June 24 04: Civil Liberties and Immigrant Rights News UpdatesLee Siu Hin 24 Jun 2004 10:06 GMT
Los Angeles, CA
1) Random Vehicle Ferry Searches to Resume (Associated Press)
August 27 Immigrant Workers Day of Action and Speak Out!
1) Random Vehicle Ferry Searches to Resume
.c The Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) - Random searches of vehicles boarding Washington state ferries will resume next month as part of a new plan for increased security under orders from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Random searches on the ferries will resume on or before July 1, state assistant attorney general Steve Reinmuth said Monday.
Ports and shipping companies face a July 1 deadline to adopt security programs under the Maritime Transportation Security Act signed by President Bush in November 2002.
Washington state operates the largest ferry system in the United States and the third largest in the world with 20 terminals and 29 vessels that carry more than 25 million passengers each year.
The searches were heavily criticized and discontinued in 2002 following opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union.
ACLU spokesman Doug Honig said he had not yet seen the new security plan. ``The ACLU certainly has concerns any time the government talks about conducting random searches of citizens without reason to think that an individual has done anything wrong,'' Honig said.
2) House Approves Intelligence Bill
By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - As the House debated an intelligence authorization bill far into the night, the focus often turned to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter Goss, who may be a top contender to be the next CIA director.
The debate was Goss' first public performance since he's been spotlighted as a possible candidate to replace outgoing CIA Director George Tenet. The bill, which provides broad budgeting outlines for the budget year that begins Oct. 1, easily passed the House late Wednesday on a 360-61 vote.
Goss, R-Fla., is retiring at year's end after 16 years in Congress. Insiders have suggested the 65-year-old former CIA officer is on President Bush's short list of possible replacements for Tenet, who is departing next month.
Others who've been mentioned include Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage and former CIA Director Robert Gates.
Goss has declined repeated requests for interviews on whether he is interested in the job.
``It's the president's call,'' Goss said Wednesday. ``I have no comment.''
His Republican and Democratic colleagues gave him a standing ovation at the end of the night. But tensions had arisen during the day's debate on the bill.
Many Democrats, for instance, said the House was considering a bill that would authorize one-third of the money the intelligence community says it needs for an emergency counterterrorism fund, used for operations worldwide.
``It is irresponsible of us to shortchange our counterterrorism efforts,'' said California Rep. Jane Harman, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Republicans countered that the bill's aim was to change how Congress funds one particular counterterrorism account - to provide funding on a quarterly basis, giving Congress more oversight. That, they said, shouldn't be perceived as a cut.
In the end, some of the critics, including Harman, voted for the bill despite their concerns. The bill now goes to conference with the Senate, which earlier passed its own version of the measure.
Tensions also arose Wednesday between Goss and Tenet, who wrote Goss to express his displeasure with several harshly worded criticisms of the CIA in a committee report accompanying the House bill.
One section said immediate and far-reaching changes were needed for the CIA's clandestine service, which handles the collection of human intelligence. The legislation said the agency must learn to accept well-meaning internal and external criticism or it will become ``incapable of even the slightest bit of success.''
In the letter, Tenet said he was deeply disappointed with the way the bill questioned the capabilities of the clandestine service, which has had successes in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
``To suggest that an organization that was key to all these victories ... is on the verge of being incapable of 'the slightest bit of success' is frankly absurd,'' the outgoing director wrote.
During debate, Goss said the bill increases investment in human intelligence capabilities, improves intelligence analysis and strengthens agencies' language capabilities.
However, many important details about the bill are not known publicly because intelligence budget information traditionally is classified.
Experts have suggested it costs at least $40 billion annually to fund the intelligence community, which includes the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and a dozen other agencies.
When Tenet leaves, the agency will be taken over temporarily by the current deputy director, John McLaughlin. It's unclear whether Bush will keep him on as acting director through the November elections, or try to appoint someone as his term winds to a close.
On the Net:
The committee bill: http://intelligence.house.gov/Media/PDFS/Report108558.pdf
06/24/04 03:08 EDT
3) Family fights deportation
State legislators called upon to help in immigration issue.
By Sabrina Crawford | Staff Writer
From the San Francisco Independent
After two decades working and struggling to raise three children in the Bay Area, a local family faces deportation unless a U.S. senator can come to their aid.
Lily and Delfin Cuevas, their three children and literally thousands of supporters are hoping that U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer can step in and unravel a wrenching family saga that threatens to force the Cuevas family from the country they consider home.
"The kids grew up here," said Robyn Rodriguez, of the Committee to Support the Cuevas Family, adding they are now all in college. "They don't know the Philippines. They don't even speak the language. And they don't have a sense of themselves as anything but American."
On Wednesday the committee went to Boxer's San Francisco office on the family's behalf with more than 70 endorsements from labor and immigrants' rights groups and petitions signed by more than 3,000 people pleading for help for the family.
"June 30 is the last and final day for them," Rodriguez said. "The lawyers have exhausted every last option. The only hope now is a personal bill."
