Archive | November, 2011

ARTivism Basel: FLIC Will Be at Art Basel Supporting Immigrant Youth

29 Nov

Immigrant Youth DREAM for a better Florida

December 3rd will be our night, we’re taking Art Basel!

December 3rd, 6PM – 10PM

Collins Park, Miami Beach, FL (map attached)

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FLIC is thrilled to be participating in the Public Art Series, at Collins Park in Miami Beach, FL, through the generosity of two Los Angeles-based socially-conscious artists: Olga Koumoundouros and Andrea Bowers. Olga and Andrea will be incorporating our two largest campaigns, “We Are Florida” and “CCA Go Away,” into the outdoor exhibit on the beach.

The night will be dedicated to immigrant youth and their dreams for an education. We will raise awareness about the need for in-state tuition legislation in Florida, and raise funds for the SWER DREAM Fund to help youth pay for college.
The surprises of the night will include a theater performance by Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER), live art with Arizona-based youth activist Ernesto Yerena, as well as drinks and live music by Haitian-American roots band MAWON.
LIVE ART AND SIGN-MAKING PARTY: Ernesto Yerena, a young immigrant rights ARTivist, will be joining us all the way from Arizona. Yerena, a chicano artist, created the famous image for the Alto Arizona campaign. He will offer a workshop for youth and will teach us how to do stencil signs for our next in-state tuition campaign.
Guillermo Reyes, a Florida DREAMer and member of SWER, will paint our surprise We are Florida mural. Everyone will be invited to contribute something to our mural.
ANTI SB1070 DANCE:  An incredible dance team from Lake Worth will perform their “Anti SB1070” dance, to educate people about the effects of anti-immigrant laws like the ones in Arizona or Alabama.
THEATER: Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER) will be performing their famous Theater of the Oppressed piece: “Immigrant Money Making Machine,” (link to video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSdATEx8p-A). A perfect piece to educate Art Basel visitors about the for-profit prison industry and their business of locking up immigrants.

LIVE MUSIC AND PARTY: Our friends from MAWON, a Haitian-American Miami-based roots band, will be performing live for us. We will also have “Herencia Maya”, a marimba band from Homestead.

The exhibit will be open the entire week of Art Basel, from November 30th to December 4th. Please stop and take a look at the featured images from the “We Are Florida” campaign.

HUNDREDS CONVENE IN GAINESVILLE FOR FLIC CONGRESS

18 Nov

Numbers swell after historic mobilizations during the legislative session

 Starting tonight, November 18th, until Sunday November 20th, the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) will host its sixth annual Congress in Gainesville. More than 200 participants representing grassroots organizations, community groups, immigrant rights advocates, lawyers, unions, faith leaders, students and farm workers, will gather to review their achievements during 2011 and prepare for the challenges 2012 might bring for immigrants in Florida.

Hosted by the Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice and the Coalition of Hispanics Integrating Spanish Speakers Through Advocacy and Service (CHISPAS), the 2011 annual membership meeting will swell to record numbers, attracting hundreds of people from throughout the state. The organization most recently earned notoriety for its role in mounting a formidable campaign, during the 2011 legislative session successfully thwarting the governor’s campaign threat of an Arizona immigration copycat bill.

With no staff until 2005, the Florida Immigrant Coalition now has a permanent presence peppered throughout the peninsula in great part due to a solid core of 30 diverse organizations and a talented cohort of full time staff in five different counties.

Florida has the fourth largest immigrant population in the country. Its state coalition has become a reliable and growing mobilization machine, in particular for its reach and depth with the state’s Latino constituencies.

The 6th Annual Congress will be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Florida New Majority, the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy and the Florida Asset Building Coalition are expected to participate.

Thou Shalt Not Steal

17 Nov

By Jeanette Smith, South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice, Member of Florida Wage Theft Task Force 

Today marks one year since Miami-Dade County publicly declared a Day Against Wage Theft. Wage theft, or the nonpayment of wages earned, affects us all. Families suffer when earnings are too low to meet basic needs. Local businesses and economies are denied vital stimulus that would flow from the additional spending of workers had they been paid their earned salaries. Honest businesses are undermined by unscrupulous competitors who practice wage theft. Government at all levels is affected, as they are denied tax revenues generated by higher earnings and when many working families must resort to public programs to survive.

Last year, our County adopted an unprecedented ordinance to protect workers from wage theft, the first one in Florida and model legislation for many other communities throughout the country. Thanks to it, in only one year the County’s Wage Theft Program collected over $350,000 in unpaid wages through conciliation, and since January, over $415,000 has been awarded to workers through administrative hearings.

The victims of wage theft have ranged from construction workers to teachers to home health care workers and others. Claims have been as low as sixty dollars and as high as thousands of dollars. Mayor Carlos Gimenez recently lauded the program as “an effective tool for promoting economic security and dignity”. With the over one million dollars in claims still pending, it is obvious that wage theft is an epidemic in our community.

