Defend Immigrant Rights
Growing Boycott Movement and Lawsuits Against Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law
Sports Teams and Players Association Oppose Arizona Profiling Law

Federal Government Profiling
Alameda County Adopts Fingerprint Deportation Status Check
Hundreds of Union Janitors Fired Under Pressure From ICE
The Disappeared in the United States88,000 U.S. Citizen Children Lost Parent to Deportation


Growing Boycott Movement and Lawsuits Against Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, signed into law Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070), racist immigration legislation that is being broadly opposed in Arizona, across the U.S. and internationally. Since SB1070 was signed, opposition has intensified. A national day of action is planned for May 29. Many are targeting President Barack Obama, demanding that he stop federal cooperation with Arizona law enforcement, which would block the law from being enforced. Only those local and state police approved by the federal government and its immigration enforcement programs are permitted to enforce the law.

As well several lawsuits are planned. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders will seek an injunction preventing authorities from enforcing the law. The group argues federal law pre-empts state regulation of national borders, and that Arizona's law violates due process rights by requiring detention of suspected undocumented immigrants who are not engaged in criminal activity. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and American Civil Liberties Union are also planning lawsuits.

The State of Arizona faces a growing boycott movement with many municipal governments taking measures to express their condemnation of the racist immigration law and demand its repeal.

Within Arizona itself, Flagstaff City Council voted unanimously on May 4 to file suit against SB 1070. The decision directs the city attorney to seek an injunction, either alone or in concert with other cities or litigants, preventing SB 1070 from taking effect the end of July. Councilmember Coral Evans called the law racist and said she could not abide by a law that would target some of the poorest and most vulnerable in the community.

Groups that announced travel boycotts of Arizona:

Service Employees International Union

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

National Council of La Raza

Asian American Justice Center

Center for Community Change

League of United Latin American Citizens

National Puerto Rican Coalition

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Known cancellations of meetings or events planned in Arizona:

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the oldest African American Greek-lettered fraternity, cancelled a July meeting at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. (With an estimated 5,000 attendees) Convention moved to Las Vegas

American Immigration Lawyers Association cancelled its fall conference at the Camelback Inn in Paradise Valley.

National Urban League. The group issued a rebuke of the city and suspended consideration of Phoenix's bid to host its 2012 annual conference.

National Autonomous University of has canceled its exchange program with the University of Arizona.

Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí has canceled its exchange program with the University of Arizona.


In California, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced on April 27 a moratorium on official city travel to Arizona. The ban on city employee travel to Arizona took effect immediately, although there are some exceptions, including for law enforcement officials investigating a crime, officials said.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on April 26 called for a sweeping boycott of the state of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses. Herrera, himself the son an immigrant from Latin America, called the law "draconian" and released the following statement upon announcing the push for a boycott:

“Just as it did two decades ago when it refused to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Arizona has again chosen to isolate itself from the rest of the nation. Our most appropriate response is to assure that their isolation is tangible rather than merely symbolic. San Francisco should lead the way in adopting and aggressively pursuing a sweeping boycott of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses until this unjust law is repealed or invalidated. My office is fully committed to work with San Francisco city departments and commissions to identify all applicable contracts, and to pursue termination wherever possible. And my office stands ready to assist in any legal challenges in whatever way it can.”

Herrera's comments come the same day San Francisco Supervisor David Campos led a protest at City Hall against the controversial new immigration law. "I think as a city we have a responsibility to make sure we don't do business with entities like the state of Arizona that are taking steps that are essentially violating and call for violation of the basic rights of the constitution." Campos said. He agrees with civil rights advocates who say the law will lead to racial profiling.

As well, the West Hollywood City Council voted 5-0 to boycott Arizona, while the San Diego City Council voted 7-1 in favor of a resolution urging Arizona lawmakers to repeal the law. The San Diego resolution says the law encourages racial profiling and violates the Constitution.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina introduced a motion Wednesday that would authorize the county to boycott Arizona unless it suspends or repeals its controversial immigration law.

