statement. 'That an SFPD officer racially profiled and threatened people of color with deportation in perhaps the most well-known sanctuary city is shameful and an affront to our deepest values. Authorities must treat all people fairly, regardless of their background, where they were born, what they look like.' ”


“Mass deportation is against our core values as Americans and San Franciscans,” [San Francisco Public Defender Jeff] Adachi said. “Due process still means something in this country and we are not going to let the federal government ship off our friends and neighbors without a fight.”

Francisco Ugarte, who founded DSCS's Deportation Defense and Legal Advocacy Program, will be the managing attorney of the Public Defender's new Immigration Unit. Our program looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the unit in responding to the overwhelming need for representation in the San Francisco Immigration Court.


"Dennis Herrera, San Francisco’s City Attorney says sanctuary policies make all of the city’s residents safer."

DSCS Client, Eva: "I want to tell all those women who have been violated by those men, yes, we can continue to stand up for ourselves because this will always be a sanctuary city."


"Anyone who sees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  activity in San Francisco can call (415) 200-1548 at any time. A call to the hotline initiates a process that includes nonprofits sending their own staff to the scene of the report to verify what happened, remind people of their rights, and if necessary, provide legal support."

" 'We want to let everyone here in San Francisco know that we have a system in place ready to respond, that they’re not alone, and that we’re a sanctuary city that cares about our immigrant population,' [Dolores Street's Marisela] Esparza said."

 


"It is essential that we prioritize this basic, due-process protection for San Franciscans facing deportation. Not only do they lose when they are deported, San Francisco loses as well."

Op-Ed Authors: Jeff Adachi is the San Francisco Public Defender. Niloufar Khonsari is the executive director of Pangea Legal Services. Ana Herrera is the managing immigration attorney with Dolores Street Community Services. Laura Sanchez is the director of CARACEN Immigration Legal Program.

American Immigration Lawyers Association Interview of the Month
(May 18, 2016)


Ana Camila Herrera, Managing Attorney, Dolores Street Community Services, a member of the San Francisco Immigration Legal Defense Collaborative, shares how renewed funding by the city for the SFILDC will help provide representation to unaccompanied minors and families in immigration court.