Thursday, July 19, 2012

Taking a Stand in Alabama

This week Dothan, Alabama based "The 270 View" was proud to join with The Rights Working Group and two hundred and thirty-three religious, labor and civil rights groups to call on the Obama Administration to end immigration reporting partnerships with local police in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Utah.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, the 233 organizations said the recommendations were intended to “ensure that Department of Homeland Security enforcement operations do not contribute to racial profiling and prolonged detention in Arizona and the other states that have passed recent immigration enforcement laws.” The groups urge that DHS must take concrete steps to ensure that the federal government is not helping police to engage in discriminatory policing. In addition to calling for a termination of these states’ immigration enforcement partnerships, the organizations called on DHS to:

  • Collect data to determine whether state and local police in the six states are engaged in racial profiling or illegal detentions.

  • Establish a centralized unit at DHS headquarters to review all immigration enforcement decisions to ensure DHS enforcement does not further racial profiling.

  • Give specialized instructions to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Support Center on how to respond to inquiries made by local police in the six states to prevent DHS from serving as a conduit for discriminatory policing.

  • Devote more resources to implementing its prosecutorial discretion policy robustly in the six states.

  • The 270 View's Dothan, Alabama based founder Bryan L. Holcomb stated "As an organization located in Alabama it was personally very important to me that I participate with these other groups in urging for state laws like Alabama's own HB 56 to be examined. The passage of this Alabama law created a partnership between DHS/ICE and state & local governments and local law enforcement agencies. The vast majority of these local governments and local law enforcement agencies had no input in the passage of this law and did not necessarily wish to indirectly become enforcers of a broken immigration system. Furthermore the very nature of this partnership between states like Alabama and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency creates an environment under which the potential for the denial of civil rights is very likely for certain minorities who it appears can now be legally discriminated against according to laws like Alabama's current HB 56."

    Alabama's current immigration law (HB 56) is regarded by many as the nation's strictest anti-illegal immigration law. Under HB 56 Alabama has created a system under which undocumented immigrants are unable to interact with local and state Alabama government agencies in any way and for any purpose. This has effectively made an entire class of people into “non-persons” in the eyes of the law. For example, under this law if a person who was perceived by law enforcement to "look undocumented" was to call law enforcement for any reason they could be detained against there will until there citizenship was proven. This detainment and denial of basic civil rights could lead to large numbers of American citizens in states like Alabama being detained against there will until local courts or law enforcement decided to release them.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    End Piracy, Not Liberty

    This fourth of July we would like to encourage everyone to support freedom on the internet. SOPA and PIPA are two copyright bills currently under stalled negotiation in the House and Senate. These bills as drafted would have a chilling effect on Internet innovation, the Engine of the American economy. Tell your Senators to find a better way. 

    Additional information can be found here.