The motion, which was co-sponsored by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, would direct county officials to suspend all travel to Arizona and investigate withdrawing county investments and canceling contracts.

Molina spokeswoman Roxane Marquez said the supervisor realizes that the immigration system is broken but believes that the Arizona law is the wrong way to address the problem.

"Our goal is to take a strong stand against what we feel is a very unconstitutional law," Marquez said. "We feel it is wrong to single out any group for harassment, intimidation or arrest solely on the basis of ethnicity, race or cultural attributes."

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington City Council Member Sally Clark says she may introduce legislation to "restrict travel that may be planned or to conferences that were slated for Arizona [...] it would also ask that we look at any purchasing we do that has to do with products of services from the state of Arizona."

El Paso Texas

The City of El Paso, Texas, has also taken a stand against the law. A resolution passed by city council limits city employee travel to the state of Arizona. El Paso County had already passed a resolution that called for a full ban on the state.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin and St. Paul, Minnesota

Similarly, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin Alderman plans to introduce legislation to boycott Arizona based companies. If the resolution passes, city workers would also not be allowed to go to Arizona for any meetings or conferences.

Saint Paul, Minnesota Mayor Chris Coleman issued an order banning city employees from traveling to Arizona to attend conferences or do business using public funds. Coleman announced the in solidarity with other cities and organizations that are boycotting the State of Arizona in protest against SB 1070.

"This law sets a dangerous example for the rest of the country. It will create a culture where racial profiling is acceptable, and will create a dangerous wedge between police officers and the communities they serve," said Coleman. Coleman also says he will write to the chairmen of both the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee to encourage them to not choose Phoenix for their national conventions, in 2012. The city is a contender for both political events.

Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston City Council approved a resolution May 5 that urges the city to curtail economic ties with Arizona by pulling investments, ending city contracts and halting purchasing agreements to protest the state's recently passed immigration law. The resolution also asks city employees not to travel to Arizona for city business. "We're asking that the people's money, the people of the city of Boston ... that their money (not) be used to support something like this," said Councilor Felix G. Arroyo, who co-wrote the resolution with City Council President Michael Ross.

Ross, the son of a Holocaust survivor from Poland, said he was compelled to act because he strongly disagreed with Arizona's law, which requires police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country without documentation. He said various Boston immigrant groups contacted him and asked if there was something they could do from Boston to fight that law. "We have many issues before us now," said Ross. "But we have to take a moment to speak out against the erosion of basic and fundamental civil rights wherever it occurs."

Giovanna Negretti, executive director of Oiste? (Have you Heard?), a Massachusetts group that encourages Latinos to run for office, said city councilors in Springfield and Lawrence — two cities with large Latino populations — are preparing resolutions that mirror Boston's proposal.

Washington, DC

In Washington, DC, all 13 members of city council are sponsoring a non-binding bill that would urge the District to stop doing business with Arizona. Councilmember Michael A. Brown's bill calls on the DC government and Retirement Board to divest themselves of any municipal bonds issued by Arizona, and not to pay for anyone to participate in conferences held in the state. "Today we will encourage the government of the District of Columbia to express its disgust for this discriminatory law," said Brown. "We will encourage the District to use the power of the dollar to fight against policies that institutionalize racial profiling and inequality of any American citizen. The last time a law required citizens to carry 'papers' was during American era of slavery." Councilmembers are also attempting to ban DC's police chief from sharing arrest records with federal immigration authorities as part expressing their rejection of the racist immigration law.

The momentum to repeal Arizona’s anti-immigrant law is gaining strength. Four major conventions set for Phoenix have been canceled and others are on the brink of being pulled, with Phoenix standing to lose $90 million in convention revenue as calls grow for a boycott of the state. Today, two of Mexico’s top soccer teams canceled a match in Arizona in July because of the Arizona law.