In their immigration troubles, the Cuevas family isn't alone. A dozen other families have come to the Committee to Support the Cuevas Family seeking help. In San Bruno, the Plascencia family -- who has lived in the United States for 15 years and whose four children were all born in this country -- are facing a June 23 deportation order to Mexico. They have also turned to elected officials for help.
In 1996 the federal government tightened immigration laws, and since Sept. 11, 2001, advocates say, things have gotten worse.
"Since Sept. 11, the ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] was ordered to start looking harder at old pending cases," Mendoza said. "Since then, more than 100,000 have been deported."
Lily and Delfin Cuevas left their homeland in the 1980s with their three young children, Donna, Dale and Dominique, in search of a better life in America. Fleeing upheaval in the aftermath of former President Ferdinand Marcos' demise, they never returned, although their visas expired. Delfin took a job at the Employment Development Department. They bought a home in Fremont and put all three of their children through private Catholic schools.
In 1996, the Cuevases tried to make their stay here legal. But when their case came up for review after sitting in a bureaucratic backlog, the law had changed. As residents of the country for more than seven years, they qualified for permanent residency under the old standard. But under new, stricter laws, they did not meet the new criteria -- 10 years of residency and proof of "extreme hardship."
4) Protests Against recent California Immigrant Raids
6/25/04 in Orange County, CA
COME JOIN US SAYING ENOUGH!!!!
WE DEMAND THE RAIDS TO STOP
MARCH / PROTEST AGAINST RECENT INS ROUND-UPS OF MEXICANS IN THE SOUTHLAND
FRIDAY,JUNE 25, 2004
WE WILL BE MEETING ON 4TH AND SPURGEON
(BY 4TH AND MAIN)
MARCH BETWEEN 1: 00- 2:00PM
IN FRONT OF INS OFFICE
34 CIVIC CENTER DRIVE, SANTA ANA, CA. 92701
CALL 714-270-5392, if questions
06/23 Candlelight vigil to stop deportation 06/30 of Cuevas family/tell Boxer
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY! IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO BUT ARE GETTING THIS IT IS BECAUSE I HOPE YOU WILL SEND IT TO YOUR BAY AREA FRIENDS. We needs HUNDREDS TO SHOW UP!
To find out more you can type in Delfin Cuevas on Google and a lot of stories will come up.
The short summary, after Delfin Cuevas and his family overstayed their visitor's visas and their attempts to obtain legal immigration status failed, the INS is intent on deporting them on June 30th. The three children did not even know their status until last December. They were raised here and this their home. The parents worked hard, paid taxes and put their children through school. The eldest just graduated CSU Hayward and the other 2 are still attending college.
PLEASE HELP THIS STOP THIS INJUSTICE!
Were in our final week of the fight for their stay and were asking supporters to attend a candlelight vigil on their behalf on Wednesday evening. Were hoping that we can make a final appeal to Sen. Boxer given that there will be a lot of attention that day on the Democratic partys election races since Sen. Kerry will be in town.
Candlelight Vigil to support the Cuevas family facing imminent deportation
For more location info:
5) SAN FRANCISCO LABOR COUNCIL RESOLUTION REGARDING IMMIGRANT RAIDS
Whereas an injury to one is an injury to all and the Cuevas family has come under attack under the Patriot act repressive policies and part of anti-immigrant repression
The San Francisco Labor Council passed a resolution in support of the Cuevas family. It has been faxed to Boxer and Feinstein.
The Cuevases are among hundreds of families in the Bay Area and thousands in the country who have tried to legalize their status only to find themselves in a legal quagmire that leads to deportation The family of five has lived illegally in the East Bay since 1996 and is now on final order of deportation. They hope Feinstein will sponsor a private bill on their behalf before the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement orders them to report for deportation to their native Philippines. That order can arrive at any time.
Delfin Cuevas arrived in the United States in 1984 on a visitor's visa. His wife, Angelita, and their toddler children followed in 1985. They overstayed their visas and applied for asylum in 1996, when the children were still minors. Their case was turned down by an immigration judge in 2000, by the Immigration Board of Appeals in 2002 and by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in December.
The adult children- say they were not aware of their undocumented status until deportation papers arrived in December. They speak only English and remember little about the Philippines.
Resolution in Support of the Cuevas family.
Whereas Delfin Cuevas is an immigrant who has come to the US and worked hard as a State Employee and member of SEIU Local 1000 to provide for his family,
Whereas he has been trying to for years to legalize his and his family immigration status.
Whereas he and his family's lives would be endangered by their deportation to the Philippines.
Whereas the US is a country built on the labor of immigrants and the Cuevas family is seeking to have the same right to pursue life, liberty and happiness and in recognition of the fact that he and his family are productive members of society,
Whereas an injury to one is an injury to all and the Cuevas family has come under attack under the Patriot act repressive policies and part of anti-immigrant repression.
Therefore be it resolved that the SF Labor Council go on record in support of the Cuevas family right to reside legally in the US and to write Boxer and Feinstein and forward this resolution on to the California State Federation of Labor to do everything possible to legalize their status.