Archive | September, 2017

Reuters reports ‘Russia says will target U.S.-backed fighters in Syria if provoked.’ To read story, go to http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia/russia-says-will-target-u-s-backed-fighters-in-syria-if-provoked-idUSKCN1BW14U.

21 Sep

Will Long Beach Become a ‘Sanctuary City’?

17 Sep

The Long Beach City Council is to decide or not, on Tuesday, Sept.19, if Long Beach is to become a ‘Sanctuary City.’

Sponsoring the motion in support of SB 54 are 1st District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, 2nd District Councilwoman Jeanine Pearce, 7th District Councilman Roberto Uranga and Vice Mayor and 9th District Councilman Rex Richardson.

According to the legislative text, which avoids the word, sanctuary, and which may be read here, would reaffirm the city’s “commitment to the laws adopted in SB 54 (California Senate Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, Democrat, 24th District) and its “continued support of the California Trust Act” and would direct the City Manager to work with local immigrant rights organizations and local schools to write and present a local policy that expands SB 54 in 60 days.

The same legislative text states the policy considerations should include: “(p)rotecting and advocating for local DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)  and DREAMER (sic) students,” “(p)reventing future deportations of local residents,” “(e)xamining partnerships with LA County for local legal defense fund,” “(p)rotecting the confidentiality of local immigrant residents and their information, and ensuring no City resources are used to create registries based on religious affiliation, immigration status or any other protected class such as gender, sexual orientation, race, etc.” and “(a)ffirm an aggressive approach to advocating at the federal and state level for pro-immigrant policies.”

According to bill information from the California Legislature, which may be viewed here,  SB 54 passed the California Senate, on Saturday, Sept. 16, with a vote of 27-11 and passed the California Assembly on Friday, Sept. 15, with a vote of 51-26.

According to a Sacramento Bee story on Saturday, Sept. 16, which may be read here, Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill after de Leon and Brown reached a compromise, which “now allows local police to respond to notification requests and transfers immigrants to U.S. Immigrations (sic) and Customs Enforcement if individual  has committed one of more than 800 crimes outlined in The Trust Act.”

The same story pointed out, “(t)he California Police Chiefs Association went neutral on the measure after Brown’s demands were reflected in the last round of amendments,” while “(t)he California Sheriffs’ Association continues to oppose it,” and that a partisan divide between Democrats and Republican exists, where the Democrats argue the bill makes the population safer and the Republicans argue the opposite.

The City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 7, went on record supporting SB 54.

 

Long Beach Dreamers Protest the Rescinding of DACA

10 Sep

 

About 300 people, who were mostly immigrants and their allies, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach, at 185 E. Third St., protested, rallied and marched against the federal government’s planned ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as the acronym DACA, which was announced the day before.

 

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At the start of the Long Beach protest, on Wednesday, Sept.6, against the federal government’s rescinding of the DACA program, the crowd stood along the north side of Third Street

At the start, about 30 people stood with their signs and chanted on the north side of Third Street as cars drove past.  The protesters chanted in English and Spanish:  Education, not deportation; No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here; No borders, no nations, no deportations; Move ICE (U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), get out the way, get out the way; (Long Beach) Mayor Garcia: listen, we are in struggle; The people united will never be defeated; If we don’t get no (sic) justice, you don’t get no (sic) peace; No justice, no peace, no racist police.

They also engaged in calls and responses: first asking “What do we want?” and answering with “DACA.”  Continuing they shouted, “When do we want it?” “Now” was the shout back, and “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do?  Stand up fight back.”

Occasionally honking horns in solidarity could be heard.

After standing along Third Street with their signs and chanting, the crowd gathered to hear the speakers in English with Spanish translation.  At the start of the speeches the crowd was about a 100 people and by the end, it was about 300.

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Elizabeth Garcia is a DSA-LB leader and activist.  Garcia emceed the Wednesday, Sept. 6, protest against the federal government’s rescinding the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks

Elizabeth Garcia, who identified herself as a member of the Long Beach Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, spoke before emceeing.  Garcia said, “As socialists, we understand that the ruling class has no real interest in getting rid of undocumented immigrants.  We understand that it is their source of labor and that they are going to exploit it.  What we do know is that they’re using these tactics to keep us afraid, to keep our communities deeper underground to make them afraid to speak out when their landlords are taking advantage of them…living in uninhabitable conditions, when their bosses decide to steal their labor from them.”  She added, “There is value inherent in human life.  We do not defend people because they produce things for this country.  We do not protect because they clean your house or cook your food.  We protect them because they are human beings.”