Sports Teams and Players Association Oppose Arizona Profiling Law

There is growing opposition to Arizona SB 1070 from sports teams and athletes. The Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association will wear jerseys which read "Los Suns" in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on May 6, "to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation," said team owner Robert Sarver. "However intended, the result of passing the law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question, and Arizona's already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them," he said. The proposal has been welcomed by team members. Said player Steve Nash: "As a team and as an organization, we have a lot of love and support for all of our fans. The league is very multicultural. We have players from all over the world, and our Latino community here is very strong and important to us." Suns player Amare Stoudamire also came out against SB 1070.

A crowd of 3,000 gathered before the game to protest SB 1070 and demand its appeal. They also called on President Barack Obama to stop raids and deportations and end federal cooperation on immigration with Arizona law enforcement. If he does so, the law cannot be implemented. Former players Kenny “the Jet” Smith, Chris Webber, and Charles Barkley, who lives in Arizona, also took a stand during the pre-game show. Barkley emphasized that the Hispanic cummunity is the “fabric of the cloth” that makes the community and opposed racil profiling and discrimination. He also called on president Obama to act.

In addition, Adrian Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star first baseman with the San Diego Padres said that he will not play in next year's All-Star Game if the law is in force, and would like to see Major League Baseball teams boycott spring training in Arizona. About half of the baseball teams conduct spring training in Arizona.

Statement of MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner Regarding Arizona Immigration Law, April 30, 2010

The following statement was issued today by Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner regarding the immigration law recently passed by the state of Arizona:

“The recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. These international players are very much a part of our national pastime and are important members of our Association. Their contributions to our sport have been invaluable, and their exploits have been witnessed, enjoyed and applauded by millions of Americans. All of them, as well as the Clubs for whom they play, have gone to great lengths to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law.

“The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team. The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October. In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected, even though their presence in the United States is legal. Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status. This law also may affect players who are U.S. citizens but are suspected by law enforcement of being of foreign descent.

“The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.

“My statement reflects the institutional position of the Union. It was arrived at after consultation with our members and after consideration of their various views on this controversial subject.”


Federal Government Profiling
Alameda County Adopts Fingerprint Deportation Status Check

Alameda County, where Oakland, California is located, recently joined the federal government’s “Secure Communities,” program. It is supposedly aimed at removing, dangerous criminals, like those guilty of rape or murder. Instead, the program has been widely denounced for criminalizing workers and for the racist government profiling and terrorizing of communities it has unleashed.

The federal program calls for local police to send the fingerprints of anyone who has been arrested — not convicted — to the federal government to verify if the individual is a documented immigrant. If the government does not have the documentation for the individual, the person is turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The large majority detained by ICE are then deported. This occurs even if they are found innocent, were wrongly arrested, or convicted of petty offenses.

Cassandra Lopez, an attorney who represents immigrants facing deportation in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, said some of her immigrant clients were arrested for low-level offenses in Oakland, such as driving without a license, even when police had the discretion to issue a ticket, instead. She said, “I think that the way the program works creates the incentive to arrest people who may not be guilty of things that require arrest,” she said. People who are booked in jail are fingerprinted, and therefore subject to immigration checks, regardless of whether they are ultimately formally charged with a crime. She added that she sees similarities between Arizona’s SB 1070 and “Secure Communities.” She said, “Like the Arizona law, “Secure Communities” contributes to the portrayal of immigrants as ‘criminals.’”

As well, long-term residents who may have had convictions many years ago for non-violent crimes and are stopped for traffic infractions or similar minor violations, are also being deported, using “Secure Communities” and other programs, like “287g” which involves local police in immigration policing. The few studies done concerning those deported have found that more than 50 percent are deported for non-violent misdemeanor offenses. They are workers who pose no danger to the community. ICE itself admits that only 12 percent of those deported under “Secure Communities” were Level I or serious violent offenders. As well, about 5 percent of those deported have been citizens and many others have been permanent residents. The government forces the people involved to prove their status and does not apologize to those wrongly deported. Instead, all are being criminalized by the federal government’s “Secure Communities” and similar programs. It is the ICE raids and mass deportations that are separating families and generating insecurity in communities across the country.

