tv [untitled] October 26, 2011 2:30am-3:00am PDT
the backlog of family immigration has contributed to undocumented immigration, family separation. it is counter to the family values that the nation counts. to me, it is a no-brainer clear the backlog. -- the nation touts. >> cindy, in advising the immigration rights committee, for advising them on cir, who needs to be heard, which forces need to be lifted up? >> i could take professor hing's sarcastic way of looking at it -- just kidding. [laughter] i hope my other congressional
colleagues do not kill me about sang this but i think it is important to keep your congressional office into an with what is important to you. i could not agree more with the two speakers. i think you have to be an optimist to be working on this issue, on this job, but i am with prof. hang in that we are scared with the flip side is. right now we are in the good state. right now nothing is written on paper. i do not know what is going to be on the gutierrez bill but it will not be the only one out there. right now we are talking about all the things that we agree on. we are going to try to focus on those things to see if we can move at first. the point that professor hing made previously about having to admit to a conviction, that is not something that we have signed off on, not something
that we have signed off on with immigration committee. you have to have a bit of wisdom. i have not been around as long as anyone else, but we have seen some pretty horrible things happen when we thought we ever going to do pretty well. i think both of these perspectives should be weighed equally. what we can do at this point is be grateful for our congressional representatives in the bay area but really understand that the bay area is different from the rest of the country, especially on this issue. it is important to wait in -- way-and -- weigh-in. i think also of san francisco has a good way to show that if you have an immigrant rights commission and you are in accenture city, civilization does not end. you actually forage and you get
stronger economies. i think that is invaluable. when we were all briefly speaking about how can we make san francisco happen in the middle of the central valley -- that is the million-dollar question. i do not have that answer. i just know the optimist in me what is working toward that. taking into account the things that we have seen in the past have been unpleasant, when it comes down to paper, but again, we need to look at speak your community. everyone who calls get an appointment. everyone who writes to get a response. we do that in order to know the pulse of our community is, as well as the country. >> so, nellie, as an activist and organizer, what would be your recommendations on how one
can really leverage reform? >> i think you should go to community centers, all the city leaders. how many nationalities to we have here? i see diversity with all of you commissioners, but maybe once of view -- one of the once a week should be going to the schools, churches, community is, talking to real people and getting involved. getting the fear out of immigrants about approaching the government. everyone believes if they go onto the street, claiming they want amnesty, it is going to backfire. they all are already feeling in all the demonstrations and marches that we did four years ago, they have backfired.
we need to prove to them that this is not true. but we need your support and government support. mainstream america has the wrong belief that immigrants are here to take everything away from them. that is not true. we need to get the message that everything -- our immigrants are very positive. thank you. >> panelists, you heard earlier the professor talk about the economic contributions of our immigrant community. with the 2010 census coming up, there is a great deal of fear and intimidation from the immigrant communities. there is even talk about possible boycott. there is an effort to derail the
sentence by adding in a question about status. what would your advice be around the census and overcoming the fear and intimidation of participation? >> we should push them to participate because it is important to be counted. >> information is power. the information policy center could not do its work without the census data. the work that we have done has been able to help document impact of latinos, asians, other immigrant groups in other states, what would happen if those folks were not there. if people do not participate, then all the great work they do, all the ways they contribute
to the community are not going to be counted. nellie is right. it is about proving that these are communities that matter. >> if i could add, i think it is imperative for everyone to participate in the census. the census is constitutionally mandated. it is to get a picture of who our country is, who makes up our country, and that makes everyone. i think the recent proposed amendment in the senate -- which i have to say, and i want to say, it was soundly defeated -- the status requirement was just a way to intimidate. we should not be calling for it. i do not believe in a boycott on the census. the census count determines how many congressional representatives there are.
it is used to figure out funding for counties. sometimes it is our own immigrant communities who really need those resources but are in a weak position to negotiate. i cannot emphasize how important it is to understand that your information given to the census is confidential and there are extra safe marks for the information. there is also big penalties for anyone who inappropriately to full does the information. it is never meant to be handed over to the immigration service. absolutely, the commission should encourage everyone to participate. can you imagine if we got another represented in this area? -- rep in this area? i think we could use it. >> last question. we have heard a couple of
suggestions on things the immigrant rights commission could do. the last question is, your top three suggestions for the immigrants' rights commission to begin preparing for building capacity in the community to assist immigrants, not if, but when cir happens. >> there is a lot of expertise in the bay area when it comes to the last time there was legalization provisions. one, it requires a close partnership with the department of homeland security. there were some good things that erka did. they be located in two different parts of the community, set up offices that were successful.
we should work with the homeland security. due out reach to the communities on the process and procedures. many people did not know what the exact requirements for and how it was -- requirements were and how it was going to be implemented. the third thing i would add is, we have to do our best to reach every community by working with the new community groups that have emerged since 1986, to make sure that each community has access to services. although, nationwide, the vast majority of those undocumented are latino. and california, while the majority is latino, california actually has a much larger percentage of non-latinos that are not documented.
