Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Battered or Deported?

When an L.A. woman named Isaura Garcia finally worked up the nerve to call 911 -- after two years of brutal beatings by her husband -- her fingerprints were sent to a federal database for immigration checks. Even though Isaura called the police to protect herself from abuse, she was quickly targeted for deportation under a controversial program known as “Secure Communities,” or S-Comm.

Isaura is just one of the tens of thousands of immigrant men and women in the United States who rely on police for protection. They are put at serious risk by S-Comm, a federal deportation program that requires collaboration between local police and federal immigration agents.

Just two weeks ago, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that his state would quit the S-Comm program after a months-long investigation, which revealed deep concerns over the way that victims were being targeted and families split apart. Now, New York state legislators and advocates are pressuring Gov. Cuomo to immediately do the same.

A coalition of grassroots organizations have already gathered 1,400 signatures on the petition they started at Change.org, asking Governor Cuomo to withdraw from the so-called “Secure Communities” program. Will you add your name now?

Luckily for Isaura, a host of great organizations went public with her case, and she no longer faces deportation. Still, Isaura worries – and rightly so -- that many other women stuck in violent situations like hers will be forced to simply bear the abuse, rather than run the risk of being banished from their families in the U.S. Not only is this unjust, but it makes entire communities less safe when residents are afraid to turn in criminals and work with the police to solve violent crimes.

Concerned New Yorkers will be rallying in front of the governor’s office this Wednesday, May 18th, at noon. Will you join them by raising your voice now?

Stand with domestic violence survivor Isaura Garcia and the New York Working Group Against Deportation -- sign the petition on Change.org asking Governor Cuomo to stop S-Comm in New York State:

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-s-comm-the-so-called-secure-communities-program-in-new-york

Thanks for taking action,

- Jackie and the Change.org Team

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