So, while Oakland recently passed a resolution opposing the racist profiling SB 1070 law passed in Arizona, Alameda County is implementing the program that makes SB 1070 possible. Anyone arrested in Oakland will have their immigration history and citizenship checked. The government currently has a database of more than 110 million immigrants.

Alameda County is the fourth Bay Area county to participate in the federal immigration enforcement program. More than 165 jurisdictions in 20 states are participating. Congress has allocated $1.4 billion dollars to the program, and by 2013, it is supposed to be operating in every jail across the country.

In 2007, Oakland passed a resolution to reaffirm the city as a “Sanctuary City,” meaning that city officials do not enforce federal immigration laws. That legislation says law enforcement will continue to collaborate with ICE on public safety matters and that the city is mandated by state and federal law to cooperate with ICE on criminal investigations. It remains unclear then whether Oakland police would be violating the sanctuary resolution by forwarding fingerprints of people only arrested, not convicted of any crime.


Hundreds of Union Janitors Fired
Under Pressure From ICE

Federal immigration authorities have pressured one of San Francisco’s major building service companies, ABM, into firing hundreds of its own workers. Some 475 janitors have been told that unless they can show legal immigration status, they will lose their jobs in the near future.

ABM has been a union company for decades, and many of the workers have been there for years. “They’ve been working in the buildings downtown for 15, 20, some as many as 27 years,” said Olga Miranda, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 87. “They’ve built homes. They’ve provided for their families. They’ve sent their kids to college. They’re not new workers. They didn’t just get here a year ago.”

Nevertheless, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security has told ABM that they have flagged the personnel records of those workers. Weeks ago, ICE agents sifted through Social Security records and the I-9 immigration forms all workers have to fill out when they apply for jobs. They then told ABM that the company had to fire 475 workers who were accused of lacking legal immigration status.

ABM is one of the largest building service companies in the country, and it appears that union janitorial companies are the targets of the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement program. “Homeland Security is going after employers that are union,” Miranda charged. “They’re going after employers that give benefits and are paying above the average.”

Last October, 1,200 janitors working for ABM were fired in similar circumstances in Minneapolis. In November, over 100 janitors working for Seattle Building Maintenance lost their jobs. Minneapolis janitors belong to SEIU Local 26, Seattle janitors to Local 6 and San Francisco janitors to Local 87.

President Obama said sanctions enforcement targets employers “who are using illegal workers in order to drive down wages - and oftentimes mistreat those workers.” An ICE Worksite Enforcement Advisory claimed, “unscrupulous employers are likely to pay illegal workers substandard wages or force them to endure intolerable working conditions.”

Curing intolerable conditions by firing or deporting workers who endure them doesn’t help the workers or change the conditions, however. And despite Obama’s contention that sanctions enforcement will punish those employers who exploit immigrants, employers are rewarded for cooperating with ICE by being immunized from prosecution. Javier Murillo, president of SEIU Local 26, said, “The promise made during the audit is that if the company cooperates and complies, they won’t be fined. So this kind of enforcement really only hurts workers.”

ICE Director John Morton said the agency is auditing the records of 1,654 companies nationwide. “What kind of economic recovery goes with firing thousands of workers?” Miranda asked. “Why don’t they target employers who are not paying taxes, who are not obeying safety or labor laws?”

The San Francisco janitors are now faced with an agonizing dilemma. Should they turn themselves in to Homeland Security, which might charge them with providing a bad Social Security number to their employer, and even hold them for deportation? For workers with families, homes and deep roots in a community, it’s not possible to just walk away and disappear. “I have a lot of members who are single mothers whose children were born here,” Miranda said. “I have a member whose child has leukemia. What are they supposed to do? Leave their children here and go back to Mexico and wait? And wait for what?”

Miranda’s question reflects not just the dilemma facing individual workers, but of 12 million undocumented people living in the United States. Since 2005, successive congress members, senators and administrations have dangled the prospect of gaining legal status in front of those who lack it. In exchange, their various schemes for immigration reform have proposed huge new guest worker programs, and a big increase in exactly the kind of enforcement now directed at 475 San Francisco janitors.