íx"r>> i was hoping you were gog to ask that question. i am not going to repeat the and of reach, but are finding your networks to get to those hard to reach communities. in san jose we have a somali community, so you can throw money and ethnic media like crazy, it is not going to reach them. it is important to know where these hard-hit communities are. having these networks in place and refining them so that they can be a service to everyone. i was proud traumatized by the 1996, 1998 changes, but also by 2000. it was amazing how quickly unscrupulous people got the word out that they had the way to take advantage of provisions.
for $500, they would sell you the form that had not even been by immigration services. i think we need to prepare the community on how someone will screen new and that support those people giving proper screening advice. providing a safe space like you are doing here for people to tell their stories, being that truck to a source of information, and making sure that we are ready for those people who will try to take advantage of our community as they seek to legalize their situation. >> any other suggestions? >> the only other thing i would add it is it is inevitable, there will be some type of english requirement. if we are looking at past bills, some type of english requirement
and some type of fund is likely to be there. those are two areas where it will really affect the ability of a community to fully utilize, as a legalization process, is going to turn on whether or not services are already in place. particularly with fines and application fees, thinking about these folks as an investment in the city's future and trying to determine if there are micro loans or other programs that the commission or city might be able to help sponsor to make it easier for people to be able to take advantage of the law when it is passed is something that you need to start thinking about now. there are good programs at other places have tried, the state of illinois, in particular. >> thank you.
you have given us a lot of food for thought. commissioners, and this concludes the >> thank you, director. thank you penlists and speakers for your testimony. at this stage, we will at the end, if you have questions carb i know one or two might have a question. i will do it after public comment. if i may, i would like at this stage to see if there is anybody in the audience who would like to talk. i have some speaker cards. i will read out your names. i believe, director, two minutes? >> that would be your call. >> i would like to hold our comments to two minutes as our time is restricted here. if you would line up at the mike here. we have arch bishop richardson,
amos lynne, natia, and lupe. thank you. as you are speaking, you can take the mike here, this microphone here. are director? >> i am sorry [inaudible] >> great. if you would pay attention over here, you will get your time pointer from this gentleman over here. when you see 30 seconds, there will be a bill. you can go ahead. you are first up. >> hi. i represent immigration and i apologize for the baby screaming just now. we had to bring her.
we spoke earlier on bye national couples. i am a foreigner, but lucky enough to have a card. we cannot operate like a billings. the only way that i can stay here is by getting my visa, whether a student or work visa. every time you get a visa, you have to leave the country to renew your visa and prove you are going to go back home. every time you leave the country, it is really scary because you have no idea who is interviewing you in the glass window and whether your application will be denied or not. one thing by federal law, it doesn't recognize marriages performed anywhere. i am one of the 18,000 legally
married in california, but the gerg doesn't recognize it. so my husband can't spomsor me for a card. for people who are legally married in california, and if they are on a different kind of virginia, they can become an overstay and can become denied to come back into this country. so it is very important, and i really thank you, the immigrant rights commission, for supporting a resolution to include it into comprehensive immigration reform, and we need to make sure that exrenlsive immigration be truly immigration and includes all families. we should not leave families out. thank you. >> thank you for your comments. >> hi. my name is nadia, and i work for the san francisco human rights commission.
the commission investigates cases of discrimination based on a number of categories, one of which is national origin, whether that is discrimination in housing, public accommodation, that means any business establishment you go to, or employment. we interpret, especially in instances of housing-based discrimination, that immigration status is part of national origin discrimination. we just want to let the forum know about this, and my colleague been talking about the sanctuary city. in addition, on tuesday, november 17 of this month, we are going to be having a forum on issues affecting -- immigration issues affecting l.g.t. immigrants and same-sex bye national couples not being together. we are going to talk about the h.i.v. ban being lifted but
cases previously departmented. the one-year deadline for asylum and also the treatment of lgtb danica patrick's. we hope you can come to the forum. it is going to be at 25 venice, sweet 800, november 17 at 5:30. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> hello. good evening, commissioners. my name is lupe. i work with the human rights commission as well. thank you for putting this together. this is a great symposium and a great place to be able to share a lot of the different views and work going on. one of the things i wanted to quickly talk about was regarding the sanctuary ordinance. there has been a lot of talk about a sanctuary ordinance. it has been in the news and a national debate. we want to remind you what it
is about. first of all, the sanctuary ordinance was created back in 1989. it just had its 20-year anniversary. the human rights commission is named as the enforcement agency in the sanctuary ordinance. what that means is that no city employee or no city resources can go towards helping ice or referring anybody to ice or disclosing any information to ice. it was meant to give people equal access to services, equal access to the city without any fear of retribution, any fear of retaliation, any fear of having their status being basically disclosed, and being deported for wanting to get health care. so it is a really important thing for us to remember that as we are thinking about comprehensive immigration
reform, that we also continue to strengthen and defend sanctuary ordinance not just here in san francisco, where it has been under a lot of pressure and discussion and a lot of debate, bull also all over the country, because other cities also have a sanctuary ordinance. again, it is not about -- the way that the current dialogue that is been happening, a lot is about crime. it is actually about insuring that everybody has equal access and equal process in san francisco. so we want to put that out there and remind people that is what it is about, and we are definitely here to be able to hear any questions and again to continue strengthening and defending the sanctuary ordinance. my colleague is going to talk always more about the complaint process that people can use to file a complaint regarding a sanctuary city violation. >> thank you. if i may, i just want to read more cards, and if you would,
line up to speak. once again, forgive me if i am mispronouncing a name. janine. lapeta. thank you. carl. julie so -- soux. bart murphy. guadaloupe, and manava. forgive me if i am pronouncing these names wrong. line up, and you have two minutes. next speaker. >> thank you. good evening, everyone. i am from the human rights commission, and we are happy to say that we are taking all complaints and reworking santh city issues right now.