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The Rev. Nancy Frausto of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is a DACA recipient.  Frausto spoke at the protest against the federal government’s rescinding the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks.

The Rev. Nancy Frausto, who is the Associate Rector from St. Lukes Episcopal, told the crowd she is a DACA recipient.  Frausto, who spoke in Spanish and English, said, “I was brought into this country when I was 7-years-old.  I have worked and sacrificed so much to achieve my dreams.  I get to be a pastor to a wonderful congregation.  I get to know people and I get to know their stories and I know many people are suffering….They are trying to separate communities of color.  They are trying to pit us against each other.”  She asked the crowd to be loud for the mayor could hear that Long Beach needs to become a sanctuary city.

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Alicia Morales is a DACA recipient and an activist with the LBIRC.  Morales spoke. Wednesday, Sept. 6, protest against the rescinding of the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks.

Alicia Morales, who is an activist with the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, said, “I am undocumented, I’m unafraid and I’m unapologetic….Yesterday’s (Tuesday, Sept. 5) decision was a blow to my humanity.  It was a blow to the humanity of the many families who call California their home, who call Long Beach their home.”  In response to the argument that President Obama’s Executive Order, which brought about DACA, was an example of presidential overreach, she pointed out President Obama tried to work with the Congress of 2012, but it failed to pass any legislation addressing immigration.

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Paula Abad is the chairwoman of Anakbayan Long Beach.  Abad spoke at the protest against the federal government’s rescinding of the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks.

Paula Abad, the chairwoman of Anakbayan Long Beach, which according to its About Facebook page, is a progressive Filipino youth and student organization, said, “We are in solidarity with all of the migrants and all of those affected under this decision.  We condemn the rescinding of DACA against undocumented youth whose parents were forced to migrate here because of the harsh conditions that their families were facing in their homeland.”  She ended with the chant, “Long live international solidarity.”

Michelle Connolly, who represents Indivisible Connected Long Beach, read President Obama’s response to the rescinding of DACA.  To read President Obama’s response on Facebook, go here.

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A view of the protest crowd, before the speeches began on Wednesday, Sept. 6, but after the chanting along Third Street; photo by Barry Saks.

A statement from Congressman Alan Lowenthal was also read.  To read the congressman’s response, go here.

After the speeches, the protesters, carrying their signs and chanting, marched south down the Promenade toward Broadway, turned right on Broadway toward Pine Avenue.  They again turned right on Pine and headed back to the park.  While most of the chants were the same as used earlier in the evening one was not, which was “No ban on stolen land.”

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The front of the protest march down the Promenade, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, in downtown Long Beach, California; photo by Barry Saks

The Sacramento Bee, on Tuesday, Sept 5, paraphrased UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson, who is a national expert on immigration.  Johnson said federal officials framed the end of DACA as a six-month phase out, with a March 2018 deadline  for Congress to pass a law addressing DACA.  In the same story, Johnson also provided historic context.  He said the Obama-era program, started in 2012, has allowed an estimated 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children – including more than 200,000 in California– to get authorization to work or go to school and have their DACA status renewed every two years.  To read the Sacramento Bee story go to here.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, rescinded the DACA program.  In part the Attorney General said, “(T)he executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions.  Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.”

“The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences.  It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”  To read the Attorney General’s full statement, go here.

Barry Saks is a socialist.

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The crowd during the speeches, on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at the Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach.  The speeches were part of the protest against the federal government’s rescinding of the DACA program the day before; photo by Barry Saks.

 

SB 562 Update

6 Sep

The Sacramento Bee reported in late August that California Assembly Speaker Anthony said it was time to have a serious discussion on how to create a universal health care system for all in California and that he appointed a select committee, in which Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, and Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, would lead.

In the same story, Rendon was quoted of having said, ‘For me, this is an attempt to have an honest discussion.’

The Los Angeles Chapter of Health Care for All, in a Sept. 4 email, said Rendon indicated the committee will hold statewide hearings of residents for feedback after Sept. 15.

The same email also announced the California Democratic Party Executive Board unanimously decided to endorse SB 562, also known as the Healthy California Act.  In the email, HCA-LA characterized its mission as “to educate, activate and encourage people to participate in advocating for (a) just equitable, accessible, comprehensive, affordable, and quality healthcare in a publicly financed universal single-payer system.”

In late June, a statement was issued on the Assembly Speaker’s website, which said when the bill was sent to the Assembly it was “woefully incomplete” and that he was putting the bill on hold in the Assembly Rules Committee.

State Senators Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, introduced the bill in February.