While the potential criminalization of undocumented people in Arizona continues to draw headlines, the actual punishment of workers because of their immigration status has become an increasingly bitter fact of life across the country.

President Obama, condemning Arizona’s law that would make being undocumented a state crime, said it would “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” But then he announced his support for legislation with guest worker programs and increased enforcement.

The country is no closer to legalization of the undocumented than it was ten years ago. But the enforcement provisions of the comprehensive immigration reform bills debated in Congress over the last five years have already been implemented on the ground. The Bush administration conducted a high-profile series of raids in which it sent heavily-armed agents into meatpacking plants and factories, held workers for deportation and sent hundreds to federal prison for using bad Social Security numbers.

After Barack Obama was elected president, immigration authorities said they would follow a softer policy, using an electronic system to find undocumented people in workplaces. People working with bad Social Security numbers would be fired.

Ironically the Bush administration proposed a regulation that would have required employers to fire any worker who provided an employer with a Social Security number that did not match the SSA database. That regulation was then stopped in court by unions, the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center. The Obama administration, however, is implementing what amounts to the same requirement, with the same consequence of thousands of fired workers.

Union leaders like Miranda see a conflict between the rhetoric used by the president and other Washington, DC, politicians and lobbyists in condemning the Arizona law, and the immigration proposals they make in Congress. “There’s a huge contradiction here,” she said. “You can’t tell one state that what they’re doing is criminalizing people, and at the same time go after employers paying more than a living wage and the workers who have fought for that wage.”

Renee Saucedo, attorney for La Raza Centro Legal and former director of the San Francisco Day Labor Program, is even more critical. “Those bills in Congress, which are presented as ones that will help some people get legal status, will actually make things much worse,” she charged. “We’ll see many more firings like the janitors here, and more punishments for people who are just working and trying to support their families.”

“We have to look at the whole picture,” Saucedo urged. “So long as we have trade agreements like NAFTA that create poverty in countries like Mexico, people will continue to come here, no matter how many walls we build. Instead of turning people into guest workers, as these bills in Washington would do, while firing and even jailing those who do not have papers, we need to help people get legal status, and repeal the laws that are making work a crime.”

David Bacon is a writer and photographer, see


The Disappeared in the United States

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a detention system with 350 installations run mainly by private companies and local prisons. Reports on the fate of detainees have demonstrated the systematic abuse and abandonment of immigrants to the custody of the federal government. There are raped women who have been denied the services of abortion during their detention. Pregnant women have remained chained while giving birth, and babies that were still being breastfed have been snatched out of their mothers' arms.

In the space of five years, more than 100 detained immigrants have died in ICE custody. These deaths came to light in investigations made by journalists and the American Civil Liberties Union. An Ecuadorean who was the victim of negligence died after being transferred from a prison on Rikers Island in New York to immigration authorities.

Too often, detainees disappear into some of the ICE's surreptitious divisions that do not appear in public registers and that are not clearly identified, according to revelations made by a study carried out by La Nación. "The capacity of having access to the outside world is an essential safeguard against arbitrary detention," affirms Amnesty International.

Detained immigrants do not have the right to legal representation. They have to defend their cases by way of a tangled web of obstacles, like depending on non-profit organizations that cannot accept collect calls, poor translations and ignorance of their rights.

The system undermines their limited possibilities of an impartial trial. The Warren Institute describes the defects in the federal process of immigrant detention, including, for example, judges overburdened with work and mass trials.

The shameful conditions of detention go against human rights, including the right of detainees to access the services of physicians and lawyers, and the right of not being detained indefinitely.

Under the Obama administration, the federal government undertook a review of policies around medical treatment and supervision. Last year, ICE announced changes to improve detention conditions and then a very much needed internal inspection of detention practices was made. But what remains the same is that these policies on health services and supervision are not legally binding.