so if you have any issues, either have been discriminated against or know someone who has an issue about the city of san francisco not respecting the sanctuary ordinance, come to us. we can take complaints there by phone, e-mail or mail, whatever is easiest for you. i am going to leave some forms over there, so if anyone wants to talk to us about problems, they can do it. also, they can visit our website. just a few things about it. we respect your confidentiality status, which means i am not going to ask you whether you are current or not. we are not even going to ask you about your name if you don't want to give it. it is a completely confidential process. it is going to be only about trying to investigate possible
abuse and try to discuss with the city department about the actual situation. we are working for all san francisco residents, and we are working with city or county democrats. that means we cannot help with any ice issues or with federal authorities. but if you know someone who are have had an issue about sanctuary city, please come to us. we are here to help you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> my name is lupe, and i speak spanish as my primary language, but i am a citizen. i appreciate from this commission that there is an interpreter. i think as a spanish-speaking person, as a mexican and
american, what i would like from this commission for me to really respect you, and for me and thousands of other immigrants, but i am going to speak for the spanish-speaking community, for us to feel that you are really here, and you mean what you say, it is beyond interpretation and intention. it is engagement, but it is also to stand up. i am going to give you a couple of examples. the new police chief just passed a law that if you don't have a driver's license, which is one of the main issues for latino undocumented people, that they are going to give you 20 minutes, they will take your car and pay a fee. but they are going to take your car. you are going to go into another debt for $1,000. you can say we support this. put an ad in the chronicle or announce it. that is one.
the one, the chronicle and other english papers, i think because they have new reporters that don't understand the context of immigration and the complexities, they go on and on stererotyping latinos unfairly and unwarranted. i would like this commission to call them or send a letter. that is what i think a lot of the spanish speaking people want from you to feel that you are there. and the last thing i want to say, and i want to say this with a lot of respect. and i do respect this commission. i so appreciate all of your testimony, but i am going to cry, and so too with my other meap friend because we didn't see any many testimony. hundreds of thousands of mexicans have been affected by these laws. mexicans, and others are
affected. they are from latin america. representation is so key. that doesn't invalidate any of your stories. on the contrary, it makes us unified. whether it was logistics, or whether no mexican was available or whatever, but they are not here. so i really -- but again, i do appreciate your work. i think it is time for you go the next step. i appreciate the panel issue. thank you very much. >> thank you for your comments. next speaker. >> good evening honorable chair person and members of the board. my name is carl cruz, i am with the american immigration lawyers and the national lawyers guild. i want to shed some light and
go further than due process deprivation and explain what it is we are looking at in terms of the proposals we saw in 2007 and 2008. evans involved in some minor lobbying efforts. we need to take all this in keeping with what the office could be. on the one hand, we might get comprehensive immigration reform. on the other hand, we might get nothing at all. i know no one wants to consider this possibility, but what does san francisco do if we don't get comprehensive immigration reform? now, on the immigration reform side, there were proposals in twheb and 2008 to do things that -- and i am only able to summarize in my short time i have, lower the threshold of proof for a foreign national to be deported respect force a
foreign national to make a choice between waiving their right to appeal or taking voluntary deportation. to expand the categories to which the reason to believe standard applies. the reason to believe standard turns the constitutional standard of reasonable doubt on its head. so expansion of that category is kind of the biggest prejudice or discrimination you could ever put into law. as of now it only aplays to two categories. one, terrorism, and two, controlled substance terrificers. so to expand that category is a real alienation, and i do intend the play on words. and then the very real threat of the foreclosure of appeal. what i mean when i say tha