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Gracias a ti, ¡Shamir está libre! ¡Sigamos trabajando!

8 Nov

Gracias a ti, ¡Shamir está libre!

Balal y Andy siguen detenidos mientras ICE quiere construir otra cárcel de inmigración en el sur de Florida. ¡Sigamos trabajando!

Después de 9 días de detención, Shamir Ali fue puesto en libertad hace no más de dos semanas. ¡Todo esto fue gracias a tu apoyo! En menos de una semana, Presente.org reunió cerca de 4.000 firmas en una petición on-lineFLICWe Count! y SWER protestaron frente al Centro de Transición de Broward (BTC), los DREAMers organizaron acciones de solidaridad en otras siete ciudades del país, y logramos la atención de los medios nacionales. Gracias a esto, Shamir finalmente regresó a su casa.

La experiencia probablemente se puede describir mejor en palabras de Shamir:

“¡Todavía no lo creo! Todo lo sucedido fue como una montaña rusa psicológica. Primero me negaron la discreción del proceso, pero luego lo aprobaron después de todo la presión en los medios. Fue básicamente gracias al apoyo que he recibido de la gente… ¡Muchas gracias desde el fondo de mi corazón!”

Sin embargo, a pesar del éxito en el caso de Shamir, nuestro trabajo no ha terminado: ICE continúa deteniendo y deportando a gente todos los días. Como si eso no fuera suficiente, quieren construir otra enorme prisión para inmigrantes aquí en el condado de Broward.

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Shamir is Free! Let’s Keep Working to Stop Detentions and Deportations

8 Nov

Thanks to you, Shamir is free!

Balaal and Andy are still in Detention, and ICE wants to build a new massive immigration prison in South Florida. We need to keep up the efforts!

After 9 days in detention, Shamir Ali was released no more than two weeks ago. This was all thanks to your support! In less than a week, Presente.org was able to gather close to 4,000 signatures in an on-line petitionFLICWe Count and SWER protested in front of Broward Transitional Center (BTC), the DREAMers organized solidarity actions in other 7 cities throughout the country, and we got the attention of national media. Thanks to that, Shamir finally returned home!

The experience can probably be described best in Shamir’s words:

“I am still in disbelief! The back and forth was such a psychological roller coaster. They first denied me prosecutorial discretion, but then approved it after all the media attention. Pretty much, it was all the support I received from people… Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!”

However, despite Shamir’s success, our job here is not complete: ICE continues detaining and deporting people every single day. As if that weren’t enough, they want to build another massive immigration prison right here, in Broward County.

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Set Balal Free!

6 Nov

Balal Parveez is 22 years old and has been in the USA since he was five years old. After a faulty asylum petition by a lawyer, Balal was the only one of his 9 siblings that wasn’t able to obtain legal residence in the U.S. He is currently detained at Broward Transitional Center in Florida, suffering from physical and emotional hardship.
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By: Juan Rodriguez

I visited Balal this weekend. I was worried, hearing that his depression had worsened again this week and he was losing his appetite completely. It alarmed me because I knew he was being given pain relief injections for his health condition. I awaited the weekend visitation period unsure if I might hear first from a local hospital.

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Familias destrozadas: Nuevo informe sobre niños de padres detenidos o deportados

2 Nov

Desde el Centro de Investigación Aplicada:

Más de 5.000 niños cuyos padres han sido detenidos o deportados están languideciendo en hogares alternativos en este momento – enfrentando la amenaza de ser separados permanentemente de sus familias.

El Centro de Investigación Aplicada (ARC, por sus siglas en inglés) acaba de publicar “Familias destrozadas:La intersección peligrosa entre las Leyes de Inmigración y el Sistema de Bienestar Infantil“, un innovador informe que ofrece los primeros datos nacionales disponibles en el cruce peligroso entre la ley de inmigración y el sistema de bienestar infantil. La investigación de ARC incluye un video conmovedor y un artículo en Colorlines.com que muestran  la historia de una familia que intenta desesperadamente por mantenerse unida.

Estas familias se enfrentan a enormes dificultades para reunificarse, y en muchos casos serán separados de forma permanente. ARC estima que por lo menos 15.000 niños más podrán ser separados de sus familias en los próximos cinco años, si la misma tasa aplica para casos nuevos.

Este es un creciente problema nacional – los niveles históricos de detención y deportación, junto con la falta de una política clara de bienestar infantil, están destrozando familias y poniendo en peligro a los niños que se quedan atrás. Es inaceptable, anti-estadounidense, y una clara señal de que tenemos que revisar nuestras políticas de inmigración.

Un seminario de información pública se llevará a cabo el miércoles 11/10, a las 3 pm ET/12 del medio día PT. Para más información visite http://www.arc.org/shatteredfamilies.