Who are the people responsible for this criminal and negligent behavior? Private companies contracted to take charge of detained immigrants, in prisons where there have been deaths due to negligence. They continue to run detention centers for the government.

The fact that nobody takes responsibility is unacceptable. Standards should include humanitarian policies of detention, adequate legal representation and severe punishment for those who do not respect the rights of immigrants. We can not allow ICE to continue to turn detention into a business.


New Study Shows

88,000 U.S. Citizen Children
Lost Parent to Deportation

The United States government deported the lawful immigrant parents of nearly 88,000 citizen children between 1997 and 2007, most for relatively minor crimes, according to a new report released today by the University of California, Davis, and University of California, Berkeley, law schools. The deportations often resulted in psychological harm, behavioral changes and problems in school for the children left behind.

The report, "In the Child’s Best Interest?" is based on analysis of data provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, interviews with affected families and comparisons of U.S. and international human rights standards. The study was a joint project of the Immigration Law Clinic at the UC Davis School of Law, and the International Human Rights Law Clinic and the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at the UC Berkeley School of Law. It is available on the Web at

Drastic revisions to U.S. immigration laws in 1996 led to large numbers of deported lawful permanent residents (green card holders), who now make up nearly 10 percent of immigrants deported from the U.S., according to the report. More than 68 percent of the deported green card holders were deported for minor crimes, including driving under the influence, simple assault and nonviolent drug offenses, it found.

"It is often the children in these families who suffer the most," said Raha Jorjani, a clinical professor of law at UC Davis and supervising attorney for the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic. "This nation should take into consideration the impact on families of uprooting individuals with such strong ties to the U.S.”

Current immigration laws severely restrict the ability of judges to consider the impact of deportation on children, the report notes. The authors recommend restoring judicial discretion in all cases involving the deportation of lawful permanent residents with U.S. citizen children.

“As Congress considers immigration reform, it is time to focus on how the current system tears apart families and threatens the health and education of tens of thousands of children,” said Aarti Kohli, director of immigration policy at Berkeley Law’s Warren Institute. “This report makes a strong case for restoring judicial discretion so immigration judges can weigh the best interests of children when deciding whether to deport a parent.”

The report examined deportation records between April 1997 and August 2007. The nearly 88,000 legal residents who were deported during this decade had lived in the U.S. an average of 10 years, and more than half had at least one child living at home, the study found. About half of the children were under age 5 when their parent was deported.

In 1996, Congress also significantly broadened the category of crimes considered an “aggravated felony,” the report notes. Although this category initially included only the most serious offenses, it now includes nonviolent theft and drug offenses, forgery and other minor offenses, many of which may not be felonies under criminal law. Lawful permanent residents convicted of an aggravated felony are now subject to mandatory deportation and other severe immigration consequences.

“Parents who are deported on the basis of criminal convictions are being punished twice for the same mistakes,” Jorjani said. “Even after successfully completing their criminal sentences, they are subject to penalties within the immigration system — and risk losing their families."

Families interviewed for the study reported negative health impacts, such as increased depression, sleeplessness and anxiety. Children also reported plummeting grades, increased behavioral problems and the urge to drop out of school to help support the family.

The study compares U.S. immigration policy to international standards that more adequately address potential family separations in deportation hearings.

“The rights to health and education are firmly entrenched in international human rights law, and nearly every major human rights treaty recognizes the need for special protection of children,” said Laurel Fletcher, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law. “The U.S. should consider revising its policy to mirror European human rights standards, which permit judges to balance a nation’s security interest with the best interests of the child when considering deporting a parent.”

"In the Child’s Best Interest?" makes a number of recommendations to U.S. policymakers, including:

• restoring judicial discretion in cases involving the deportation of lawful permanent residents who have U.S. citizen children;

• establishing clear judicial guidelines in these family deportation cases;

• reverting to the pre-1996 definition of “aggravated felony”;

• collecting data on U.S. citizen children of deported lawful immigrant parents to gain fuller understanding of impact of deportation laws.



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